Broken Landscape: Indians, Indian Tribes, and the Constitution

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Oxford University Press, Sep 2, 2009 - Law - 424 pages
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Broken Landscape is a sweeping 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. Frank Pommersheim, one of America's leading scholars in Indian tribal law, 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. He demonstrates that the federal government has repeatedly failed to respect the Constitution's recognition of tribal sovereignty. Instead, it has favored excessive, unaccountable authority in its dealings with tribes. Pommersheim argues that the Supreme Court has strayed from its Constitutional roots as well, consistently issuing decisions over two centuries that have bolstered federal power over the tribes. Closing with a proposal for a Constitutional amendment that would reaffirm tribal sovereignty, Broken Landscape challenges us to finally accord Indian tribes and Indian people the respect and dignity that are their due.
 

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Contents

The Early Encounter
The Structure and Architecture of
Foundational but Not Fully
The Birth of Plenary Power
Individual Indians and the Constitution
The Illusion of Religious
The Modern Encounter
A New Model of Indigenous
Imagination Translation and Constitutional
Notes
Index
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Professor of Law, University of South Dakota

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