Tribal Sovereignty and American Politics
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
356 Pages | 6 x 9 | 17 b&w illus., 10 figures, 2 maps
Indian Gaming examines the conflicts over American Indian tribes’ gambling operations, focusing on tribes in New Mexico and Oklahoma. It places recent events in other states-notably California and Minnesota-within the perspective of historic Indian policy, states’ rights arguments, and federalism. One of the results of these conflicts and arguments has been the development of a new strata of inter-governmental relations to the benefit of tribal autonomy which is fast approaching status equaling states’ sovereignty within the United States federal system.
Dale Mason demonstrates how, through their pro-gaming activities, Indian tribes act as both political entities and interest groups, while protecting their right to self-govern. He also reveals the role of United States Attorneys’ discretionary authority on Indian lands and the role of tribal attorneys in Indian politics.
Legalized gambling on Indian lands and reservations is an increasingly important component of tribal economic and political life. Although Indian gaming accounts for only 5 percent of all gambling in the United States, it has become the issue for tribes in the 1990s. It is a new source of tribal-state conflict and the debates will continue well into the twenty-first century.