BEHIND THE TRAIL OF BROKEN TREATIES: An Indian Declaration of Independence by

BEHIND THE TRAIL OF BROKEN TREATIES: An Indian Declaration of Independence

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A good if occasionally repetitious and perhaps necessarily confusing examination of the four centuries of conflict that led up to the occupation of Wounded Knee and the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.). Of particular interest is the author's careful scrutiny of the hopelessly muddled legal status of Indian tribes, individuals and reservations -- from the European ""doctrine of discovery"" and ""aboriginal title,"" contradictory rulings by Supreme and Lower Court Judges, the endless stream of broken and revised treaties, failed commissions, mismanaged Bureaus, indifferent or hostile Congresses and Executives which allowed Indian land to be sold or leased with inadequate compensation, their children to be virtually kidnapped (at Indians' expense) to assimilation-oriented boarding schools far from the reservation, the failure to consult tribes about federal expenditures which were actually Indian revenue from treaty settlements. The author urges immediate (and overdue) Senate ratification of the UN (anti) Genocide Convention, and rather apocalyptically suggests a total revision of the US-Indian relationship -- which would make the tribes protected but sovereign nations along the lines of San Marine, Lichtenstein, and Monaco. As the graffiti at Wounded Knee succinctly stated: ""If the white man cannot take care of his own land, why do you think he can tell you what to do with yours?

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1974
Publisher: Delacorte