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Shadow NationsTribal Sovereignty and the Limits of Legal Pluralism$
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Bruce Duthu

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199735860

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735860.001.0001

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Tribal Sovereignty and Legal Pluralism

Tribal Sovereignty and Legal Pluralism

(p.6) Chapter 1 Tribal Sovereignty and Legal Pluralism
Shadow Nations

N. Bruce Duthu

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides brief legal and historical background for the argument that our nation’s constitutional framework reflects a formative commitment to a legally plural society. From the express recognition of tribal nations in the Constitution, to an early and sustained history of treaty relations with Indian tribes, the conceptual model of intergovernmental relations was premised on legal pluralism. In due course, the trajectory of federal-tribal political relations revealed an early and radical break from this formative ethos of legal pluralism. The following chapters explore the reasons and methods for this departure and ask whether it is possible, or even desirable, to recapture this formative ethos of legal pluralism in modern-day relations.

Keywords:   legal centralism, pluralism, Two-Row Wampum or Kaswentha, demos, Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, plurinational

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