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Linking Arms Together: American Indian Treaty Visions of Law and Peace, 1600-1800
by:Robert A. Williams Jr
Robert Williams attempts to write Indians back into Indian law by developing a greater appreciation for the contributions of American Indian legal visions and demonstrating how ancient treaty visions can speak to the modern, multicultural age. Prior to European colonization, in countless treaties, councils, and negotiations, American Indians had adhered...
Robert Williams attempts to write Indians back into Indian law by developing a greater appreciation for the contributions of American Indian legal visions and demonstrating how ancient treaty visions can speak to the modern, multicultural age. Prior to European colonization, in countless treaties, councils, and negotiations, American Indians had adhered to the principles contained in traditional rituals such as the Gus-Wen-Tah, the sacred treaty belt, for achieving justice between different peoples. Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the survival of the European colonies in North America required reaching accommodation with surrounding Indian tribes. However, European Common law and the white man's Indian law eventually became dominant, and came to be regarded as the salvation of the Indian in North America.Williams maintains there is an important need for a more complete account of the legal visions of the American Indians. In this work, he examines the Indians' role in the history of legal traditions which have determined Indian rights in the U.S., including the Indian conceptions of justice, their traditions, and practices. Doing so is essential to protecting Indian tribalism's survival under U.S. law. In addition, understanding how the American Indian legal traditions have worked to help perpetuate Indian tribalism might also assist in beginning to understand how U.S. law may achieve racial justice more generally.
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