ERIC Number: ED250135
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Bill of Rights in Tribal Constitutions. [First Draft].
Rusco, Elmer R.
Because Native American societies are held by United States courts to possess rights of self-government where these rights have not been explicitly withdrawn, the constitutions of 280 Native American governments in the United States (exclusive of 219 in Alaska) were examined as they existed in September 1981 to determine the extent and character of provisions dealing with civil liberties. Findings showed that, in addition to including general provisions for civil liberties and incorporating the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, many tribal constitutions also listed specific rights (First Amendment rights, guarantees of equality, protection for property rights, due process of law, discrimination by gender, rights of the accused) which members and/or other persons have against tribal governments. However, the number of such specific rights was less for almost all tribal constitutions than for the United States Constitution. It is recommended that Native Americans seriously study how to strengthen constitutional protection for individual liberties without undermining tribal self-government, survey the state of civil liberties on reservations today, develop remedies beyond the writ of habeas corpus for civil liberties violations, and consider the use of the Bureau of Indian Affairs as trustee for tribes to protect the civil liberties of individuals. (NEC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Historical Materials; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bill of Rights; Indian Civil Rights Act 1968; Tribal Law; United States Constitution
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association (Washington, DC, December 3-7, 1982).