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DEFINITION: The relocation of American Indians from reservations to urban centers.  Relocation was either encouraged by policy or by personal choice. 

Guiding Questions:

  1. How and why do many American Indians relocate to urban centers?
  2. What are the ways American Indians created communities in the cities? 
  3. In what ways have Indians in urban areas activism influenced activism in Indian country? 


Relocation, the movement of Native people from the reservation to urban areas has existed before the urban relocation policy.  Indigenous peoples had large urban centers before “American Cites”, Anasazi, Huhugam, Cahokia.  However, in 1950’s, the American policy encouraging assimilation created the Urban Indian Relocation policy.  It had an impact on identity, health, education, and policy.  Yet, Native peoples created their own places/communities within the cities and had a great impact on Indian activism.