Tribal Nations and Tribalist Economics: The Historical and Contemporary Impacts of Intergenerational Material Poverty and Cultural Wealth within the United States

36 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2010 Last revised: 27 Jul 2012

Angelique EagleWoman

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Date Written: June 17, 2010

Abstract

The poor quality of life and material impoverishment that is the situation for the majority of tribal citizens within the United States is unacceptable, especially in light of the U.S. policies that have created the poverty conditions faced by generations of Native Americans. This Article will examine the tribal quality of life and what laws, policies, and values have led to the contemporary situation. Part II will discuss the prosperity enjoyed by tribal peoples prior to the European invasion of mid-North America. In Part III, the historic causes of poverty will be examined as the British colonies gave way to the formation of the United States. By reviewing the historical factors that condemned tribal citizens to such intergenerational poverty, the contemporary circumstances facing tribal governments and their citizens will be brought into sharp focus. Part IV will examine the U.S. Indian policy of holding tribal lands in trust status and this policy's devastating consequences on tribal peoples. Part IV will also provide that returning full tribal jurisdiction over tribal lands without federal or state interference would remedy those consequences.

To help readers understand fully the consequences of the federal trustee model over tribal resources, Part V will explore the abject intergenerational poverty experienced by Native Americans. Material poverty is not the only standard upon which to assess the quality of life for tribal citizens. In Part VI, the cultural wealth of tribal citizens will be examined to explain the tenacity and endurance that has allowed tribes to endure through the imposition of material impoverishment by the United States as trustee of tribal resources. This Article provides that within the Tribalist Economic framework tribal governments and citizens must continue to draw upon cultural wealth, tribal leadership values, and bicultural education to regain prosperous material quality of life. In conclusion, Part VII calls for realignment of the treaty partnership between tribal governments and the United States along with a return to the values embodied in Tribalist Economics for a return to cultural and material prosperity in Indian Country.

Keywords: Tribes, Tribal Nations, Sovereignty, Economics, Indigenous, Poverty, Education

Suggested Citation

EagleWoman, Angelique, Tribal Nations and Tribalist Economics: The Historical and Contemporary Impacts of Intergenerational Material Poverty and Cultural Wealth within the United States (June 17, 2010). Washburn Law Journal, Vol. 49, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1626454

Angelique EagleWoman (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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