Sacred Obligations: Intercultural Justice and the Discourse of Treaty Rights
59 Pages Posted: 9 May 2009 Last revised: 14 Sep 2017
Date Written: 2000
Today, Native Americans and Mexican American point to the treaties of the last century in support of their claims for intercultural justice. Under this discourse of treaty rights, both the Indian treaties and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo embody the moral obligation of the United States to honor its promises to respect the land and the cultural rights of the distinct ethnic groups that were involuntarily incorporated through conquest. However, there are also important differences between the group claims. In particular, the discourse of treaty rights for Native American people highlights the political sovereignty of those groups and maintains a powerful connection to contemporary concepts of self-determination and group sovereignty. Professor Tsosie argues that contemporary mechanisms for achieving intercultural justice must correspond to the unique historical and political qualities of the particular intergroup relations, and thus, the structures used to achieve intercultural justice for American Indian groups may well be different than those used for Mexican Americans.
Keywords: Sovereignty, Treaties, Native peoples
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