Many fluctuations of the vagaries of history have changed U.S. policy since the "good faith" expression of policy of the 1700s:
The Northwest Ordinance of July 13, 1787 :
"(t)he utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and in their property, rights, and liberty, ...."
Cultural relativism is defined by Dr. Jay Brown, TWU, as:
Relativism: A perspective that maintains that cultural diversity in ways of thinking reflects genuinely different psychological processes and that culture and thought are mutually constituted.
Cultural practices lead to different ways of thinking.
What we think influences what we do, but also, what we do influences what we think. [It a]ssumes that differing cultural practices reflect solutions to differing problems in differing contexts.
In light of this definition, as history's time goes by, more and more U.S. policy decisions reflect cultural relativism. An example is lawsuits of recent decades that found in favor of protecting Native American cultural images and icons.
Additionally, though it does not seem to be a relevant point in regards to U.S. Native American policy, there is a more complex aspect to cultural relativism. It is expressed in a United Nations statement written by Diana Ayton-Shenker:
How can universal human rights exist in a culturally diverse world? As the international community becomes increasingly integrated, how can cultural diversity and integrity be respected? ... Cultural relativism is the assertion that human values, far from being universal, vary a great deal according to different cultural perspectives. Some would apply this relativism to the promotion, protection, interpretation and application of human rights .... Taken to its extreme, this relativism would pose a dangerous threat to the effectiveness of international law and the international system of human rights
The Challenge of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity
by Diana Ayton-Shenker