Definitions for "Bureau of Indian Affairs"
Keywords:  bia, tribes, alaska, indian, tribal
In 1824, Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, created a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in the War Department. In 1832, Congress officially authorized an Office of Indian Affairs. In 1849, 150 years ago, the Office of Indian Affairs was transferred to the Department of the Interior where it obtained bureau status. The role of the BIA has changed from removal of eastern tribes to the West, to reservation confinement, to land allotment and assimilation, to termination, and finally to tribal self-government and self-determination. Today the BIA acts as the principal agent of the United States in carrying on the Government-to-Government relationship that exists between the United States and federally recognized Native American Tribes and carrying out the responsibilities of the United States as trustee for property it holds in trust for federally recognized tribes and individual Native Americans.
The BIA serves Indian and Alaska Native tribes living on or near reservations. The BIA administers and manages approximately 52 million acres of land held in trust for Indians by the United States and works with local tribal governments on issues including road construction and maintenance, social services, police protection, and economic development.
founded in 1824 as part of the War Department, and moved to the Department of the Interior in 1849. The bureau administers social assistance programs, including education and public health, for Native Americans, especially those living on or near reservations.