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American Indians, American Justice

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Home » Books » Nonfiction » Social Sciences » Ethnic Studies » Native American Studies

American Indians, American Justice

By Vine Deloria, Clifford M. Lytle, Vine Deloria

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Format: Paperback, 280 pages
Other Information: 1 figure, 4 tables
Published In: United States, 01 January 1983
"A pioneering work, responsible in vision and treatment, it focuses on the judicial branch of government, giving an overview of federal Indian law in perspective of political and legal rights." — Los Angeles Times

Baffled by the stereotypes presented by Hollywood and much historical fiction, many other Americans find the contemporary American Indian an enigma. Compounding their confusion is the highly publicized struggle of the contemporary Indian for self-determination, lost land, cultural preservation, and fundamental human rights— a struggle dramatized both by public acts of protest and by precedent-setting legal actions. More and more, the battles of American Indians are fought— and won— in the political arena and the courts.

American Indians, American Justice explores the complexities of the present Indian situation, particularly with regard to legal and political rights. It is the first book to present an overview of federal Indian law in language readably accessible to the layperson. Remarkably comprehensive, it is destined to become a standard sourcebook for all concerned with the plight of the contemporary Indian.

Beginning with an examination of the historical relationship of Indians and the courts, the authors describe how tribal courts developed and operate today, and how they relate to federal and state governments. They define such key legal concepts as tribal sovereignty and Indian Country. By comparing and contrasting the workings of Indian and non-Indian legal institutions, the authors illustrate how Indian tribes have adapted their customs, values, and institutions to the demands of the modern world. Describing the activities ofattorneys and Indian advocates in asserting and defending Indian rights, they identify the difficulties typically faced by Indians in the criminal and civil legal arenas and explore the public policy and legal rights of Indians as regards citizenship, voting rights, religious freedom, and basic governmental services.

Table of Contents

Introduction1. American Indians in Historical PerspectiveDiscovery, Conquest, and Treaty-Making (1532-1828)Removal and Relocation (1828-1887)Allotment and Assimilation (1887-1928)Reorganization and Self-Government (1928-1945)Termination (1945-1961)Self-Determination (1961-Present)2. Federal Responsibility and Power over Indian AffairsRoots of Federal ResponsibilityThe Sources of Federal Power3. Indian Country4. The Evolution of Tribal GovernmentsTraditional Forms of Tribal GovernmentTransitional Tribal GovernmentsTribal Government in Modern PerspectiveTribal Government and Contemporary Problems5. The Indian Judicial SystemThe Development of the Indian Court SystemTribal JudgesTribal Courts and the 1968 Indian Civil Rights ActFederal Review of Tribal Court DecisionsThe Tribal Court System: An Assessment6. The Role of Attorneys, Advocates, and Legal Interest Groups in the Indian System of LawIndian Attorneys and American SocietyAttorneys and Advocates in an Indian SettingIndian Legal Services AttorneysIndian Legal Interest Groups7. The Criminal System of Justice in Indian CountryFederal Statutes and Criminal LawCriminal Jurisdiction: Bringing Order to a Complex MazeLaw Enforcement and Criminal ProsecutionSpecial Problems in Law Enforcement8. The Civil System of Justice in Indian CountryTraditional Civil LawThe Civil System in OperationImmunity from State EncroachmentThe Indian-State Conflict of Laws9. Public Policy and the Legal Rights of IndiansThe Civil Liberties of American IndiansAmerican Indian Religious FreedomThe Right to Basic Governmental ServicesBibliographic ReferencesIndex of CasesIndex of Topics

About the Author

Vine Deloria, Jr. (1933-2005), a Standing Rock Sioux, was active in Indian legal and political affairs for several decades. Clifford M. Lytle (1932-2014) was Professor of Political Science at the University of Arizona.


"A pioneering work, responsible in vision and treatment, it focuses on the judicial branch of government, giving an overview of federal Indian law in perspective of political and legal rights." * Los Angeles Times *

EAN: 9780292738348
ISBN: 029273834X
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Dimensions: 22.86 x 14.83 x 1.78 centimetres (0.34 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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