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In the early 1970s, the federal government began recognizing self-determination for American Indian nations. As sovereign entities, Indian nations have been able to establish policies concerning health care, education, religious freedom, law enforcement, gaming, and taxation. Yet these gains have not gone unchallenged. Starting in the late 1980s, states have tried to regulate and profit from casino gambling on Indian lands. Treaty rights to hunt, fish, and gather remain hotly contested, and traditional religious practices have been denied protection. Tribal courts struggle with state and federal courts for jurisdiction. David E. Wilkins and K. Tsianina Lomawaima discuss how the political rights and sovereign status of Indian nations have variously been respected, ignored, terminated, and unilaterally modified by federal lawmakers as a result of the ambivalent political and legal status of tribes under western law.

About The Author

David E. Wilkins is E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond, coauthor of Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law, and author of Red Prophet: The Punishing Intellectualism of Vine Deloria, Jr.

K. Tsianina Lomawaima (Mvskoke / Creek Nation) is Professor in the School of Social Transformation and Distinguished Scholar in Indigenous Education at Arizona State University. She teaches courses on the history of Indian education, contemporary issues in Native America, and history and philosophy of Native societies and cultures. She is the author of “To Remain an Indian:" Lessons for Democracy from a Century of Native American Education (co-authored with Teresa McCarty) and Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law (co-authored with David E. Wilkins). Lomawaima is past President of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association and the American Society for Ethnohistory.
Book Information
3 figures
338 Pages
Paperback 978-0-8061-3395-9
Published August 2002