Land Claims (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: American Indians are using a variety of means to repossess land that was taken from them by conquest, treaty, or court decision
Land claims are a key component in conflicts between American Indians and federal, state, and local governments throughout North America. The claims stem from the repeated seizure of Indian lands by non-Indians since the beginning of European contact.
American Indians have seen their land taken from them by military conquest, by treaty, by depopulation, and by court action. For example, in the United States, in the 1810 case of Fletcher v. Peck, U.S. Supreme Court justice John Marshall ruled that American Indian lands were “effectively vacant” and could be taken from Indians without their consent. Subsequent U.S. court cases in the early nineteenth century ruled that the federal government had precedent rights over American Indians by the fact of discovery; Indian nations were seen as “domestic to and dependent upon” the U.S. government, which could make decisions on their behalf.
(The entire section is 1374 words.)
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