Indian Treaties in the United States
An Encyclopedia and Documents Collection
by Donald L. Fixico, Editor
May 2018, 421pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6047-8
$94, 79€, A135
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6048-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

American Indian agents and U.S. governmental officials negotiated more than 400 treaties over three centuries.

This book examines the treaties that promised self-government, financial assistance, cultural protections, and land to the more than 565 tribes of North America (including Alaska, Hawaii, and Canada).

Prior to contact with Europeans and, later, Americans, American Indian treaties assumed unique dimensions, often involving lengthy ceremonial meetings during which gifts were exchanged. Europeans and Americans would irrevocably alter the ways in which treaties were negotiated: for example, treaties no longer constituted oral agreements but rather written documents, though both parties generally lacked understanding of the other’s culture.

The political consequences of treaty negotiations continue to define the legal status of the more than 565 federally recognized tribes today. These and other aspects of treaty-making will be explored in this single-volume work, which serves to fill a gap in the study of both American history and Native American history. The history of treaty making covers a wide historical swath dating from the earliest treaty in 1788 to latest one negotiated in 1917. Despite the end of formal treaties largely by the end of the 19th century, Native relations with the federal government continued on with the move to reservations and later formal land allotment under the Dawes Act of 1887.


  • Examines more than twenty primary source documents from treaties made between American Indians and the U.S. government between the late 18th and 19th centuries
  • Contextualizes primary source documents with essays on topics such as treaty-making, the American Indian perspective, and treaties made between the Civil War and Reconstruction period to help students more fully understand their significance
  • Includes images of original, signed treaties negotiated between tribes and the U.S. government, which offers visual learners concrete evidence by which to connect with the events that transpired
  • Includes key terms such as “doctrine of discovery,” “guardianship,” and “sovereignty,” enabling students to grasp the complexity of federal negotiations
Donald L. Fixico (Shawnee, Sac and Fox, Muscogee Creek, and Seminole), PhD, is Distinguished Foundation Professor of History at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. He is author or editor of 14 books that include Call for Change: The Medicine Way of American Indian History, Ethos, and Reality; Bureau of Indian Affairs; The Invasion of Indian Country in the Twentieth Century: American Capitalism and Tribal Natural Resources; and Daily Life of Native Americans in the Twentieth Century.


"Relations between Native American tribes and the U.S. government are an important, if too often ignoble, part of this nation’s history and merit close scrutiny. This volume will be a fine place to begin that inquiry. Recommended for academic and large public libraries."—Booklist Online, September 17, 2018

"A concise and objective introduction to the history of treaties with Native Americans."—Library Journal, July 1, 2018

"There has been a need for a good single-volume reference on the topic that was also within the price-range of school libraries and smaller publics. Fixico has aptly and admirably filled that niche with Indian Treaties in the United States: An Encyclopedia and Documents Collection. . . . This volume is an essential purchase for school, public, and academic libraries."—ARBAonline, July 1, 2018

"Overall, it provides excellent 'one-stop shopping' for anyone researching this subject. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice, November 1, 2018
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