This book is an extensive compilation of readings focused on the meaning of sovereignty and self-determination in relation to Indigenous nations and peoples in the United States. The overall purpose of the book is to afford readers the opportunity to study and analyze the interplay of legal, political, economic, and cultural factors that contribute to the debate surrounding the status of Indigenous nations and peoples within American society.
The book is divided into three parts, with each part prefaced by a set of questions for the reader to consider. The first part explores the meaning of Indigenous nation sovereignty from three different perspectives—the Indigenous nations and peoples, the colonizing peoples, and the international community. The second part then addresses the different ways in which this sovereignty is threatened. The last part of the book explores the variety of approaches by which Indigenous nation sovereignty may be preserved and strengthened in the future.
The readings included are extraordinarily broad in scope and are designed to promote vigorous student inquiry and discussion. In addition to including a wide variety of authors, the works include speeches, testimony, policy statements, law cases, statutes, articles, book chapters, and newspaper stories. The materials are extensively edited (with few footnotes and citations) so as to focus the reader on important concepts and to facilitate overall understanding.
The book is intended for use in both law school and non-law school courses relating to law and policy dealing with Indigenous nations and peoples, American history, and international law and policy governing minorities and Indigenous peoples. The book is also designed for use in undergraduate courses and seminars.