One thought on “Big Questions: 1855 Treaty and Treaty Rights

  1. Gregory S. Arnold March 20, 2014 / 4:47 pm

    The Indian speakers in this video are spot on. The federal government did not give the Indians the right to hunt, fish and gather in the traditional hunting, fishing and gathering areas outside the agreed boundaries of the reservation. The Indians had those rights before contact with non-Indians. Those rights must be respected unless and until the Indians make a new treaty giving up those rights. One important canon of American Indian law is that treaties should be interpreted as the Indians understood them. The federal government can no more take away such rights by failure to mention them in a new treaty than it can take away the Indian children, or homes, or horses simply because they were not mentioned. Indian rights must be honored regardless how this might inconvenience non-Indians and regardless of cost to non-Indians. Our national conscience about human rights should start at home. Our Indian brothers and sisters and their way of life are national treasures. Let us all do our parts to show proper respect.

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