From first contact, those who arrived in what is now known as the United States have used diverse methods to decrease the number of peoples indigenous to the land. First, physical elimination via war and smallpox was the most expedient method. After the formation of the U.S. government, federal policies were enacted to eliminate American Indians using more politically correct means. The policies varied in name and effectiveness and included removal, relocation, assimilation, reservations, and more. Today's policy era is known as Self-Determination, but in reality entails the U.S. government’s determination of the definitions of "Indian" and "tribe." This is the modern, most politically correct means of decreasing the number of Indigenous peoples who remain on this land. Sadly, it has been quite effective; it reminds us that nothing has changed since 1492 and that the desire to remove and replace American Indians from this land still persists.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Kathleen Brown-Perez is a Senior Lecturer in the Honors College at UMass Amherst. Among other courses, she teaches federal Indian law and policy as well as Criminal Law, which includes a section on criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country. Kathleen is a graduate of the University of Iowa, having received her MBA and JD there. She joined the faculty in Commonwealth Honors College after working as a corporate lawyer in Boston. She now limits her practice to federal Indian law, providing consultation services to law firms suing the U.S. government on behalf of tribes. Kathleen is an enrolled member of the Eeyam Quittoowauconuck (Brothertown Indian Nation, Wisconsin). Her publications include books and articles on federal Indian law, administrative law, and labor/employment law. In addition to writing, she has extensive editing experience, having served on the inaugural editorial board of the Native American and Indigenous Studies journal.