Law Review Articles

Indian Giver: The Illusion of Effective Legal Redress for Native American Land Claims, 23 Southwestern University Law Review 331 (1994)

oSusan Lope, A professor of law at Southwestern University School of Law, Discusses the Native Americans struggle to maintain their rights to and for title, and the American Government taking it away or not granting without justification. This author further discusses the loss of sovereignty of the Native Americans, and how the case of Johnson v. McIntosh, and the Doctrine of Discovery, took their land and their sovereignty. The Americans soon came to treat the Native Americans as “Domestic Dependent Nations”, with their rights to land being taken away and their view as nations of sovereignty gone. The author further discusses this plight by the reliance Native Americans placed on treaty’s and how the Americans, subsequently turned their back on these treaty’s and did not enforce them, in an effort to continually acquire their land. The author then ties this all together as the foundation for the rights of the Sioux Nation in the Black Hills, SD region. This is analyzed thru the Governments treatment of the Sioux, thru trespassing, the discovery of gold, and the taking of land in this area. The author further discusses the long involved legal plight of the Sioux to find redress, and reparations for their land that was taken. The author concludes with refuting the laws disparaging Native American treatment, and how the Native Americans should be returned to and treated as sovereign nations, and how they can fit into the American system. The author suggests elevating the Native Americans political status to implement stability.

Indian Claims in the Courts of the Conqueror (Fnaa), 41 American. University Law Review 753 (1992)

oProfessor Nell Jessup Newton, of American University School of Law, aims to analyze the Indian Tribal claims against the Government. The author’s discussion focuses on the American Court system, and the need for specialized courts, and how the Indian Claims have ended up in the Federal Circuit after the creation of it and its combination with the Federal Patent and Customs Court. Indian Claims often involve property claims and millions of dollars, even though they make up a small portion of the docket, and the court was not formed with them in mind. The author discusses several cases through history that expose the pitfalls of the claims system. These examples include the Dann Sisters, who were part of the Western Shoshone, and how they were ordered to stop grazing their land, and eventually lost it by judicial decree. Next, the Sioux Nation and their property interest of the Black Hills, SD region has been the topic of much dispute involving a never-ending plight that eventually ended in money damages award for the Sioux. The government claimed these lands by breaking a treaty in 1887. Another example includes the Cherokee and land around the Arkansas River that contains very valuable oil and gas deposits, and how this land was taken from them. The country enacted the Federal Courts Improvement Act, and improved on the previous three inadequate ways to bring and Indian Claim. The author further analyzes the jurisdictional and procedural pitfalls of the Indian Claims, and the advancement towards a better system for advocating these claims.