- Copyright Page
- About the Editors
- About the Contributors
- Materialism and Legal Historiography, from Bachelard to Benjamin
- Legal Materiality
- Law, Visual Studies, and Image History
- Book History
- Digital Humanities
- Postcolonial Legal Studies
- Racial Ambiguity Blues: Contemporary Challenges for Racialization Theory in the Twenty-First Century
- Disability, Law, and the Humanities: The Rise of Disability Legal Studies
- Psychoanalysis and Law
- Affect and Empathy Studies
- Mapping Law and Performance: Reflections on the Dilemmas of an Interdisciplinary Conjunction
- Spacetime in/and Law
- Boundaries, Walls, Envelopes, Rooms, and Other Spatialities of Law
- The Sociality of the Platform
- Trauma, Memory, and the Law
- Challenging the Legal Self Through Performance
- Facing Justice: Evidence, Legibility, and Pensiveness in the Early Modern Imagination
- The Gap Between Fairness and Law: <i>Hamlet</i> and Equity from a Cognitive Perspective
- From Eternity to Here: Divine Accommodation and the Lost Language of Law
- Machiavelli’s Camillus and the Tension Between Leadership and Democracy
- Agonism, Democracy, and Law
- An Anti-Liberal Defense of Free Speech: Foundations of Democracy in the Western Philosophical Canon
- Family Law
- Human Rights
- Immigration and the Imperial
- Indigenous Law
- Property: Changing Formations of Having and Being
- Intellectual Property’s Queer Turn
- History, Literature, and Authority in International Law
- Uncovering Credibility
- Laws of Sex, Changed
- The Functions of Legal Literature and Case Reporting Before and After <i>Stare Decisis</i>
- Trials and the Impressionism of Advocacy
- Legal Treatise
- Legal Codes as Cultural Products
- Form Contract
- Legal Paratexts
- Video as Text/Archive
- Police Records: An Intermedia Genre
Abstract and Keywords
Indigenous law is the category applied to the norms and legally binding practices of thousands of distinct indigenous communities spanning six continents. This chapter focuses on the content and construction of indigenous law within the borders of the present-day United States, equally marked by diversity among Native communities. Nonetheless, it identifies several important ways in which indigenous law broadly construed diverges from Euro-American legal systems. The chapter notes that indigenous communities have not drawn sharp distinctions between law and other methods for maintaining the proper ordering of society. And, while cautioning against essential accounts of Native justice, it also observes the ways in which Native dispute resolution focuses more on community and restoration than Anglo-American adversarial models. The chapter also recounts constructions of indigenous law by North America’s would-be European colonizers. It describes the long-standing practice by many colonizers of describing indigenous peoples as lawless. This language, the chapter argues, did important work in justifying colonization and the imposition of Anglo-American law. But it also traces the ways in which Native peoples forced Anglo-Americans to incorporate indigenous laws into US law. This incorporation happened both informally—as Anglo-Americans negotiating with Native nations adopted their rules to govern negotiations—and formally, as the body of law known as federal Indian law created a regime of legal pluralism that granted limited recognition to Native nations’ assertions of jurisdiction. The chapter concludes by noting the dangers of adopting the colonizers’ frame and defining indigenous law principally as a foil for Anglo-American law.
Gregory Ablavsky is Associate Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. His work on law and relations between Native nations and the United States has appeared in the Yale Law Journal, Stanford Law Review, and Duke Law Journal, and is forthcoming in the Journal of American History. His book Federal Ground: Law, Sovereignty, and Property in the Early U.S. Territories, is under contract with Oxford University Press.
Sarah Deer, a 2014 MacArthur Fellow, is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Currently Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas, Deer is also Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals. Professor Deer has received recognition from the US Department of Justice and the American Bar Association for her work to end violence against Native people.
Justin Richland is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California-Irvine and Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. His publications have appeared in several leading peer-reviewed outlets; he has also authored two books on indigenous law, including Arguing with Tradition: The Language of Law in Hopi Tribal Court. In 2016, he was named a J. S. Guggenheim Fellow and an adjunct curator of North American Anthropology at the Field Museum. He also serves as an Associate Justice on the Hopi Appellate Court.
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