The legal status of Native Americans is so complex, entire encyclopedia sets could be written about it. This article will mention a few specific facts. Native Americans, who have lived here over 10,000 years only became citizens of the Untied States in 1924. Their right to vote came even later. In some states, it was as late as 1962. Long after women and other minorities.
Native Americans living on a reservation are subject to the reservation’s local laws. The reservations function in many ways much as a state, and only federal laws can override the reservation laws. This applies to the 567 federally recognized tribes. It does not apply to those who belong to tribes the government does not recognize. Many reservations have tribal governments, including courts, police, and jails to deal with most crime that occurs on the reservations, and by tribal members.
Federal recognition of a tribe is not a quick process. There are three routes to recognition: Congress, court, and an administrative process. Many smaller tribes were not federally recognized, or have merged with other tribes and did not have the ability to be recognized in the past. Perhaps in the future, some smaller tribes may return to the tribal roles.
In my writing, I did not cover federal recognition. I did however, cover Terra’s village receiving funding and support from the governing village on the reservation. Many of the villagers are afraid to stand up to the governing village, where many of their family reside. They are afraid they will lose everything they have. And that isn’t much.
U S Department of the Interior Indian Affairs. Frequently Asked Questions. http://www.bia.gov/FAQs/. Date Accessed: September 3, 2016.
Tribes Listed by Area. National Congress of American Indians. http://www.ncai.org/tribal-directory. Date Accessed: September 3, 2016.
Bureau of Indian Affairs. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Sociology 220 Lecture.
http://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~oliver/soc220/Lectures220/AmerInds/AmerInd%20FAQs%20from%20BIA.htm. Date Accessed: September 3, 2016.