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.