Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler.
Washington : Government Printing Office, 1913.
Indians is the name given by the European discoverers of America to its aboriginal inhabitants.1 The term Indian, when used in a statute without any other limitation, should be held to include members of the aboriginal race, whether now sustaining tribal relations or otherwise.2
II. Status and Disabilities.
A. Who are Indians31. By birth(a) Half-breeds.The question of the status of half-breeds which usually arises in the case of the offspring of a white father and an Indian mother has been the subject of conflicting decisions. The weight of authority is, adopting the common-law rule, that the child follows the condition of the father.4 But the child of a white citizen and of an Indian  mother, who is
3Membership in certain tribes: The citizenship court created by 32 U. S. Stat. L., 646, has exclusive jurisdiction to settle claims to membership in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. Dawes v. Cundiff (Ind. T., 1904), 82 S. W., 228.
4Keith v. U. S., 8 Okla., 446; 58 Pac., 507; U. S. v. Higgins, 110 Fed., 609; U. S. v. Hadley, 99 Fed., 437; U. S. v. Ward, 42 Fed., 320; Ex p. Reynolds, 20 Fed. Cas., No. 11719; 5 Dill., 394. See also Jetfries v. Ankeny, 11 Ohio, 372. But see Wall v. Williams, 11 Ala., 826; Miller v. Dawson, Dudley (S. C.), 174.
Act of Congress: It is provided by act of Congress that all children born of a marriage heretofore solemnized between a white man and an Indian woman by blood and not by adoption, where said Indian woman is at this time or was at the time of her death recognized by the tribe, shall have the same rights and privileges to the property of the tribe to which the mother belongs or belonged at the time of her death, by blood, as any other member of the tribe. 30 U. S. Stat. L., 90.
Following the rule partus sequitur ventrem, applicable to the offspring of slaves, the illegitimate child of a Choctaw Indian by a colored woman who was a slave must be regarded as a negro and not an Indian. Alberty v. U. S., 162 U. S., 499; 16 S. Ct., 864; 40 L. Ed., 1051.
In Canada a person of Indian blood from either parent is of Indian blood, although the mother may have lost her character as an Indian by her marriage. Reg. v. Howson, Terr. L. R., 492.
abandoned by his father, is nurtured and reared by the Indian mother in the tribal relation, and is recognized by the tribe as a member of it, falls under an exception to the general rule that the offspring follows the status of the father and becomes a member of the tribe of the mother.1
1Farrell v. U. S., 110 Fed., 942; 49 C. C. A., 183; U. S. v. Higgins, 103 Fed., 348; U. S. v. Hadley, 99 Fed., 437.
(b) Mixed bloods.The term mixed bloods, used in treaties and statutes, includes persons of half, or more or less than half, Indian blood, derived either from the father or from the mother. Such persons, if they live with the tribe, are Indians.2
2Wall v. Williams, 11 Ala., 826; Sloan v. U. S., 118 Fed., 283; Farrell v. U. S., 110 Fed., 942; 49 C. C. A., 183; Sloan v. U. S., 95 Fed., 193.
In Indiana, by legislative definition, the word Indian includes all persons of Indian descent, recognized as members of any tribe residing in that State, down to those having one-eighth Indian blood. Doe v. Avaline, 8 Ind., 6. The term mestizo signifies the issue of a negro and an Indian. Miller v. Dawson, Dudley (S. C.), 174.
Youths of Indian, negro, and white blood, but of more than one-half white blood, are whites. Lane v. Baker, 12 Ohio, 237 [citing] Jeffries v. Ankeny, 11 Ohio, 372].
Indians by descent is a term applicable both to those of the full blood and of mixed white and Indian blood. Campau v. Dewey, 9 Mich., 381.
2. By adoption(a) Of individuals.A tribe of Indians may admit aliens to membership in the tribe,3 and a person so adopted acquires all the rights and incurs all the obligations of a member of the tribe.4 He does not, however, lose his status as a citizen of the United States,5 nor does he become an Indian within the meaning of the statutes.6 The ordinary occasion for adoption is the marriage of one not an Indian to an Indian woman, but such marriage does not of itself make one a member of the tribe.7
3Stiff v. McLaughlin, 19 Mont., 300; 48 Pac., 232; Delaware Indians v. Cherokee Nation, 193 U. S., 127; 24 S. Ct., 342; 48 L. Ed., 646 [affirming 38 C. Cls., 234].
4Tuten v. Byrd, 1 Swan (Tenn.), 108; Tuten v. Martin, 3 Yerg. (Tenn.), 452; Morgan v. Fowler. 2 Yerg. (Tenn.), 450; Alberty v. U. S., 162 U. S., 499; 16 S. Ct., 864; 40 L. Ed., 1051; U. S. v. Ragsdale, 27 Fed. Cas., No. 16113; Hempst., 479; U. S. v. Rogers, 27 Fed. Cas., No. 16187; Hempst., 450 [affirmed in 4 How. (U. S.), 567; 11 L. Ed., 1105]; U. S. v. Wirt, 28 Fed. Cas., No. 16745; 3 Sawy., 161.
5French v. French (Tenn. Ch. App., 1898), 52 S. W., 517; Roff v. Burney, 168 U. S., 218; 18 S. Ct., 60; 42 L. Ed., 442 (right to membership may be withdrawn); Raymond v. Raymond, 83 Fed., 721; 28 C. C. A., 38.
6Alberty v. U. S., 162 U. S., 499; 16 S. Ct., 864; 40 L. Ed., 1051; Westmoreland v. U. S., 155 U. S., 545; 15 S. Ct., 243; 29 L. Ed., 255; U. S. v. Rogers, 4 How. (U. S.), 567; 11 L. Ed., 1105 [affirming 27 Fed. Cas. No. 16187; Hempst., 450]; U. S. v. Ragsdale, 27 Fed. Cas., No. 16113; Hempst., 479.
7Grinter v. Kansas Pac. R. Co., 23 Kans., 642; Stiff v. McLaughlin, 19 Mont., 300; 48 Pac., 232; Nofire v. U. S., 164 U. S., 657; 17 S. Ct., 212; 41 L. Ed., 588.
Marriage with an Indian woman, except in the Five Civilized Tribes in the Indian Territory, is declared by act of Congress to confer no rights or privileges of membership in an Indian tribe. 25 U. S. Stat., L., 392.
(b) Collective adoption of freedmen.The freedmen of the Cherokee Nation8 and of the Choctaw Nation9 have become members of the respective tribes by adoption, but the Chickasaw freedmen have never been adopted by that nation.10  Colored persons never held as slaves in the Indian country have no more rights in the Indian country than other citizens of the United States.11
8Alberty v. U. S., 162 U. S., 499; 16 S. Ct., 864; 40 L. Ed., 1051; Journeycake v. Cherokee Nation, 31 C. Cls., 140; Whitmire v. Cherokee Nation, 30 C. Cls., 138.
9Lucas v. U. S., 163 U. S., 612; 16 S. Ct., 1168; 48 L. Ed., 282.
10U. S. v. Choctaw Nation, 38 C. Cls., 558 [affirmed in 193 U. S., 115; 24 S. Ct., 411; 48 L. Ed., 640].
11U. S. v. Payne, 8 Fed., 883; 2 McCrary, 289.
B. Personal rights and disabilities1. Personal liberty.An Indian is not, by reason of his tribal relations, deprived of personal liberty.12 He can not in time of peace be transported from one section of the country to another nor confined to a reservation against his will.13
12U. S. v. Crook, 25 Fed. Cas., No. 14891; 5 Dill., 453.
While keeping the peace, and disobeying no law, the person of an Indian can not be the subject of arrest or imprisonment by anyone except at the peril of the offender. Wiley v. Keokuk, 6 Kans., 94.
Habeas corpus: An Indian is a person, within the meaning of the habeas-corpus act, and as such entitled to sue out a writ in the Federal courts. In re Race Horse, 70 Fed., 598; U. S. v. Crook, 25 Fed. Cas., No. 14891; 5 Dill., 453.
Indians under military guard on a reservation in 1878 were in a position unknown to the law, being neither citizens nor aliens, free nor slave; prisoners of war when there was no war. Conners v. U. S., 33 C. Cls., 317.
13U. S. v. Crook, 25 Fed. Cas., No. 14891; 5 Dill., 453. See also Wiley v. Manatowah, 6 Kans., 111; Wiley v. Keokuk, 6 Kans., 94.
2. Citizenship(a) In general.An Indian is not a citizen of the United States by birth, because not born subject to the jurisdiction thereof.14 He can not
14Crandall v. State, 10 Conn., 339; Crouse v. New York, etc., R. Co., 49 Hun (N. Y.), 576; 2 N. Y. Suppl. 453; Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U. S., 94; 5 S. Ct., 41; 28 L. Ed., 643; U. S. v. Osborn, 2 Fed., 58; 6 Sawy., 406; McKay v. Campbell, 16 Fed. Cas., No. 8840; 2 Sawy., 118.
As to citizenship of children of tribal Indians see Citizens, 7 Cye., 133 et seq.
An emancipated slave of a Chickasaw Indian (Chickasaw freedman) born in Indian Territory was not a citizen of the United States. Jackson v. U. S., 34 C. Cls., 441.
The pueblo or village Indians of New Mexico were citizens of Mexico and became citizens of the United States by the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (9 U. S. Stat. L., 922). Territory v. Delinquent Tax List (N. M., 1904), 76 Pac., 307; U. S. v. Lucero, 1 N. M., 422.
Every Indian in the Indian Territory is by statute a citizen of the United States. 31 U. S. Stat. L., 1447.
An Indian woman married to a citizen of the United States and living apart from her tribe and according to the habits of civilized life is a citizen. Hatch v. Ferguson, 57 Fed., 959.
In Massachusetts by statute all Indians within that Commonwealth are citizens thereof. Mass. St. (1869) C., 463. See In re Coombs. 127 Mass., 278; Danzell v. Webquish, 108 Mass., 133.
In New York Indians are citizens of the State. Jackson v. Goodell, 20 Johns., 188; Strong v. Waterman, 11 Paige, 607.
In Ontario Indians are subjects, and the only immunity or disability which they possess relates to property acquired from the tribe, and the sale or purchase of spirituous liquors. An Indian otherwise qualified has an equal right with any other British subject to hold the position of reeve of a municipality. Reg. v. White, 5 Ont. Pr., 315.
The Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina are not citizens of the United States, although they are recognized as citizens of that State. U. S. v. Boyd, 68 Fed., 577 [distinguishing Cherokee Indians v. U. S., 117 U. S., 288; 6 S. Ct., 718; 29 L. Ed., 880].
make himself a citizen without the consent and coöperation of the goverment1 He may be naturalized, either individually2 or through collective naturalization effected by treaty or statute.3
1Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U. S., 94; 5 S. Ct., 41; 28 L. Ed., 643; Paul v. Chilsoquie, 70 Fed., 401: U. S. v. Osborn, 2 Fed., 58:6 Sawy., 406. Compare U. S. v. Elm, 25 Fed. Cas., No. 15048; Ex p. Kenyon, 14 Fed. Cas., No. 7720; 5 Dill., 385.
226 U. S. Stat. L., 99. And see Scott v. Sandford, 19 How. (U. S.), 393; 15 L. Ed., 691.
General naturalization law inapplicable: In re Camille, 6 Fed., 256; 6 Sawy., 541.
Stockbridge and Munsee Indians in Wisconsin may be naturalized under the provisions of U. S. R. S. (1878) sec. 2312 [U.S. Comp. St. (1901), p. 1418].
3People v. Bray, 105 Cal., 344; 38 Pac., 731; 27 L. R. A., 158.
(b) By allotment of lands.By statute every Indian born within the territorial limits of the United States to whom an allotment of lands in severalty has been made, or who has voluntarily taken up his residence apart from any Indian tribe and adopted the habits of civilized life, is now declared to be a citizen of the United States.4 Citizenship acquired by becoming an allottee under such  statute is not inconsistent with the continuance of the tribal existence, tribal relations and tribal affiliations.5
424 U. S. Stat. L., 390. And see the following cases:
Idaho: Carter v. Wann. 6 Ida., 556; 57 Pac., 314; Wa-La-Note-Tke-Tynin v. Cart, 6 Ida., 85; 53 Pac., 106.
Kansas: Baldwin v. Letson, 6 Kans. App., 11: 49 Pac., 619.
Nebraska: State v. Norris, 37 Nebr., 299; 55 N. W., 1086.
North Dakota: State v. Denoyer, 6 N. D., 586; 72 N. W., 1014.
United States: Bird v. Terry, 129 Fed., 472 [affirmed in 129 Fed., 592]; In re Celestine, 114 Fed., 551.
5State v. Columbia George, 39 Oreg., 127; 65 Pac., 604; Frazee v. Spokane County, 29 Wash., 278; 69 Pac., 779.
3. Right of suffrage.To entitle an Indian to vote it must be shown that he has become a citizen by virtue of some consitutional or statutory provision with the terms of which he has complied.6
6State v. Norris, 37 Nebr., 299; 55 N. W., 1086; State v. Frazier, 28 Nebr., 438; 44 N. W., 471; State v. Denoyer, 6 N. D., 586; 72 N. W., 1014; Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U. S., 94; 5 S. Ct., 41; 28 L. Ed., 643 [distinguishing U. S. v. Elm, 25 Fed. Cas., No. 15048].
In South Carolina an Indian is not entitled to the elective franchise, under the laws restricting such privilege to white persons. State v. York Dist., 1 Bailey (S. C.), 215.
In Wisconsin civilized persons of Indian descent, not members of any tribe, are entitled to vote if possessed of other requisite qualifications. Hilgers v. Quinney, 51 Wis., 62; 8 N. W., 17.
In Canada Indian electors resident on an Indian reserve have no right to vote on the question of the repeal of the Canada temperance act in the county in which the reserve is situated. Re Metcalfe, 17 Ont., 357.
4. Competency as witnesses and jurors.Indians are competent to testify, and are entitled to the same credit as white witnesses;7 and Indians belonging to the Five Civilized Tribes, not citizens of the United States, are competent grand jurors in the courts of the Indian Territory.8
7Coleman v. Doe, 4 Sm. & M. (Miss.), 40; Doe v. Newman, 3 Sm. & M. (Miss.), 565; Miller v. Dawson, Dudley (S. C.), 174; Shelp v. U. S., 81 Fed., 694; 26 C. C. A., 570; Contra, Harris v. Doe, 4 Blackf. (Ind.), 369.
Belief in Supreme Being and future state: An Indian is a competent witness, where, although having no knowledge of any ceremony among his tribe binding a person to speak the truth, he had a full sense of the obligation to do so, and believed in a Supreme Being and a future state of reward or punishment. Reg. v. Pah-mah-gay, 20 U. C. Q. B., 195.
8Carter v. U. S., 1 Ind. T., 342; 37 S. W., 204.
In criminal trials, where the accused is a citizen of the United States, none but citizens are competent jurors. 25 U. S. Stat. L., 783.
5. Validity of contracts.Contracts made by individual Indians, not prohibited by statute, are valid.9 A bond voluntarily executed to the United States to secure the performance of a contract made by the obligors with a number of tribal Indians employed by them is a valid obligation.10
9Arkansas: Taylor v. Drew, 21 Ark., 485; Hicks v. Ewhartonah, 21 Ark., 106 [distinguishing Clark v. Closland, 17 Ark., 431.
Indiana: Ke-tuc-e-mun-guah v. McClure, 122 Ind., 541; 23 N. E., 1080; 7 L. R. A., 782; Godfrey v. Scott, 70 Ind., 259.
Kansas: Jones v. Eisler, 3 Kans., 134.
Maine: Murch v. Tomer, 21 Me., 535.
Missouri: Whirlwind v. Von der Ahe, 67 Mo. App., 628.
New York: Onondaga Nation v. Thacher, 53 N. Y. App. Div., 561; 65 N. Y. Suppl., 1014 [affirming 29 Misc., 428; 61 N. Y. Suppl., 1027].
Washington: Gho v. Julles, 1 Wash. Terr., 325. United States: Lowry v. Weaver, 15 Fed. Cas. No. 8584; 4 McLean, 82.
See 27 Cent. Dig. tit. Indians, sec. 16.
Form of contract: Contracts with Cherokee Indians, including contracts between two Indians, must be in writing with two subscribing witnesses, but the probate for registration need not be by both. Colvord v. Monroe, 63 N. C., 288; Lovingood v. Smith, 52 N. C., 601.
Proof of consideration: In contracts between Indians, as well as between an Indian and a white man, the consideration must be proven by two credible witnesses. Pack v. Pack, 9 Port. (Ala.), 297.
6. Custody, care, and education of children.The children of Indians are subject to parental authority, and can not be compelled to attend school without the consent of the parents.11 The Government can not reclaim a child by habeas  corpus from one who has taken it from the agency with the approval of the parents.12
10U. S. v. Pumphrey, 11 App. Cas. (D. C.), 44.
11Peters v. Malin, 111 Fed., 244; In re Lelah-puc-ka-chee, 98 Fed., 429.
The marriage of a female Indian releases her from parental control. In re Lelah-puc-ka-chee, 98 Fed., 429.
An Indian mother who has surrendered her child to the custody of the officers of a mission school for a term of years can not reclaim the child until the expiration of that time, where it appears that he was being well cared for and educated. In re Can-ah-couqua, 29 Fed., 687.
Where a special school is provided for Indian children they have no right to attend other public schools in the same district. Ammons v. Charlestown School Dist. No. 5, 7 R. I., 596.
12U. S. v. Imoda, 4 Mont., 38; 1 Pac., 721.
7. Actions(a) Actions by Indians(I) In general.13A tribal Indian not being a citizen of the United States, may not maintain suit as such in the Federal
13For actions by and against tribes see infra, II, C, 4.
courts;1 but may sue in such courts when authorized by statute.2 He may sue in a State or Territorial court as may all persons irrespective of race or color.3 He may maintain ejectment,4 or an action for the diversion of water on the public domain,5 or, in the Indian Territory, for the recovery of land belonging to the tribe, where the chief fails to act,6 or to recover an allotment of land unlawfully denied him,7 or to redress any wrong committed outside the limits of his reservation against his person or property.8 In New York a Seneca Indian may bring suit to enforce a decree of the peacemakers court.9 An Indian may assign his right of action to a white man.10 The United States may maintain an action in his behalf for property which has been issued to him by the Government.11 He can not sue to enforce the operation of a treaty,12 or to compel a public representative or agent of an Indian nation to pay the debts of his nation.13
1Felix v. Patrick, 145 U. S., 317; 12 S. Ct., 862; 36 L. Ed., 719; Paul v. Chilsoquie, 70 Fed., 401; Karrahoo v. Adams, 14 Fed. Cas. No., 7614; 1 Dill., 344.
2Brought v. Cherokee Nation, 129 Fed., 192; 63 C. C. A., 350; Hargrove v. Cherokee Nation, 129 Fed., 186; 63 C. C. A., 276. And see Southern Kansas R. Co. v. Briscoe, 144 U. S., 133; 12 S. Ct., 538; 36 L. Ed., 377 [affirming 40 Fed., 273]; Gowen v. Harley, 56 Fed., 973; 6 C. C. A., 190.
3Ingraham v. Ward, 56 Kans., 550; 44 Pac., 14; Wiley v. Keokuk, 6 Kans., 94 (action for assault and battery and false imprisonment); Swartzel v. Rogers, 3 Kans., 374; Whirlwind v. Von der Ahe, 67 Mo. App., 628; Lobdell v. Hall, 3 Nev., 507; Onondaga Nation v. Thacher, 53 N. Y. App. Div., 561; 65 N. Y. Suppl., 1014 [affirming 29 Misc., 428; 61 N. Y. Suppl., 1027]; Jemmerson v. Kennedy, 55 Hun (N. Y.), 47; 7 N. Y. Suppl., 296.
Actions by individual Indians are not included in N. Y. Laws (1845), c. 150, sec. 2, providing that no execution shall issue for costs recovered against the Seneca Nation in an action instituted or defended by the attorney appointed for the tribe. Crouse v. New York, etc., R. Co., 49 Hun (N. Y.), 576; 2 N. Y. Suppl., 453.
4Gooding v. Watkins (Ind. T., 1904), 82 S. W., 913; Price v. Cherokee Nation (Ind. T., 1904), 82 S. W., 893; Coleman v. Doe, 4 Sm. & M. (Miss.), 40.
5Lobdell v. Hall, 3 Nev., 507.
630 U. S. Stat. L., 495.
728 U. S. Stat. L., 305. And see Hy-yu-tse-mil-kin v. Smith, 194 U. S., 401; 24 S. Ct., 676; 48 L. Ed., 1039: Parr v. U. S., 132 Fed., 1004; Patawas v. U. S., 132 Fed., 893; Sloan v. U. S., 95 Fed. 193.
8Bem-way-bin-ness v. Ehelby, 87 Minn., 108; 91 N. W., 291; Y-ta-tah-wah v. Rebock, 105 Fed., 257; Felix v. Patrick, 36 Fed., 457.
9Jemeson v. Pierce, 102 N. Y. App. Div., 618; 92 N. Y. Suppl., 331.
10Missouri Pac. R. Co. v. Cullers, 81 Tex., 382; 17 S. W., 19; 13 L. R. A., 542.
11McKnight v. U. S., 130 Fed., 659; 65 C. C. A., 37.
12Cayuga Indians v. State, 99 N. Y., 235; 1 N. E., 770.
13Parks v. Ross, 11 How. (U. S.), 362; 13 L. Ed., 730.
(II) Limitations and laches.It has been held that a statute of limitations will run against an Indian,14 and according to a lately decided and well-considered case, the fact that a litigant is a tribal Indian is not a complete bar to the defense of laches, although it is to be taken into account in determining the effect of his inaction.15 Civilized Indians entitled to participate per capita in a certain fund of which they have constructive notice are bound to ascertain whether their names are on the pay roll, if ample time is given them to do so, and when they do nothing and the fund is paid to Indians whose names are on the roll, payment a second time will not be required.16
14New Orleans, etc., R. Co. v. Moye, 39 Miss., 374; Seneca Nation v. Christie, 126 N. Y., 122; 27 N. E., 275.
15Dunbar v. Green, 66 Kans., 557; 72 Pac., 243 [discussing and explaining Felix v. Patrick, 145 U. S., 317; 12 S. Ct., 862; 36 L. Ed., 719; and disapproving Laughton v. Nadeau, 75 Fed., 789].
16Pam-to-pee v. U. S., 36 C. Cls., 427 [affirmed in 187 U. S., 371; 47 L. Ed., 221].
 (b) Actions against Indians.Where not prohibited by statute,17 Indians may be sued on contract.18
17Hastings v. Farmer, 4 N. Y., 293; Singer Mfg. Co. v. Hill, 60 Hun (N. Y.), 347; 15 N. Y. Suppl., 27; Jackson v. King, 18 Johns. (N. Y.), 506; Dana v. Dana, 14 Johns. (N. Y.), 181; McKinnon v. Van Every, 5 Ont. Pr., 284.
18Daugherty v. Bogy, 3 Ind. T., 197; 53 S. W., 542; Murch v. Tomer, 21 Me., 535; Stokes v. Rodman, 5 R. I., 405; Bryce v. Salt, 11 Ont. Pr., 112.
C. Status of nations or tribes1. In general(a) Political status.The Indian nations or tribes are distinct, semi-independent political communities,19 owing a qualified subjection to the United States.20 They may be defined as domestic, dependent nations.21 They are not foreign nations, nor states in the international
19Jones v. Meehan, 175 U. S., 1; 20 S. Ct., 1; 44 L. Ed., 1; Stephens v. Cherokee Nation, 174 U. S., 445; 19 S. Ct., 722; 43 L. Ed., 1041; U. S. v. Kagama, 118 U. S., 375; 6 S. Ct., 1109; 30 L. Ed., 228; Eastern Band Cherokee Indians v. U. S., 117 U. S., 288; 6 S. Ct., 718; 29 L. Ed., 880; Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U. S., 94; 5 S. Ct., 41; 28 L. Ed., 643; Holden v. Joy, 17 Wall. (U. S.), 211; 21 L. Ed., 523; Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. (U. S.), 515; 8 L. Ed., 483; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 5 Pet. (U. S.), 1; 8 L. Ed., 25.
The pueblo Indians of New Mexico are not Indian tribes within the meaning of U. S. Rev. St. (1878) sec. 2118. U. S. v. Joseph, 94 U. S., 614; 24 L. Ed., 295.
The Old Settlers, or Western Cherokees, are not a governmental body politic, nor have they a corporate existence nor any capacity to act collectively. U. S. v. Old Settlers, 148 U. S., 427; 13 S. Ct., 650; 37 L. Ed., 509.
The southwestern tribes of Apaches during the last fifty years have had no definable tribal identity, and have been little more than robber bands. Such bands, however, constitute a political entity, which must be recognized by the courts. Dobbs v. U. S., 33 C. Cls., 308.
The Alaska Indians are not within the policy of the Government by which Indian tribes are treated as free and independent within their respective territories, but are subject to such laws and regulations as the United States may adopt. In re Sah Quah, 31 Fed., 327.
The Indians residing in Maine, while they have a partial organization for tenure of property and local affairs, have no separate political organization, and are subject as individuals to the laws of the State. State v. Newell, 84 Me., 465; 24 Atl., 943.
In New York the different tribes of Indians within that State are not recognized as independent nations, but as citizens merely owing allegiance to the State government. Jackson v. Goodell, 20 Johns. (N. Y.), 188; Strong v. Waterman, 11 Paige (N. Y.), 607.
20Ex p. Reynolds, 20 Fed. Cas., No. 11719; 5 Dill., 394.
21Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 5 Pet. (U. S.), 1; S. L. Ed., 25. See also U. S. v. Pumphrey, 11 App. Cas. (D. C.), 44.
sense,1 nor states or territories within the meaning of the Constitution.2 Their relation to the United States resembles that of a ward to his guardian.3
1Roche v. Washington, 19 Ind., 53; 81 Am. Dec., 376; U. S. v. Kagama, 118 U. S., 375; 6 S. Ct., 1109; 30 L. Ed., 228; Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U. S., 94; 5 S. Ct., 41; 28 L. Ed., 643; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 5 Pet. (U. S.), 1; 8 L. Ed., 25; U. S. v. Rogers, 27 Fed. Cas., No. 16187; Hempst., 450; U. S. v. Ragsdale, 27 Fed. Cas., No. 16113; Hempst., 479.
2Holden v. Joy, 17 Wall. (U. S.), 211; 21 L. Ed., 523; Cherokee Nation v. Southern Kans. R. Co., 33 Fed., 900; Exp. Morgan, 20 Fed., 298. The Cherokee Nation is a territory, within the meaning of Battle Rev. c. 35, sec. 8, relating to the record of deeds. Whitsett v. Forehand, 79 N. C., 230.
3U. S. v. Pumphrey, 11 App. Cas. (D. C.), 44; Jones v. Meehan, 175 U. S., 1; 20 S. Ct., 1; 44 L. Ed., 1; Stephens v. Cherokee Nation, 174 U. S., 445; 19 S. Ct., 722; 43 L. Ed., 1041; U. S. v. Kagama, 118 U. S., 375; 6 S. Ct., 1109; 30 L. Ed., 228; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 5 Pet. (U. S.), 1; 8 L. Ed., 25.
(b) Powers.So far as is essential to constitute them separate nations, the rights of sovereignty have been conceded to them.4 They were formerly competent to make treaties,5 and although that right has been taken from them by  Congress, the treaties which have been made retain their validity.6 They may levy war and conclude peace.7 The several States of the Union and the United States have recognized in Indians a possessory right to the soil, but they have asserted an ultimate title in the land itself by which the Indian tribes are forbidden to sell or transfer it to other nations or peoples without the consent of this paramount authority.8
4U. S. v. Shanks, 15 Minn., 369; Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. (U. S.), 515; 8 L. Ed., 483. Right of local self-government: The Indian country is not within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, since the Indians have the right of local self-government. Anonymous, 1 Fed. Cas., No. 447; Hempst., 413.
5Wood v. Missouri, etc., R. Co., 11 Kans., 323; Minter v. Shirley, 45 Miss., 376; Blackfeather v. U. S., 190 U. S., 368; 23 S. Ct., 772; 47 L. Ed., 1099; Holden v. Joy, 17 Wall. (U. S.), 211;21 L. Ed., 523; Wilson v. Wall, 6 Wall. (U. S.), 83; 18 L. Ed., 727; Worcestor v. Georgia, 6 Pet. (U. S.), 515; 8 L. Ed., 483; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 5 Pet. (U. S.), 1; 8 L. Ed., 25; Porterfield v. Clark, 2 How. (U. S.), 76; 11 L. Ed., 185; Leighton v. U. S., 29 C. Cls., 288. See infra, II, D, 1.
6U. S. Rev. St. (1878) sec. 2079. And see Brown v. U. S., 32 C. Cls., 432.
7Montoya v. U. S., 180 U. S., 261; 21 S. Ct., 358; 45 L. Ed., 521 (a formal declaration of war by Congress unnecessary); Marks v. U. S., 161 U. S., 297; 16 S. Ct., 476; 40 L. Ed., 706; Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 5 Pet. (U. S.), 1; 8 L. Ed., 25; Scott v. U. S., 33 C. Cls., 486; Dobbs v. U. S., 33 C. Cls., 308; Alires Case, 1 C. Cls., 238.
The principles of international law have been applied to hostilities with the Indian tribes so far as to accord to them the rights of belligerents. Love v. U. S., 29 C. Cls., 332.
When Indians have been allowed to surrender as prisoners of war to an army in the field. the terms of such surrender characterize all that they did as the inevitable destruction of an Indian war. Scott v. U. S., 33 C. Cls., 486.
8U. S. v. Kagama, 118 U. S., 375; 6 S. Ct., 1109; 30 L. Ed., 228; Holden v. Joy, 17 Wall. (U. S.), 211; 21 L. Ed., 523; Woreester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. (U. S.), 515; 8 L. Ed., 483.
(c) Supervision.They are not amenable to the laws of the State or Territory in which they reside.9 They are, however, subject to the plenary authority of the United States.10
9Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. (U. S.), 515; 8 L. Ed., 483; Love v. Pamplin, 21 Fed., 755.
10Tuttle v. Moore, 3 Ind. T., 712; 64 S. W., 585; U. S. v. Choctaw Nation, 193 U. S., 115; 24 S. Ct., 411; 48 L. Ed., 640; Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, 187 U. S., 553; 23 S. Ct., 216; 47 L. Ed., 299; Stephens v. Cherokee Nation, 174 U. S., 445; 19 S. Ct., 722; 43 L. Ed., 1041; U. S. v. Kagama, 118 U. S., 375; 6 S. Ct., 1109; 30 L. Ed., 228; Kendalls Case, 1 C. Cls., 261.
A Federal court has authority to issue a writ of habeas corpus, to run in the Indian Territory. Exp. Kenyon, 14 Fed. Cas., No. 7720; 5 Dill., 385.
2. Change of tribal status(a) Expatriation.It is one of the consequences of the imperfect sovereignty of the Indian nations that they can not alter or suspend their political relation as wards of the United States by removing from its boundaries.11
11Lowe v. U. S., 37 C. Cls., 413.
(b) Consolidation.Two or more tribes may consolidate and become merged into one,12 and their action in so doing binds the Indians,13 and the United States Government14 in dealing with lands, property, and trust funds belonging to the tribe. A tribe may also admit individual members of another tribe into its membership,15 and Indians so admitted are thereafter bound by the constitution and laws of their adopted tribe.16
12U. S. v. Blackfeather, 155 U. S., 218; 15 S. Ct., 63; 39 L. Ed., 126; Cherokee Nation v. Journeyeake, 155 U. S., 196; 15 S. Ct., 55; 39 L. Ed., 120.
13Delaware Indians v. Cherokee Nation, 38 C. Cls., 234 [affirmed in 193 U. S., 127; 24 S. Ct., 342; 48 L. Ed., 646]; Whitmire v. Cherokee Nation, 30 C. Cls., 138.
14Delaware Indians v. Cherokee Nation, 193 U. S., 127; 24 S. Ct., 342; 48 L. Ed., 646; Journeycake v. Cherokee Nation, 28 C. Cls., 281.
15Delaware Indians v. Cherokee Nation, 193 U. S., 127; 24 S. Ct., 342; 48 L. Ed., 646; Choctaw Nation v. U. S., 179 U. S., 494; 21 S. Ct., 149; 45 L. Fd., 291.
16Delaware Indians v. Cherokee Nation, 193 U. S., 127; 24 C. Cls., 342; 48 L. Ed., 646.
(c) Division.A tribe may also be divided into separate bands by agreement among themselves or by act of the Government.17 The policy of the Government has been to accept such subdivisions as were adopted by the  Indians,18
17Me-shing-go-me-sia v. State, 36 Ind., 310; Cherokee Indians v. U. S., 117 U. S., 288; 6 S. Ct., 718; 29 L. Ed., 880; Allred v. U. S., 36 C. Cls., 280; Dobbs v. U. S., 33 C. Cls., 308; McKee v. U. S., 33 C. Cls., 99; Tully v. U. S., 32 C. Cls., 1.
Eastern Band of Cherokees: The Cherokee Indians east of the Mississippi do not form a nation. As individuals they severed their connection with the Cherokee Nation. Their organization by the Indian Office under the name of the Eastern B and was for the purpose of facilitating business with the Government, and is at most a social organization. Cherokees v. U. S., 20 C. Cls., 449 [affirmed in 117 U. S., 288; 6 S. Ct., 718; 29 L. Ed., 880]. But compare U. S. v. Boyd, 83 Fed., 547; 27 C. C. A., 592, holding that the political departments of the Government have recognized the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as constituting a tribe; at least, as that word is used in the United States Constitution.
18Tully v. U. S., 32 C. Cls., 1.
and when so recognized by the proper executive officers the courts are bound by their action.1
1Tully v. U. S., 32 C. Cls., 1.
(d) Dissolution.A tribe may cease to exist by the complete withdrawal of its members from tribal relations;2 but tribal relations are not terminated by the mere lapse of time and the allotment of a portion of the tribal lands in severaly,3 nor by the emigration of even a majority of the tribe, if the organization remains intact.4 So long as the tribal organization is recognized by the National Government, the fact that the habits and customs of the Indians have been changed by intercourse with the whites does not authorize the courts to disregard the tribal status.5
2In re Narragansett Indians, 20 R. I., 715; 40 Atl., 347; Morrow v. Blevins, 4 Humphr. (Tenn.), 223; Eastern Band Cherokee Indians v. U. S., 117 U. S., 288; 6 S. Ct., 718; 29 L. Ed., 880; U. S. v. Boyd, 83 Fed., 547; 27 C. C. A., 592.
The Indians residing in Maine, whose tribal organization has ceased to exist, are not Indian tribes, within the treaty-making powers of the Federal Government. State v. Newell, 84 Me., 465; 24 Atl., 943.
3U. S. v. Flournoy Live-Stock, etc., Co., 71 Fed., 576.
4Me-shing-go-me-sia v. State, 36 Ind., 310; Wau-pe-man-qua v. Aldrich, 28 Fed., 489.
5The Kansas Indians, 5 Wall. (U. S.), 737; 18 L. Ed., 667; U. S. v. Holliday, 3 Wall. (U. S.), 407; 18 L. Ed., 182.
3. Validity and effect of Indian laws and customs(a) In general.Except when prohibited by statute, the Indian laws and customs control in all internal affairs of the tribes.6 Their laws and proceedings are on the same footing as those of other territories of the United States.7 The United States courts may not, without express authority from Congress, inquire into the method by which their laws are adopted,8 but such courts will not take judicial notice of the Indian laws; they must be pleaded and proven.9 United States courts are by act of Congress prohibited from enforcing, either at law or in equity, any laws of the Indian tribes in the Indian Territory; but where rights have vested under such laws these courts are authorized to enforce those vested rights.10
6Alabama: Wall v. Wiliamson, 8 Ala., 48.
Indian Territory: Rush v. Thompson, 2 Ind. T., 557; 53 S. W., 333.
Mississippi: Turner v. Fish, 28 Miss., 306; Fisher v. Allen, 2 How., 611.
Missouri: Boyer v. Dively, 58 Mo., 510.
Tennessee: Blair v. Pathkiller, 2 Yerg., 407; Holland v. Pack, Peck, 151.
Texas: Jones v. Laney, 2 Tex., 342.
United States: U. S. v. Choctaw Indians, 193 U. S.; 115; 24 S. Ct., 411; 48 L. Ed., 640; Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet., 515; 8 L. Ed., 483; U. S. v. Whaley, 37 Fed., 145; 13 Sawy., 548.
See 27 Cent. Dig. tit. Indians. sec. 11.
Transactions outside of tribal territory: Such laws, however, do not apply to transactions between Indians of thetribe which take place outside the tribal territory. Ex p. Kenyon, 14 Fed. Cas., No. 7720; 5 Dill., 385.
7Whitsett v. Forehand, 79 N. C., 230; U. S. v. Cox, 18 How. (U. S.), 100; 15 L. Ed., 299. Necessity for Presidents approval: Acts and ordinances of the Creek or Cherokee Tribes are not now valid until approved by the President of the United States. 31 U. S. Stat. L., 1077. The same provision is made as to the Choctaws and Chickasaws in relation to certain classes of acts only by the Atoka agreement of 1898 (30 U. S. Stat. L., 512).
Ejectment to recover land and improvements may be maintained under acts of the Cherokee national council. Price v. Cherokee Nation (Ind. T., 1904), 82 S. W., 893.
8Delaware Indians v. Cherokee Nation, 193 U. S., 127; 24 S. Ct., 342; 48 L. Ed., 646.
9Ricknor v. Clabber (Ind. T., 1903), 76 S. W., 271; Rowe v. Henderson (Ind. T., 1903), 76 S. W., 250; Engleman v. Cable (Ind. T., 1902), 69 S. W., 894; Sass v. Thomas (Ind. T., 1902), 69 S. W., 893; Kelly v. Churchill (Ind. T., 1902), 69 S. W., 817; Campbell v. Scott, 3 Ind. T., 462; 58 S. W., 719; OBrien v. Bugbee, 46 Kans., 1; 26 Pac., 428; Hockett v. Alston, 110 Fed., 910; 49 C. C. A., 180; Wilson v. Owens, 86 Fed., 571; 30 C. C. A., 257. Sec also Brashear v. Williams, 10 Ala., 630.
10Boudinot v. Boudinot, 2 Ind. T., 107; 48 S. W., 1019.
(b) Descent and distribution.The law governing the descent of lands and the distribution of the personal property of an intestate, where the tribal organization is still recognized by the Government, is the law of the tribe.11
11Nivens v. Nivens (Ind. T., 1903), 76 S. W., 114; 64 S. W., 604; Hannon v. Taylor, 57 Kans., 1; 45 Pac., 51; OBrien v. Bugbee, 46 Kans., 1; 26 Pac., 428; Brown v. Steelo, 23 Kans., 672; Dole v. Irish, 2 Barb. (N. Y.), 639; Jones v. Meehan, 175 U. S., 1; 20 S. Ct., 1; 44 L. Ed., 49; Y-ta-tah-wah v. Rebock, 105 Fed., 257.
Presumption when no proof of laws of descent: In the absence of proof that a savage tribe of Indians have laws regulating the descent of property, the presumption arises that the property of a deceased person would belong to the first occupant. Brashear v. Williams, 10 Ala., 630.
Laws of Indians not pleaded: Where, in an action by an heir to recover Indian lands, the complaint alleged that plaintiff was a Quapaw Indian, and the answer contained no allegation that the laws of descent of such nation were different from those of the forum in which the trial was had, it was presumed that they were the same. Ricknor v. Clabber (Ind. T., 1903), 76 S. W., 271.
Wills under Indian laws: The will of a Wyandotte Indian, made and allowed in 1853 according to the laws, customs, and usages of the tribe, is valid and binding. Gray v. Coffman, 10 Fed. Cas., No. 5714; 3 Dill., 393. In Canada an Indian, male or female, may dispose of real or personal property by will. Johnson v. Jones, 15 Can. L. T., 48; 26 Ont., 109.
Administrators appointed by the Cherokee Nation have a right as such to maintain suit in the United States district court. U. S. v. Cox, 18 How. (U. S.), 100; 15 L. Ed., 299.
 (c) Taxation by tribal government.A tribe has the ordinary powers of taxation over persons and property within its limits.12 It may require a license before permitting noncitizens to engage in business or in the practice of a profession within its territorial limits.13
12Maxey v. Wright, 3 Ind. T., 243; 54 S. W., 807; Morris v. Hitchcock, 194 U. S., 384; 24 S. Ct., 712; 48 L. Ed., 1030.
For taxation of tribal lands see III, A, 6.
For taxation of allotted lands see III, C, 5. For taxation of personal property see IV, F.
Enforcing collection: The United States courts in the Indian Territory have no jurisdiction to entertain an action for the collection of taxes imposed by the laws of the Creek Nation. Buster v. Wright, 135 Fed., 947; Crabtree v. Madden, 54 Fed., 426; 4 C. C. A., 408.
13Zevely v. Weimer (Ind. T., 1904), 82 S. W., 941; Buster v. Wright, 135 Fed., 947.
(d) Courts.Except where otherwise provided by statute the tribal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over suits between members of the tribe and over crimes committed by Indians against Indians.1 The construction of statutes of the tribe is solely within their jurisdiction.2 Their jurisdiction extends to members of the tribe by adoption.3 While it does not extend to citizens of the United Sates, such exemption is waived if not specially pleaded.4 The judgments of the tribal courts stand on the same footing and are entitled to the same faith and credit as the judgments of Territorial courts of the United States,5 but they may be impeached collaterally on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.6
1Ex p. Tiger, 2 Ind. T., 41; 47 S. W., 304; Nofire v. U. S., 164 U. S., 657; 17 S. Ct., 212; 41 L. Ed., 588; Talton v. Mayes, 163 U. S., 376; 16 S. Ct., 986; 41 L. Ed., 196; Alberty v. U. S., 162 U. S., 499; 16 S. Ct., 864; 40 L. Ed., 1051; Smith v. U. S., 151 U. S., 50; 14 S. Ct., 234; 38 L. Ed., 67; Ex p. Mayfield, 141 U. S., 107; 11 S. Ct., 939; 35 L. Ed., 635; Raymond v. Raymond, 83 Fed., 721; 28 C. C. A., 38. See also Crowell v. Young (Ind. T., 1902), 69 S. W., 829; Boudinot v. Boudinot, 2 Ind. T., 107; 48 S. W., 1019.
For criminal jurisdiction of Federal and State courts see IV, D, 2.
Jurisdiction not ousted by naturalization: Where a Cherokee court in the Indian Territory has acquired jurisdiction of an Indian in a criminal prosecution, such jurisdiction is not divested by the subsequent naturalization of defendant. Exp. Kyle, 67 Fed., 306.
Peacemakers court: The jurisdiction of the peacemakers of the Seneca Nation is limited to $100 by N. Y. Laws (1847), c. 365, sec. 8. Jemmerson v. Kenndy, 55 Hun (N. Y.), 47; 7 N. Y. Suppl., 296. The supreme court of New York, in an action to enforce a decree in partition rendered by the peacemakers court, can not go back of the decree to ascertain the relationship and interests of the parties which were determined by the decree. Jimeson v. Pierce, 102 N. Y. App. Div., 618; 92 N. Y. Suppl., 331.
Tribes of Indians residing in New York have no jurisdiction to try their members for crimes committed within the reservation. Jackson v. Goodell, 20 Johns. (N. Y.), 188.
Acts of Congress: On this subject Congress has passed several acts. See 23 U. S. Stat. L., 385; 25 U. S. Stat. L., 783; 26 U. S. Stat. L., 96; 30 U. S. Stat. L., 518.
2Talton v. Mayes, 163 U. S., 376; 16 S. Ct., 986; 41 L. Ed., 196.
3Nofire v. U. S., 164 U. S., 657; 17 S. Ct., 212; 41 L. Ed., 588; Alberty v. U. S., 162 U. S., 499; 16 S. Ct., 864; 40 L. Ed., 1051; Raymond v. Raymond, 83 Fed., 721; 28 C. C. A., 38.
4Mehlin v. Ice, 56 Fed., 12; 5 C. C. A., 403.
5Standley v. Roberts, 59 Fed., 836; 8 C. C. A., 305; Mehlin v. Ice, 56 Fed., 12; 5 C. C. A., 403.
6Raymond v. Raymond, 1 Ind. T., 334; 37 S. W., 202.
4. Actions by and against tribes.It is generally held that an Indian tribe can not sue or be sued in the courts of the United States or in a State court, except  where authority has been conferred by statute.7 A tribe must be made a party to any suit pending in the Federal court in the Indian Territory in which the property of the tribe is in any way affected by the issues.8 The United States may, as guardian of such Indians, maintain an action in their behalf.9 Where authority to sue has been conferred, a tribe may maintain an injunction to restrain the usurpation of official authority,10 but it can not maintain an action on a contract made in violation of law;11 and a suit can not be brought by individuals in the name of the tribe,12 nor by a portion of a tribe who have separated therefrom.13
7Engleman v. Cable (Ind. T., 1902), 69 S. W., 894; Seneca Nation v. Christie, 126 N. Y., 122; 27 N. E., 275; Crouse v. New York, etc., R. Co., 49 Hun (N. Y.), 576; 2 N. Y. Suppl., 453; Seneca Nation v. Hammond, 3 Thomps. & C. (N. Y.), 347; Seneca Nation v. John, 16 N. Y. Suppl., 40; Seneca Nation v. Tyler, 14 How. Pr. (N. Y.), 109; Strong v. Waterman, 11 Paige (N. Y.), 607; In re Narragansett Indians, 20 R. I., 715; 40 Atl., 347; Thebo v. Choctaw, 66 Fed., 372; 13 C. C. A., 519.
In New York no provision has been made by law for bringing ejectment to recover possession of Indian lands, except in the case of the Senecas, and the Indians have no corporate name by which they can institute such a suit. Montauk v. Long Island R. Co., 28 N. Y. App. Div., 470; 51 N. Y. Suppl., 142. Seneca Indians in New York may sue and be sued as provided by State law. Jemmison v. Kennedy, 55 Hun, 47; 7 N. Y. Suppl., 296; Jackson v. Reynolds, 14 Johns., 335.
830 U. S. Stat. L., 495. And see Thompson v. Morgan (Ind. T., 1902), 69 S. W., 920; Casteel v. McNeeley (Ind. T., 1901), 64 S. W., 594.
The Creek Nation is a proper party to a suit by a telephone company to restrain persons from erecting telephones in a town in such nation, where the latter are taking possession of tribal lands in the town without authority. Muskogee Nat. Tel. Co. v. Hall (Ind. T., 1901), 64 S. W., 600.
9U. S. v. Winans, 73 Fed., 72; U. S. v. Boyd, 68 Fed., 577.
10Seneca Nation v. John, 16 N. Y. Suppl., 40.
11St. Regis Indians v. Drum, 19 Johns. (N. Y.), 127.
12Johnson v. Long Island R. Co., 162 N. Y., 462; 56 N. E., 992; Onondaga Nation v. Thacher, 29 Misc. (N. Y.), 428; 61 N. Y. Suppl., 1027 [affirmed in 53 N. Y. App. Div., 561; 65 N. Y. Suppl., 1014 (affirmed in 169 N. Y., 584; 62 N. E., 1098)].
13People v. Land Office, 99 N. Y., 648; 1 N. E., 764; Cayuga Indians v. State, 99 N. Y., 235; 1 N. E., 770.
5. Contracts.Contracts between Indian tribes and agents or attorneys for services to be performed in reference to claims by such tribes against the United States can not be enforced unless made in accordance with the requirements of the act of Congress, requiring the approval of the Secretary of the Interior.14
14Rollins v. Cherokee Indians, 87 N. C., 229; In re Sanborn, 148 U. S., 222; 13 S. Ct., 577; 37 L. Ed., 429; Rollins v. U. S., 23 C. Cls., 106.
An exception to this rule arises, however, in the case of a specific appropriation for the payment for such services, as in 25 U. S. Stat. L., 756. U. S. v. Crawford, 47 Fed., 561.
Contracts with attorneys, for services rendered in securing a treaty from the United States, can not be enforced unless approved by the Secretary of the Interior and the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. Hanks v. Hendricks, 3 Ind. T., 415; 58 S. W., 669.
The power of the chief of a tribe to make a contract binding the tribe will be presumed where such authority has not been questioned, and the tribe has accepted the benefit of the contract. Rollins v. U. S., 23 C. Cls., 106.
D. Treaties1. Validity and effect.A treaty with an Indian tribe has the same dignity and effect as a treaty with a foreign nation.15 It is a part of the law
Missouri, etc., R. Co., 11 Kans., 323; U. S. v.
New York Indians, 173 U. S., 464; 19 S. Ct., 487; 43 L. Ed., 769; Worcester v.
Georgia, 6 Pet. (U. S.), 515; 8 L. Ed., 483; Turner v.
American Baptist Missionary Union, 24 Fed. Cas., No. 14251; 5 McLean, 344. And see, generally, Treaties.
Abrogation by treaty with another government: The treaty of the Creek Nation with the rebel government abrogated the treaty with the United States, and the provisions of a later treaty reaffirming and reassuming all obligations existing under the earlier treaty, do not cover the period when the Creeks were in rebellion. Connor v.
U. S., 19 C. Cls., 675.
Time of taking effect: Where a treaty provides that it should take effect when ratified by the President and Senate, it did not take effect until signed by the President, although it had been previously ratified by the Senate and accepted by the Indians. Shepard v.
Northwestern L. Ins. Co., 40 Fed., 341. By the treaty of July 16, 1862, the tribal relations of the Ottawa Indians were to
cease, and they were to become citizens of the United States in five years. A subsequent treaty, negotiated before, but finally ratified as amended after, the expiration of the five years, related back to the date of negotiation, and was a valid treaty with an Indian tribe. Wiggan v.
Conolly, 163 U. S., 56; 16 S. Ct., 914; 41 L. Ed., 69.
 of the land, to be enforced by the courts,1 and can not be disregarded by State legislation.2 By such treaties the Indians may sell or acquire lands.3 When rights have vested under treaties Congress has no power to impair them.4 A prior treaty may, however, be superseded by an act of Congress.5
1Maiden v. Ingersoil, 6 Mich., 373; Fellow v. Blacksmith, 19 How. (U. S.), 366; 15 L. Ed., 684; Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. (U. S.), 515; 8 L. Ed., 483; In re Race Horse, 70 Fed., 598; Leighton v. U. S., 29 C. CLS., 288; Kendalls Case, 1 C. Cls., 261.
2People v. Land Office Comrs, 99 N. Y., 648; 1 N. E., 764; Fellows v. Denniston, 23 N. Y., 420; Love v. Pamplin, 21 Fed., 755.
3Wood v. Missouri, etc., R. Co., 11 Kans., 323; Minter v. Shirley, 45 Miss., 376; Holden v. Joy, 17 Wall. (U. S.), 211; 21 L. Ed., 523; U. S. v. 27 Fed. Cas., No. 16137; 5 Dill., 405.
4Holden v. Joy, 17 Wall. (U. S.), 211; 21 L. Ed., 523; Wilson v. Wall, 6 Wall. (U. S.), 83; 18 L. Ed., 727; Mann v. Wilson, 23 How. (U. S.), 457; 16 L. Ed., 584; Mitchel v. U. S., 9 Pet. (U. S.), 711; 9 L. Ed., 283; U. S. v. Reese, 27 Fed. Cas., No. 16137; 5 Dill., 405. See also Choctaw Nation v U. S., 21 C. Cls., 59.
5Webster v. Reid, Morr. (Iowa), 467; Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, 187 U. S., 553; 23 S. Ct., 216; 47 L. Ed., 299; Stephens v. Cherokee Nation, 174 U. S., 445; 19 S. Ct., 722; 43 L. Ed., 1041; Ward v. Race Horse, 163 U. S., 504; 16 S. Ct., 1076; 41 L. Ed., 244; The Cherokee Tobacco, 11 Wall. (U. S.), 616; 20 L. Ed., 227.
2. Construction.The construction of an Indian treaty belongs to the courts as a matter of law.6 Its language is construed, not according to the technical meaning of its words to learned lawyers, but in the sense in which they would naturally be understood by the Indians.7 As between the United States and the Indians, treaties are liberally construed in favor of the Indians;8 but grants and reservations claimed under such treaties are strictly construed against the grantee or beneficiary.9 An admission in a treaty as to the limits of the territory occupied by the Indians is not conclusive on those who have previously acquired rights.10 A treaty declaring a general amnesty of all past offenses against the United States effects a pardon of all offenses against citizens of the United States.11 And where it specifies offenses against citizens of the Cherokee Nation it includes offenses against a white man who had been adopted into that tribe.12
6Harris v. Doe, 4 Blackf. (Ind.), 369; Wray v. Doe, 10 Sm. & M. (Miss.), 452.
Court can not inquire into execution: A court can not inquire whether a treaty was properly executed, nor whether it was procured by undue influence (Leighton v. U. S., 29 C. Cls., 288), or by fraud and deception (Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, 187 U. S., 553; 23 S. Ct., 216; 47 L. Ed., 299).
Agreement of parties: Where the language of a treaty as to land is indefinite, and the natural objects called for uncertain, the parties to the treaty may settle the boundaries of the land forming the subject matter by agreement. Lattimer v. Poteet, 14 Pet. (U. S.), 4; 10 L. Ed., 328.
7Jones v. Meehan, 175 U. S., 1; 20 S. Ct., 1; 44 L. Ed., 49; Choctaw Nation v. U. S., 119 U. S., 1; 7 S. Ct., 75; 30 L. Ed., 306; In re Kansas Indians, 5 Wall. (U. S.), 737; 18 L. Ed., 667; Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. (U. S.), 515; 8 L. Ed., 483.
8Choctaw Nation v. U. S., 119 U. S., 1; 7 S. Ct., 75; 30 L. Ed., 306; In re Kansas Indians, 5 Wall. (U. S.), 737; 18 L. Ed., 667; Worcester v. Georgia, 6 Pet. (U. S.), 515; 8 L. Ed., 483; Meigs v. McClung, 9 Cranch (U. S.), 11; 3 L. Ed., 639; Navarre v. U. S., 33 C. Cls., 235; Langfords Case, 12 C. Cls., 338. Compare U. S. v. Choctaw Nation, 179 U. S., 494; 21 S. Ct., 149; 45 L. Ed., 291. holding that the obvious, palpable meaning of the language may not be disregarded because of the dependent character of the Indians; nor because the Indians may have been overreached; nor because the ordinary interpretation of the words will have the result of rendering the Government less liberal toward the tribe making the treaty than toward other tribes.
9Goodfellow v. Muckey, 10 Fed. Cas., No. 5537; 1 McCrary, 238.
10Brooks v. Norris, 6 Rob. (La.), 175.
11Garrison v. U. S., 30 C. Cls., 272.
12U. S. v. Ragsdale, 27 Fed. Cas., No. 16113; Hempst., 479.
3. Ratification.A treaty is valid, even though not formally ratified and proclaimed, where it has been acted upon and recognized by both parties.13 A proviso added to a treaty by the Senate is void if it was not included in the published copy or in the Presidents proclamation promulgating the treaty, and if there is no evidence of the assent of the President and the Indians thereto.14 A State or its agent is authorized to enter into a treaty or convention with an Indian tribe within its borders, for the extinguishment of the Indian title to land, provided it is entered into in the presence of and with the approval of a commissioner of the United States, appointed to attend the same; and such a treaty requires no ratification or proclamation by the Federal authorities.15
13Moore v. U. S., 32 C. Cls., 593.
14New York Indians v. U. S., 170 U. S., 1; 18 S. Ct., 531; 42 L. Ed., 927, Mr. Justice Brown, delivering opinion of the court.
15Seneca Nation v. Christie, 126 N. Y., 122; 27 N. E., 275.
4. Claims under treaties.In the adjustment of claims made by Indians or other beneficiaries under treaties or agreements with Indian tribes, the general principles of construction above set forth are observed.16 Where the Government pays out
16Cook v. Biddle, 2 Mich., 269; U. S. v. Choctaw Nation, 193 U. S., 115; 24 S. Ct., 411; 48 L. Ed., 640; U. S. v. Blackfeather, 155 U. S., 180; 15 S. Ct., 64; 39 L. Ed., 114; U. S. v. Old Settlers, 148 U. S., 427; 13 S. Ct., 650; 37 L. Ed., 509; Blackfeather v. U. S., 28 C. Cl., 447; Chickasaw Nation v. U. S., 22 C. Cls., 222; Choctaw Nation v. U. S., 21 C. Cls., 59; Navarre v. U. S., 33 C Cls., 235 (holding that an agreement to reimburse the members of the tribe for depredations committed upon stock, timber, or other property does not extend to losses caused by swindling through false representations). See also Pam-to-pee v. U. S., 148 U. S., 691; 13 S. Ct., 742; 37 L. Ed., 613; Whitmire v. Cherokee Nation, 30 C. Cls., 180. Release of claims by tribe: The provision in the Creek treaty of 1866 that the stipulations of this treaty are to be in full settlement of all claims of said Creek Nation for damages and losses of every kind growing out of the late rebellion applies to individual and personal as well as national demands. Connor v. U. S., 19 C. Cls., 675.
Where a treaty provides for an advance to the Indians for building purposes they are to be charged with the advance, although the United States ultimately received a benefit from the improvements made with the funds. Blackfeather v. U. S., 28 C. Cls., 447.
Where a treaty recites payment it will be presumed that full payment has been made. Seneca Nation v. Christie, 126 N. Y., 122; 27 N. E., 275.
treaty funds without authority it may be held responsible for repayment,1 but where payment is made to legally constituted representatives of the tribe the United States is not liable for their misappropriation of the funds.2 Where the parties to a treaty agree upon an arbitrator of claims arising under it, the courts will not review his decisions.3
1Oneida Indians v. U. S., 39 C. Cls., 116.
2U. S. v. Blackfeather, 155 U. S., 180; 15 S. Ct., 64, 39 L. Ed., 114.
3U. S. v. Old Settlers, 148 U. S., 427; 13 S. Ct., 650; 37 L. Ed., 509; Chickasaw Nation v. U. S., 22 C. Cls., 222.
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