The Doctrine of Discovery and the Elusive Definition of Indian Title

Lewis & Clark Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2011

30 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2011 Last revised: 28 Feb 2012

Blake A. Watson

University of Dayton School of Law

Date Written: February 14, 2012

Abstract

This article contends that, pursuant to the discovery doctrine developed and adopted by the U.S. Supreme Court, Indian tribes retained possession of their lands after European encounter, but no longer owned their land and no longer held unlimited disposition rights. This "limited possessor" definition of Indian title is particularly difficult to justify in view of contemporary norms of international indigenous rights, and should be rejected along with the doctrine of discovery.

Keywords: Indian, aboriginal title, Indian title, discovery doctrine

Suggested Citation

Watson, Blake A., The Doctrine of Discovery and the Elusive Definition of Indian Title (February 14, 2012). Lewis & Clark Law Review, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1924842 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1924842

Blake A. Watson (Contact Author)

University of Dayton School of Law ( email )

300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469
United States
9372292621 (Phone)

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