How Allotment-Era Literature Can Inform Current Controversies about Tribal Jurisdiction and Reservation Diminishment
University of Toronto Quarterly, vol. 82, no. 4, 924-949 (2013).
39 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2012 Last revised: 7 Feb 2014
Date Written: December 21, 2012
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.
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
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation