How Allotment-Era Literature Can Inform Current Controversies about Tribal Jurisdiction and Reservation Diminishment
Ann E. Tweedy
Hamline University School of Law
December 21, 2012
University of Toronto Quarterly, vol. 82, no. 4, 924-949 (2013).
In a previous article, “Unjustifiable Expectations: Laying to Rest the Ghosts of Allotment-Era Settlers,” I argued that a review of historical newspaper articles showed that the expectations of non-Indians who purchased lands on Sioux reservations in South Dakota during the allotment-era as to tribes’ disappearing were not justifiable because they were rooted in an expectation of continued injustice towards tribes. I thus concluded that the Supreme Court should not presume that these allotment-era settlers had justifiable expectations when it decides reservation diminishment and tribal jurisdiction cases. This article addresses whether allotment-era fiction and memoir pertaining to Sioux peoples can similarly help inform such cases. Although the results were more mixed, particularly with non-Indian-authored fiction, the works of Native writers such as Luther Standing Bear, Charles Eastman, and Zitkala-Ša were helpful in explicating the injustices in the federal government’s land dealings with tribes, as was a work by non-Native poet and historian Doane Robinson.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 39
Keywords: Sioux Nation, Rosebud Sioux, allotment, treaty rights, law and literature, justifiable expectations, South Dakota, federal Indian law, diminishment, tribal jurisdiction, legal history, surplus lands, Zitkala-Sa, Charles Eastman, Luther Standing Bear, Doane Robinson, literature, notice, Dawes Act
JEL Classification: H40, H82, J70, H77, J78, K11
Date posted: December 22, 2012 ; Last revised: February 7, 2014
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