By Roberta Ulrich
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Extra info for American Indian Nations from Termination to Restoration, 1953-2006
Citizens [giving up their tribal status] or re- m e n o mi n e e s 29 nounce their citizenship and be foreigners. ”23 When Laird raised issues related to the government’s treaty with the Menominees, Watkins dismissed them as irrelevant. The Administration was equally cavalier. H. Rex Lee, assistant secretary of the interior, told Laird there was no conﬂict between the Menominee treaty and the termination bill. “The tribal attorney told us no rights are affected,” he said. Watkins was in a hurry to get termination carried out.
Others just didn’t know what to do. Tribal members agreed on only thing — they wanted to keep Menominee land intact. 41 The state eventually did the real work of helping the Menominees make the transition. In 1955 the Wisconsin Legislature appointed a Menominee Indian Study Committee to determine the problems the tribe and state would face in making the transition. This high-level group, with University of Wisconsin faculty members doing most of the research, accumulated the detailed information about potential costs to the tribe of managing health care and welfare.
Deer described “an immediate clash of culture” with the arrival of the white manager from the Paciﬁc Northwest timber industry. Before termination the tribe had operated the mill partly to provide members with jobs. After termination, faced with the necessity to pay taxes and make a proﬁt, the new manager dismissed workers, often for things that previously had been overlooked. 7 The proﬁt motive had other effects. Before termination, most people on the reservation had electricity from the nonproﬁt tribal utility.