Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Jill S. Hill & Rockey R. Robbins & Megan Correia
As one of the oldest agencies within the U.S. government, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) shares a complex and traumatic history with Native Nations. Originally part of the War Department, the BIA was transferred to the Department of the Interior in 1849 by an act of Congress. Since its establishment as a federal agency, the BIA as well as its precursors have been tasked with managing and overseeing most matters relating to Indian affairs and relations between Indian Nations and the U.S. government; examples include educational services, land and other asset management, health care, and economic development. As the relations between Native Nations and the United States have changed dramatically since colonization, the roles of the BIA have also transformed. The agency's responsibilities have changed to reflect evolution of the U.S. government's policies toward Native Nations that have been shaped by treaties, laws, and court rulings. These responsibilities have ...