Source: (2005) In Wanda D. McCaslin, ed., Justice as Healing: Indigenous Ways. Writings on Community Peacemaking and Restorative Justice from the Native Law Centre. St. Paul, MN: Living Justice Press. Pp. 245-252.

"The United States Supreme Court has long played a major role in defining the relationship between the country's majority institutions and its Indigenous Peoples. The history of Supreme Court action regarding Native Americans has included two opposing positions. On the one hand, the Supreme Court early on recognized the 'original' rights of sovereignty and property on the part of Indian tribes and has continued to do so. On the other hand, it has developed a doctrine that allows such rights to be terminated or diminished in favor of majority institutions. The Court has also upheld special benefits to Native Americans conferred by the government whenever the benefits have been found to be 'tied rationally to the fulfillment of Congress' unique obligation [of trusteeship] toward the Indians.'" (excerpt)