American Indian Law: Tribal Sovereignty & Self-Governance


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Federally recognized tribes generally have the full legal right to handle their own affairs, govern themselves from within, and participate in legal and political dealings with the federal government. This is known as:

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1. Each federally recognized tribe enjoys a relationship with the federal government, yet retains the right to independently manage their members, property and business. This concept is known as:

2. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, a series of federal government decisions led to tribal governments being weakened, leading to a long period of poverty and general economic distress. This is known as:

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

With this quiz/worksheet, you can test your knowledge of American Indian law. Multiple-choice questions will cover various areas such as the term for tribes' full legal right to govern themselves and a concept associated with the relationship between tribes and the federal government.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

You'll be responsible for these points on the quiz:

  • Period during the 1800s and 1900s when the federal government caused poverty and economic distress among tribal governments
  • Federal legislation that gave assistance to American Indians to help alleviate the effects of the Great Depression
  • Tribal lands allotted by the federal government through the Supreme Court

Skills Practiced

  • Reading comprehension - make sure you know the most important information from the lesson on American Indian law, including their full legal right to govern themselves independently
  • Making connections - use your understanding of federally recognized tribes and how they're connected to the federal government
  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about the ruling by the Supreme Court that set aside tribal lands for Native Americans and the act that provided assistance for tribes after the Great Depression

Additional Learning

For more on the laws of native tribes in America, you can watch the video lesson named American Indian Law: Tribal Sovereignty & Self-Governance. These points will be highlighted:

  • Traditional tribal governments that were in place before the U.S. Constitution
  • Constitution of the Seven Iroquois Nations that influenced the framers
  • Federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and villages
  • Relocation of native tribes