While these more profound issues of structure and perception beg for solution, a more immediate problem has arisen with the advent of Republican dominance in the Congress. One of the likely outgrowths of this transference of political power is that Congress, along with the Supreme Court, which has been doing it for some time, may funnel more issues to the States and their subsidiary governments for resolution or administration. Such a transfer does not bode well for tribes. Remember the allotment of Indian lands (1880s-1930s) and the Termination of tribes (1950s-1960s)? Those policies essentially made tribes and their citizens subject to state authority. The results were disastrous. States, after all, for the better part of the United States history, have been, as the Supreme Court once pithily described, the tribes "deadliest enemies."
Copyright © 1995 Indian Country Communications. This article first appeared in News from Indian Country (January 1995), 18.
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Wilkins, David E. “Tribal-State Affairs: The Next Proving Ground?” News from Indian Country 18, no. 1 (January 1995): 18.