Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations


Excerpt from the article…


Treaties matter, not only to American Indians, but to everyone who lives in the United States. The United States acquired much of its land through treaties with Indian tribes. These negotiated, bilateral agreements are, therefore, fundamental to understanding how the United States was created, and how its citizens obtained the land and natural resources they enjoy today. …

Treaties made by the United States with Indian Nations inscribe solemn vows that cannot lightly be broken or ignored, a verity that Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black recognized in 1960 when he declared, “Great nations, like great men, should keep their word.”…

Said Inouye [the late senator Daniel K. Inouye (D. – Hawaii), the longtime chairman, vice-chairman and member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs]: “Too few Americans know that the Indian nations ceded millions of acres of lands to the United States, or that…the promises and commitments made by the United States were typically made in perpetuity. History has recorded, however, that our great nation did not keep its word to the Indian nations, and our preeminent challenge today…is to assure the integrity of our treaty commitments and to bring an end to the era of broken promises.”

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