In honor of National Native American Heritage month, we’ve chosen to highlight some of the resources in Biddle’s collection that deal with aspects of Native American life including contemporary culture and identity, history, tribal law and sovereignty, and the federal government’s relationship to indigenous nations.
In this sweeping work of memoir and commentary, leading cultural critic Paul Chaat Smith illustrates with dry wit and brutal honesty the contradictions of life in “the Indian business.”
Raised in suburban Maryland and Oklahoma, Smith dove head first into the political radicalism of the 1970s, working with the American Indian Movement until it dissolved into dysfunction and infighting. Afterward he lived in New York, the city of choice for political exiles, and eventually arrived in Washington, D.C., at the newly minted National Museum of the American Indian (“a bad idea whose time has come”) as a curator.
This is a chronicle of Indian tribal sovereignty under the United States Constitution and the way that legislators have interpreted and misinterpreted tribal sovereignty since the nation’s founding.
The author offers a novel and deeply researched synthesis of this legal history from colonial times to the present, confronting the failures of constitutional analysis in contemporary Indian law jurisprudence.
Federal Indian Law encompasses nearly 400 Indian treaties, hundreds of federal statutes, and thousands of court decisions.
Incorporating a user-friendly question-and-answer format, veteran legal counsel Stephen Pevar addresses the most significant legal issues facing Indians and Indian tribes, including tribal sovereignty, the federal trust responsibility, the regulation of non-Indians on reservations, Indian treaties, the Indian Civil Rights Act, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, and the Indian Child Welfare Act.
For the past 180 years, the inherent power of indigenous tribes to govern themselves has been a central tenet of federal Indian law. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s repeated confirmation of Native sovereignty since the early 1830s, it has, in the past half-century, incrementally curtailed the power of tribes to govern non-Indians on Indian reservations. The result, Dewi Ioan Ball argues, has been a “silent revolution,” mounted by particular justices so gradually and quietly that the significance of the Court’s rulings has largely evaded public scrutiny.
The Erosion of Tribal Power shines much-needed light on crucial changes to federal Indian law between 1959 and 2001 and discusses how tribes have dealt with the political and economic consequences of the Court’s decisions.
While the number of federally recognized Native nations in the United States are increasing, the population figures for existing tribal nations are declining. This depopulation is not being perpetrated by the federal government, but by Native governments that are banishing, denying, or disenrolling Native citizens at an unprecedented rate.
Since the 1990s, tribal belonging has become more of a privilege than a sacred right. Political and legal dismemberment has become a national phenomenon with nearly eighty Native nations, in at least twenty states, terminating the rights of indigenous citizens.
By looking at hundreds of tribal constitutions and talking with both disenrolled members and tribal officials, the authors demonstrate the damage this practice is having across Indian Country and ways to address the problem.
On October 15, 1964 Billy Mills became the only American to win an Olympic Gold Medal for the 10,000 meters. It was but one notable triumph in sports by a Native American. Yet, unlike Mills’s achievement, most significant contributions from Native Americans have gone unheralded. From individual athletes, teams, and events, it is clear that the “Vanishing Americans” are not vanishing-but they are sadly overlooked.
The contributions to this volume not only tell the story of Native Americans’ participation in the world of sports, but also how Native Americans have changed and enriched the sports world in the process. For anyone interested in the deep effect sport has on culture, The Native American Identity in Sports is an indispensable read
In the landmark 1978 case Oliphant v. Suquamish, the Supreme Court ruled that no Indian tribe can lawfully prosecute non-Indians. This decision had far-reaching effects in subsequent disputes about the jurisdiction of American Indian tribes, the terms of their relationship to the United States, their powers as political entities, and the significance of Indian reservations.
Yet, even though few developments have highlighted the tensions, hopes, and fears associated with American Indians’ unique political-legal status as clearly as contemporary tribal governments’ assertion of jurisdiction over non-Indians, that subject hasn’t received the attention it deserves from historians. The Non-Indian Problem recounts the history of tribes’ desire for inclusive jurisdiction and the circumstances that encouraged them finally to act on that desire in the twentieth century.
American Indian Politics and the American Political System is the most comprehensive text written from a political science perspective. It analyzes the structures and functions of indigenous governments (including Alaskan Native communities and Hawaiian Natives) and the distinctive legal and political rights these nations exercise internally. It also examines the fascinating intergovernmental relationship that exists between native nations, the states, and the federal government.
Drawing from forty-five years of experience, E. Richard Hart elucidates the use of history as expert testimony in American Indian tribal litigation. Such lawsuits deal with aboriginal territory; hunting, fishing, and plant gathering rights; reservation boundaries; water rights; federal recognition; and other questions that have a historical basis.
He demonstrates the legal questions that Native Americans face by exploring the cultural history and legal struggles of six Indian nations. He recounts how these were addressed by expert testimony, grounded in thorough historical understanding, research, and argumentation.
With more than 700 unique titles and 750,000 pages dedicated to Native American law, this collection includes an expansive archive of treaties, federal statutes and regulations, federal case law, tribal codes, constitutions, and jurisprudence.