Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights

Living Edition
| Editors: Michael Kocsis

Canons of Construction in Federal Indian Law in US Jurisprudence

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-68846-6_524-1
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Synonyms

Definition

The Canons of Construction have developed within United States Jurisprudence to provide a foundation for the interpretation of Federal Indian Law. This existing inequity had skewed legal outcomes in favor of those who wrote the laws.

Background and Definitions

In Jones v. Meehan (1899), Justice Gray remarked that “(t)he construction of treaties is the peculiar province of the judiciary, and, except in cases purely political, Congress has no constitutional power to settle the rights under a treaty or to affect titles already granted by the treaty itself” (at p. 32). The interpretation, not the authoring, of treaties is the function to which Justice Gray refers. The Supreme Court has developed guidelines for interpretation of treaties and federal statutes relating to Native American tribes. That body of guidelines is referred to as the canons of construction for...

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References

  1. Black’s Law Dictionary (1999) Bryan A. Garner, Editor in Chief. West Group, St. PaulGoogle Scholar
  2. Cohen FS (1971) Handbook on Federal Indian law. Reprint of original 1942 edition. University of New Mexico Press, AlbuquerqueGoogle Scholar
  3. Herbil Holding Co. v. Commonwealth Land Title Insurance (1992) 183 A.D.2d 219, 227 (N.Y. App. Div. 1992)Google Scholar
  4. Jones v. Mehan (1899) 175 U.S. 1Google Scholar
  5. Minnesota v. Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Indians (1999) 526 U.S. 172Google Scholar
  6. Montana v. Blackfoot Tribe (1985) 471 U.S. 759Google Scholar
  7. Pevar SL (2004) The rights of Indians and tribes – an authoritative ACLU guide to Indian and tribal rights. American civil liberties union. New York University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. Pevar SL (2012) The rights of Indians and tribes, 4th edn. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Native American and Indigenous StudiesValdosta State UniversityValdostaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Lavonna L. Lovern
    • 1
  1. 1.Valdosta State UniversityValdostaUSA