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Hollow JusticeA History of Indigenous Claims in the United States$
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David E. Wilkins

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300119268

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300119268.001.0001

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. Native Nations and the Court of Claims

. Native Nations and the Court of Claims

A Study in Frustration and Despair

(p.1) 1. Native Nations and the Court of Claims
Hollow Justice

David E. Wilkins

Yale University Press

The land of North America once belonged to the indigenous peoples. Contrary to popular belief, the land was not simply stolen and confiscated by non-Indians, though theft did occur. Rather, the federal government's dispossession of Native territory was done largely via several hundred negotiated treaties and agreements. This chapter looks at how this was achieved. Despite the policy and legal protections put in place to protect aboriginal landholdings, within the span of three hundred years, title to nearly the entire North American continent was transferred from Native nations to the federal government. In the middle of the nineteenth century, the federal lawmakers created the Court of Claims which seemed on paper to offer hope. This phase of Native history must be characterized as one filled with bitter frustration and profound disillusionment.

Keywords:   North America, federal government, aboriginal landholdings, Court of Claims, treaties, policy directives

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