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

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.

Topic Centers

Foreword by David E. Wilkins
A Peculiar Covenant by JeDon A. Emenhiser
Political Ideals, Traditions, Culture
Native American Political Traditions by Taiaiake Alfred
Tribal Governments by Sharon O'Brien
Citizanship and Political Participation
Neither Fish, Flesh, Fowl, nor Good Red Herring by Jill E. Martin
Civil Liberties
Freedom, Law, and Prophecy by Lee Irwin
Groups and Interests
The New Indian Politics by Stephen Cornell
Campaigns and Elections
Passing California's Proposition 5 by G. Richard Maullin
Bury My Heart in Committee by David Van Biema
Ronald Reagan's Indian Policy in Retrospect by Samuel R. Cook
Lost Tribes by Peter Beinart
Let the Healing Begin by Kevin Gover
Court System
Watch Your Six by M. Robert Yazzie
The U.S. Supreme Court's Explication of "Federal Plenary Power" by David E. Wilkins
Policy Issues
Triangulated Power and the Environment by N. Jace Weaver
For Further Reading



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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