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American Indian Law
Wayne State University Law School
Carlson, Kirsten Matoy

American Indian Law – Winter 2012
Professor Carlson
1.     The Nation-to-Nation Relationship
a.     Models of Political Relationships (CB 1-12)
                                                              i.      Historic International Self-Determination  Model
1.      Mohawk Treaty Propositions (1)
2.      Treaty of Fort Pitt with the Delaware Nation (4)
3.      Started out with diplomatic alliance
4.      Tribal nations saw diplomatic alliances as metaphorical extensions of kinship obligations
a.      Mediated through the metaphor of a family
b.      Alliance partners → brothers
c.       Political protectors or sources of economic support → fathers
                                                                                                                                      i.      Not superiority but a protector with obligations of familial protection and economic support
5.      European colonizing powers had a different political tradition
a.      Notions of political organization were vertical
                                                                                                                                      i.      Commands and laws flowing downward
b.      “Great Father” metaphor constituted one of superiority and command with authority to demand obedience
c.       Initial plan to exploit
6.      Indian tribes were sovereign governments
a.      Inherent right to govern themselves and their lands predated contact
b.      Rights derived from their citizenship or membership of a tribe
                                                                                                                                      i.      Not individual but tribal rights
7.      Indian separatism
a.      Political authority and legal autonomy
8.      They should not have to conform because
a.      They are not immigrants
9.      Federal Indian law
a.      Constitutes a doctrinal, historical vestige of the legal regime that tried to rationalize, legitimate, and regulate American colonialism over Indian tribes
10.  Treaties
a.      Sometimes
                                                                                                                                      i.      Unequal bargaining power
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Fraud
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Duress
11.  International Self-Determination Model
a.      Each sovereign has complete control over its territory, its citizens, and its destiny
b.      Sovereigns negotiate their political relationship with other sovereigns on the basis of mutual respect, equality, comity, and consent
c.       Example – Treaty of Fort Pitt with the Delaware Nation (4)
                                                                                                                                      i.      Free passage through Delaware Nation’s land if there is a conflict with England
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Provide supplies of corn, meat, horses, or whatever else they can give
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Neither party will punish members of the other’s party
1.      Will detain and allow the party to punish under their own laws
                                                                                                                                   iv.      Neither will entertain or give countenance to the enemies of the other
                                                            ii.      Treaty Federalism Model
1.      Treaty of Hopewell with the Cherokee Nation (6)
2.      Treaty of New Echota with the Cherokee Nation (7)
a.      The political autonomy and sovereignty of the Indian nation is recognized and protected, although the tribe may possess a right to join the federal union at some future point in time and have formal representation in the US Congress
b.      Requires tribal consent to any change in political status
c.       Example – Treaty of Hopewell with the Cherokee Nation (6)
                                                                                                                                      i.      Protection of hunting grounds
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Must deliver robbers, murderers, or any other criminals
1.      Punishment will not be greater than if a citizen committed it against another citizen
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Any citizen that commits a crime against an Indian will be charges as if he had committed that crime against another citizen
                                                                                                                                   iv.      They can send a deputy to Congress
d.      Example – Treaty of New Echota with the Cherokee Nation (7)
                                                                                                                                      i.      Lands given to the Nation will not be taken by the US without their consent
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Can make laws as long as they are not inconsistent with the constitution
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Entitled a delegate in the House
                                                          iii.      Colonial Federalism Model
1.      Treaty of Fort Sumner with the Navajo Nation (8)
2.      Impose political domination upon tribal governments
3.      Assimilation
4.      Federal supremacy – inconsistent with true treaty federalism
5.      Example – Treaty of Fort Sumner with the Navajo Nation
6.      Appoints a federal agent to the tribe
7.      Compels young children to go to school
a.      English education
                                                           iv.      U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
1.      Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
a.      One of the only major human rights ins

                                                                                                                         i.      People believed that Indians were not Christian and therefore had no property rights
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Vitoria said that they had true dominion in both public and private matters and none of them could be despoiled of their property on the ground of their not being true owners
c.       British Crown set general policies for the colonies but each colony was in charge of management
                                                                                                                                      i.      Land exploration followed by conquest
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Diplomatic means and treaty
                                                                                                                                  iii.      Trade and diplomacy
d.      Colonies tried to regulate Indian trade and land cessions
                                                                                                                                      i.      Demand posed by the profits vs. pacifying the Indian Nations
e.      Albany Congress of 1754
                                                                                                                                      i.      Ben Franklin proposed a union of the colonies
1.      Centralized control over Indian affairs
f.        Crown
                                                                                                                                      i.      Centralized control by appointing Indian agents responsible to it
                                                                                                                                    ii.      Proclamation of 1763
1.      Forbade further cessions of Indian land in the Indian territory roughly westward of the crest of the Appalachians
2.      Centralized in the Crown the process of licensing and approving all Indian land cessions eastward of that line
a.      Revoked the authority it gave to the colonies
                                                                                                                                  iii.      1764
1.      Proposed a plan to centralize the management of Indian trade in British Crown agents
a.      Also divesting authority from the colonial government
2.      Abandoned in 1768