American Indians and U.S. Politics

A Companion Reader

by John M. Meyer, ed.


The only reader of its kind designed for easy incorporation into introductory government courses, this book explores the singular and vitally important relationship between American Indians and the U.S. political system.

Print Flyer
Cover image for American Indians and U.S. Politics

February 2002


Pages 216
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/American Indian Studies

The relationship between American Indians and the U.S. political system is both vitally important and unique. Yet American Indians—as individuals and as tribal nations—typically receive scant attention in introductory courses on American government and politics. This is the only reader on Native America and U.S. politics designed to be incorporated into introductory government courses. It will help students to obtain a clearer understanding of such contemporary issues as Indian fishing rights and gaming casinos and to see topics central to the course—the Constitution, the structure of federalism, citizenship, and civil liberties—from the perspective of groups that have often sought a protected place outside the U.S. polity rather than inclusion within.

Enabling students to compare the American Indian experience with the ideas presented in other course materials, the readings in this book are keyed to the topics most commonly found in the course syllabi. Selected for their insight and accessibility as well as diversity of viewpoints and topics, the essays provide a unique insight into the character of the American political system from the perspective of American Indians, teaching the reader much about both the tribes and the character of politics and government in the U.S. generally.

Table of Contents

Foreword by David E. WilkinsIntroductionConstitutionA Peculiar Covenant by JeDon A. EmenhiserPolitical Ideals, Traditions, CultureNative American Political Traditions by Taiaiake AlfredFederalismTribal Governments by Sharon O'BrienCitizanship and Political ParticipationNeither Fish, Flesh, Fowl, nor Good Red Herring by Jill E. MartinCivil LibertiesFreedom, Law, and Prophecy by Lee IrwinGroups and InterestsThe New Indian Politics by Stephen CornellCampaigns and ElectionsPassing California's Proposition 5 by G. Richard MaullinCongressBury My Heart in Committee by David Van BiemaPresidencyRonald Reagan's Indian Policy in Retrospect by Samuel R. CookBureaucracyLost Tribes by Peter BeinartLet the Healing Begin by Kevin GoverCourt SystemWatch Your Six by M. Robert YazzieThe U.S. Supreme Court's Explication of "Federal Plenary Power" by David E. WilkinsPolicy IssuesTriangulated Power and the Environment by N. Jace WeaverFor Further ReadingIndex



Most Americans know little about Native governments, and this work addresses the need for information on their internal and external affairs....Editor John Meyer is to be congratulated for preparing a reader that will be a very useful supplement to courses on US government and politics. Recommended for general readers, lower-division undergraduates, and two-year technical program students.—Choice

Other Titles of Interest

American Indians in American History, 1870-2001 cover imageThe Native American Oral Tradition cover imageReturn of the Buffalo cover image

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