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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: 1866 Treaty vs. Constitutions

What does the Reorganization Act say? Does this change override the 1866 Treaty?

It seem that the nations can do what they want at any time although the 1866 Treaty is still valid as you believe.

When citizenship requirements are changed to include blood quantum for freedmen on the Dawes rolls, then the treaty has been considered null and void. There was no blood requirement stated in the treaty to become a citizen.

If the Dawes rolls was used to determine citizenship and has never been changed, (cannot be changed), then freedmen and by bloods have the same rights to citizenship today using the Dawes rolls.

Again, I say racism is the problem. The Dawes rolls are not being used for it's original purpose, but now used for discrimination.

This is the part that needs to be tested in court. I say this, the Reorganization Act does give the tribes the right to reorganize their tribes as they see fit, but it is a United States law. Where we have contention is at Article 6 of the US Constitution:


This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The problem we have, is that both could be considered the Supreme Law of the Land, however, one does not nullify the other, especially if there are no provisions in the later law (the Reorganization Act is newer than the Treaties) to nullify the treaty. So both are in effect, and in conflict with each other.

I see this particular issue heading to SCOTUS to test the validity of the Reorganization Act, though limited to the FCT, because of how those treaties were worded. The Treaties would be safe on this, because the treaties can not be nullified without Congressional approval. So the Reorganization Act's constitutionality would be under scrutiny.

As far as racism goes, again, I would agree. The Rolls are not being used for their intended purpose, and that is also a problem.. however the Reorganization Act could potentially give the tribes that right, but again, it leads back to the Act versus the Treaties.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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