In 1823, Chief Justice John Marshall handed down a Supreme Court decision of monumental importance in defining the rights of indigenous peoples throughout the English-speaking world. At the heart of the decision for Johnson v. M'Intosh was a "discovery doctrine" that gave rights of ownership to the European sovereigns who "discovered" the land and converted the indigenous owners into tenants. Though its meaning and intention has been fiercely disputed, more than 175 years later, this doctrine remains the law of the land. In 1991, while investigating the discovery doctrine's historical origins Lindsay Robertson made a startling find; in the basement of a Pennsylvania furniture-maker, he disco...
Fletcher’s Hornbook on Federal Indian Law is a deep survey of the history and substantive law governing the relations between the three American sovereigns, federal, state, and tribal. Interwoven are issues of federalism, administrative law, constitutional rights, and international relations. This hornbook includes original research and novel analysis of foundational Supreme Court decisions and critical federal statutory schemes – the stories beyond the stories. In addition to delving into the origins and histories of cases and statutes, the hornbook analyzes modern Indian rights settlements, the international and comparative frontiers of Indian law, and the future of the field.
Frontier Democracy examines the debates over state constitutions in the antebellum Northwest (Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) from the 1820s through the 1850s. This is a book about conversations: in particular, the fights and negotiations over the core ideals in the constitutions that brought these frontier communities to life. Silvana R. Siddali argues that the Northwestern debates over representation and citizenship reveal two profound commitments: the first to fair deliberation, and the second to ethical principles based on republicanism, Christianity, and science. Some of these ideas succeeded brilliantly: within forty years, the region became an economic and demographic success story. However, some failed tragically: racial hatred prevailed everywhere in the region, in spite of reformers' passionate arguments for justice, and resulted in disfranchisement and even exclusion for non-white Northwesterners that lasted for generations.
The Native American casino and gaming industry has attracted unprecedented American public attention to life on reservations. Other tribal public venues, such as museums and powwows, have also gained in popularity among non-Native audiences and become sites of education and performance. In Public Native America, Mary Lawlor explores the process of tribal self-definition that the communities in her study make available to off-reservation audiences. Focusing on architectural and interior designs as well as performance styles, she reveals how a complex and often surprising cultural dynamic is created when Native Americans create lavish displays for the public's participation and consumption. Drawing on postcolonial and cultural studies, Lawlor argues that these venues serve as a stage where indigenous communities play out delicate negotiations—on the one hand retaining traditional beliefs and rituals, while on the other, using what they have learned about U.S. politics, corporate culture, tourism, and public relations to advance their economic positions.
Between the early seventeenth century and the early twentieth, nearly all the land in the United States was transferred from American Indians to whites. How did Indians actually lose their land? Stuart Banner argues that neither simple coercion nor simple consent reflects the complicated legal history of land transfers. Instead, time, place, and the balance of power between Indians and settlers decided the outcome of land struggles.
The Choctaws in Oklahoma begins with the Choctaws' removal from Mississippi to Indian Territory in the 1830s and then traces the history of the tribe's subsequent efforts to retain and expand its rights and to reassert tribal sovereignty in the late twentieth century. This book illustrates the Choctaws' remarkable success in asserting their sovereignty and establishing a national identity in the face of seemingly insurmountable legal obstacles.