The most influential external force that has shaped the status and culture of contemporary Native Americans has been federal law. The course examines these laws and Supreme Court decisions that led to the forced removal of Native Americans, established trustee doctrine, imposed assimilation policy, allocated land and natural resources, and changed the system of government for Native American tribes. We consider current efforts by Native Americans to enforce the laws that were enacted to protect their interests but which have been ignored for centuries. Focus is in the Southwest including current litigation over water rights in Colorado, land in New Mexico, and hunting and fishing rights in much of the region. No prerequisites. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.
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