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NCJ Number: 65655 Find in a Library
Title: LAW FOR THE INDIANS
Journal: NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW  Volume:134  Issue:304  Dated:(MARCH 1882)  Pages:272-292
Author(s): J W HARSHA
Corporate Author: University of Northern Iowa
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: REFUTING THE THESIS OF A PREVIOUS ARTICLE, THIS 1882 JOURNAL ARTICLE ARGUES THAT AMERICAN INDIANS SHOULD BE PROTECTED UNDER THE LAW AND SHOULD BE CONSIDERED LEGAL PERSONS.
Abstract: THE INCONSISTENCIES OF THE 'PRACTICAL' AND 'THEORETICAL' ASPECTS OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT'S POLICY TOWARD INDIANS ARE DEPICTED BY A HYPOTHETICAL CONVERSATION AND BY NUMEROUS QUOTATIONS FROM TESIMONY OF INDIAN AGENTS, INDIANS THEMSELVES, AND OTHERS KNOWLEDGEABLE ABOUT THE STATE OF INDIAN AFFAIRS IN 1882. THE INJUSTICES, BROKEN TREATIES, UNFULFILLED PROMISES OF LAND AND FOOD PROVISIONS, THE FORCED RESETTLEMENTS, MASS KILLINGS, STARVATION, LACK OF EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES, AND CONTINUED UNWARRANTED STEALING OF INDIAN LANDS AND FOOD SUPPLIES BY WHITES ARE ALL DETAILED TO PROVE ONE POINT: THAT INDIANS SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED AS LEGAL PERSONS BEFORE THE LAW, HELD INDIVIDUALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CRIMES COMMITTED (RATHER THAN PUNISHING THE ENTIRE TRIBE), AND BE AFFORDED THE LAW'S PROTECTION AS ARE ALL OTHER HUMAN BEINGS IN THE UNITED STATES. THE DIFFERENCE IN THE VIOLENT AND UNJUST RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN INDIANS AND WHITES IN THE U.S. AND IN THE HARMONY FOUND IN CANADA IS SHOWN TO BE A RESULT OF THE LEGAL PRIVILEGES DENIED INDIANS IN CANADA. THE ARTICLE OFFERS A CRITIQUE OF A PROPOSAL TO ELEVATE THE STATUS OF THE INDIANS BY HELPING THEM TO ENJOY WORK AS A 'PROFITABLE AND ATTRACTIVE' OCCUPATION, PROVIDING THEM WITH EDUCATION, AND ENDOWING INDIANS WITH LANDS IN SEVERALTY GRANTING 160 ACRES OF LAND TO EACH ADULT MALE INDIAN. THE CRITIQUE STATES THAT, ALTHOUGH ALL OF THESE GOALS ARE COMMENDABLE, THEY CANNOT POSSIBLY BE IMPLEMENTED IN A MEANINGFUL WAY AS LONG AS INDIANS ARE NOT CONSIDERED LEGAL PERSONS UNDER THE LAW. THE ARTICLES CONCUDES THAT, WHEN THE INDIANS' POSSESSIONS ARE SECURE, THEY WILL GLADLY WORK BECAUSE THEY WILL BE ASSURED OF KEEPING THE BENEFITS OF THEIR LABORS; WHEN INDIANS KNOW THEY ARE RESPECTED AS HUMAN BEINGS THEY WILL WANT AN EDUCATION; AND WHEN INDIANS KNOW THEY ARE TRULY PROTECTED UNDER THE LAW, THE GRANTING OF SEVERALTY WILL HAVE MEANING. ALL QUOTATIONS ARE REFERENCED. (PG)
Index Term(s): American Indians; Canada; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Equal Protection; Indian affairs; United States of America
Note: PUBLISHED IN 1882
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65655

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