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Published: Tuesday, December 11, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Many treaties, laws have evolved

Regarding the Sunday letter, "Enforce treaty's alcohol ban": There have been numerous changes to the articles in the original treaties that were made between the United Sates and Indian Tribes. The changes were the result of court cases brought forth by tribes or individual Indians that won the cases in federal courts with some cases settled by the Supreme Court or by the federal government and tribes through negotiations.
A number of the articles involving liquor laws on Indian reservations were repealed by the United States in 25 U.S.C. ss 241-250 on June 25, l948. (U.S.C. is the United States Code of Federal Regulations). This is the reason liquor is now lawful to be purchased and sold on Indian reservations.
When the original treaties were signed, the Native Americans had to rely on interpreters as a lot of them did not speak or write the English language as the treaties were done in the 1800s. Schooling on English language did not start until after the treaties were approved. Indians did not have an attorney to explain to them the legal terms of the treaty as they had to reply on the government interpreter.
When individuals review wording of tribal treaties they need to research the current laws as a there were a lot of different interpretations that had to be settled in the federal court system that changed provisions of the original treaties.
Virginia Carpenter
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