The U.S. Supreme Court in an historic case in 1886, U.S. v. Kagama, which devastated tribal sovereignty by affirming the legality of the 1885 Major Crimes Act that problematically extended federal criminal jurisdiction over "all" Indians for seven major crimes—murder, manslaughter, rape, etc., (today that number has increased to 14 crimes)—more accurately declared in that same case that state governments could be characterized as the "deadliest enemies" of indigenous nations.
Copyright © 2003 Indian Country Today. This article first appeared in Indian Country Today (May 2003), A5.
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Wilkins, David E. “First Nations and States: Contesting Polities.” Indian Country Today 22, no. 49 (May 2003), A5.