The president, of course, has not express constitutional responsibility for Indian nations—that is a power reserved to the Congress under the commerce clause. Nevertheless, it is to the president, dating back to George Washington, who had an active hand in Indian affairs through the treaty process, that tribal nations and their leaders have most often looked to gauge the federal government's character and commitment to fulfill the nation's historic treaty and ongoing trust obligations to indigenous people.

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Copyright © 2001 Indian Country Communications. This article first appeared in News from Indian Country (January 2001), 18A.

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