West Virginia Law Review

Document Type

Student Note


Throughout American history, inhumane treatment of Native nations has been legalized through treaties, court cases, and legislation. Confiscating Native land, treating Native Americans as second-class citizens, and breaking government promises to Native nations has been justified with racist stereotypes about Native Americans. Although some may believe that such atrocities only occurred in the past, this belief is unfounded. This Note examines the structural racism that supports Federal Indian Law through treaties with Native nations, racist Supreme Court Indian law opinions, and legislation that allowed the seizure of Native land. The lasting legacy of this structural racism is explored through recent examples of Native land rights being denied. Suggestions are then provided for addressing the continuing lack of land rights and environmental justice that Native nations face due to Federal Indian Law’s dark foundation.



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