65 years ago today - Jun 27, 1955

A First Presidency letter instructs stake presidents that Native American Indian children may be legally taken into LDS homes "in Utah only through the agency of the Relief Society." Established in July 1954 this Indian Placement Program seeks to give educational and acculturation advantages to Native Americans by placing their elementary and secondary school age children in homes of LDS Anglo-Americans for each school year. This began in 1947 as an innovation of Golden R. Buchanan, a member of the Sevier Stake presidency, who took the first Native American Indian (sixteen-year-old Helen John) into his home. Later, this program is taken from the jurisdiction of the Relief Society and given to male church leaders. At its peak in 1972, the program places 4,977 Indian children in Anglo-American homes. By 1990 participation declines to 500 because of increased resentment against this well-intentioned effort to "Americanize" native peoples.

[The Mormon Hierarchy - Extensions of Power by D. Michael Quinn, [New Mormon History database ( http://bit.ly/NMHdatabase )]]

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