Top of page

Category: Native Americans

Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin: Ojibwe Lawyer and Suffragist

Posted by: Jennifer Davis

This Women’s History Month, we look back to women who worked to advance women’s suffrage. One such notable figure is Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin, who worked to advance the rights of Native peoples and women, particularly Indigenous women.   Born in 1863 in Pembina, North Dakota as a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of …

Ornate red and ivory wall decoration, with plaque and symbols

Anniversary of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act

Posted by: Jennifer Davis

Felix Cohen noted that, “[f]rom the earliest years of the Republic the Indian tribes have been recognized as “distinct, independent political communities’” (Cohen 1941, 122). Despite the early nation-to-nation relations between tribal nations and the United States, self-determination was not codified. After termination policies of the 1950s were put in place, many tribal nations and …

Ada Deer: Advocate for Tribal Sovereignty

Posted by: Jennifer Davis

This Native American Heritage Month, we honor the significant figures in history who contributed to civil rights and the law. Ada Deer, Menominee, was an activist, tribal leader, social worker, government official, professor, and community activist, all in service to her community. In the process of trying to make improvements in the quality of Native …

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Constitution

Posted by: Jennifer Davis

The United States commemorates Constitution Day on September 17, the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia in 1787. Celebrations usually include readings and discussions of the history of the document and its writing and influences. Many say that the United States, one of the oldest continuous democracies in the world drew influence for …

Doctrine of Discovery, Until Otherwise

Posted by: Jennifer Davis

On March 30, 2023, the Vatican issued a joint statement repudiating the “doctrine of discovery” and terra nullius. The doctrine of discovery was used as the legal foundation for taking the land of Indigenous people by Europeans, and for the establishment of residential schools; as Justice Marshall wrote, “The European governments asserted the exclusive right …

New Acquisition: 1872 House Report of the Committee on Indian Affairs

Posted by: Jennifer Davis

Recently, the Law Library acquired a copy of the 1872 House Report of the Committee on Indian Affairs titled Alleged Frauds Against Certain Indian Soldiers. In 1862, in the middle of the Civil War, Indigenous people living in the Midwest who volunteered for service were organized into regiments in the Union Army and were designated …