Today the White House recognized the 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s “Special Message to the Congress on Indian Affairs,” which served to herald a new era in Federal Indian policy: Indian Self-Determination.

The Presidential Message on the 50th Anniversary read:

In his message, President Nixon applauded the adaptability and creativity of Native Americans in the face of overwhelming obstacles, praising their enormous contributions to our Nation through art, culture, resilience, and spirit, and embracing strong Tribal governments and respecting Tribal decision-making. Building on this momentum, Congress passed and President Ford signed into law the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) of 1975, which recognized the primacy of the Nation-to-Nation relationship between the United States and Tribes and led to the establishment of an Indian civil service and a recognition of Tribal institutions through contracting and, later, compacting between the Federal Government and Tribes.

Read the full Presidential Message from the White House here.