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American Indians and the Law
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Penguin Group
Pub Date: 2009
ISBN: 9780143114789
N. Bruce Duthu
American Indians and the Law
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American Indians and the Law

by N. Bruce Duthu

The history and politics of American Indians' unique constitutional status from a renowned scholar

Few Americans know that Indian tribes have a legal status unique among America's distinct racial and ethnic groups: They are also sovereign governments that engage in governmental relations with Congress. The self-rule of Native tribes long predates the founding of the United States, and that peculiar status has led to legal and political disputes—with vast sums of money hanging in the balance. From cigarette taxes to control of environmental resources to gambling law, the history of American Indians and American law has been one of clashing values and sometimes uneasy compromise.

In this clear-sighted account, American Indian scholar N. Bruce Duthu explains the landmark cases in Indian law of the past two centuries and demonstrates their common thread throughout history, giving us an accessible entry point into a vital facet of Indian history. American Indians and the Law provides an overview of the major events, the differing principles, and the evolving perspectives that have governed relations among the tribes, the federal government, and the states since the founding of this country.