Indian Law Timeline

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1778

Treaty between the United States and the Delaware Indian Tribe (Lenni Lenape) – September 17, 1778
7 Stat. 13 (1778). 
The first treaty negotiated between the United States and Indian Tribes.

1789

Constitution: Article 1: Commerce with the Indian Tribes

1790

Indian Trade and Intercourse Act – July 22, 1790
1 Stat. 137 (1790).
First law to regulate trade between Indians and colonists.

1802

Act to Regulation of Trade and Intercourse with the Indian Tribes and to Preserve Peace on the Frontier – March 30, 1802
2 Stat. 139 (1802).  
Sale of liquor to Indians prohibited.

1810

Fletcher v. Peck
10 U.S. 87 (1810).  

1817

Indian Country Crimes Act – March 3, 1817
3 Stat. 383.

1823

Johnson v. McIntosh
21 U.S. 543 (1823).

1830

Indian Removal Act – May 28, 1830
4 Stat. 411

1831

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia
30 U.S. 1, 8 L.Ed. 25 (1831).

1832

Worcester v. Georgia
31 U.S. 515, 8 L.Ed. 483 (1832)

1834

Indian Intercourse Act of 1834 – June 30, 1834
4 Stat. 729.

1850

Donation Land Act – September 27, 1850
9 Stat. 496.

1854

Kansas Nebraska Act – May 30, 1854
10 Stat. 277.

1862

Homestead Act – May 20, 1862
12 Stat. 392.
Pacific Railroad Act – July 1, 1862
12 Stat. 489.
Morril Act of 1862 – July 2, 1862
12 Stat. 503.

1868

Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment – July 20, 1868
15 Stat. 706.
Indians denied the vote.

1871

Indian Appropriations Act – March 3, 1871
16 Stat. 544.
The United States ends the negotiation of Indian treaties.

1877

Desert Land Act – March 3, 1877
19 Stat. 377.

1881

United States v. McBratney – October 1881
104 U.S. 621, 24 L.Ed. 869 (1881).

1883

Ex parte Crow Dog – December 7, 1883
109 U.S. 556, 3. S.Ct. 396, 27 L.Ed. 1030 (1883).

1884

Elk v. Wilkins – November 3, 1884
112 U.S. 94 (1884).

1885

Indian Major Crimes Act – March 3, 1885
ch. 341, § 9; 23 Stat. 362, 385 (1885).

1886

United States v. Kagama – May 10, 1886
118 U.S.375, 6 S.Ct. 1109, 30 L.Ed. 228 (1886).

1887

General Allotment Act (Dawes Act) – February 8, 1887
24 Stat. 388.

1896

Talton v. Mayes – May 18, 1896
163 U.S. 376, 16 S.Ct. 986, 41 L.Ed. 196 (1896).

1898

Curtis Act (Indians in Indian Territory) – June 28, 1898
30 Stat. 495.

1902

Reclamation Act (Irrigation of Arid Lands) – June 17, 1902
32 Stat. 388.

1903

Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock – January 5, 1903
187 U.S. 553, 23 S.Ct. 216, 47 L.Ed. 299 (1903).

1905

United States v. Winans – May 15, 1905
198 U.S. 371, 25 S.Ct. 662, 49 L.Ed. 1089 (1905).

1906

Osage Allotment Act – June 28, 1906
34 Stat. 539.
Curtis Act (Five Civilized Tribes) – April 26, 1906
34 Stat. 137.
Burke Act – May 8, 1906
34 Stat. 182.
Antiquities Act of 1906 – June 8, 1906
34 Stat. 225.

1908

Winters v. United States – January 6, 1908
207 U.S. 564, 28 S.Ct. 207, 52 L.Ed. 340.

1913

United States v. Sandoval – October 20, 1913
231 U.S. 28 (1913).

1916

United States v. Nice – June 12, 1916
241 U.S. 591 (1916).

1921

Snyder Act (Indian Affairs Bureau) – November 2, 1921
42 Stat. 208.

1934

Johnson-O'Malley Act – April 16, 1934
48 Stat. 596.
Indian Reorganization Act – June 18, 1934
ch. 576, 48 Stat. 984 (1934).  

1935

United States v. Creek Nation – April 29, 1935
295 U.S. 103 (1935).

1936

Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act – June 26, 1936
49 Stat. 1967.

1946

Indian Claims Commission Act – August 13, 1946
60 Stat. 1049.

1948

Indian Country Crimes Act (General Crime Act) – June 25, 1948
18 U.S.C. § 1151 was revised, codified, and enacted into positive law by the Act of June 25, 1948.
ch. 645, 62 Stat. 683, 757 (1948). 
"Indian Country" defined.

1949

Act of May 24, 1949 – May 24, 1949
ch. 139 § 25, 63 Stat. 89, 94 (1949). 
Amended Indian Country Crimes Act.

1950

Navajo-Hopi Rehabilitation Act – April 19, 1950
64 Stat. 44.

1955

Tee-Hit-Ton Indians v. United States – February 7, 1955
348 U.S. 272, 75 S.Ct. 313, 99 L.Ed. 314 (1955).

1956

Indian Vocational Training Act – August 3, 1956
70 Stat. 986.

1959

Williams v. Lee
358 U.S. 217, 79 S.Ct. 269, 3 L.Ed.2d 251 (1959)

1963

Arizona v. California (I) – March 9, 1964
376 U.S. 340, 84 S.Ct. 755, 11 L.Ed.2d 757 (1964).

1964

Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 – August 20, 1964
70 Stat. 508.

1968

Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 – April 11, 1968
Pub. L. No. 90-284, Title II, 82 Stat. 77 (1968).
Menominee Tribe v. United States – May 27, 1968
391 U.S. 404, 88 S.Ct. 1705, 20 L.Ed.2d 697 (1968).

1970

Choctaw Nation v. Oklahoma – April 27, 1970
397 U.S. 620 (1970).

1972

Indian Education Act – June 23, 1972
86 Stat. 334.

1973

McClanahan v. Arizona State Tax Commission – March 27, 1973
411 U.S. 164, 93 S.Ct. 1257, 36 L.Ed2d 129 (1973).
Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973 (CETA) – December 28, 1973
87 Stat. 839.

1974

Morton v. Ruiz – February 20, 1974
415 U.S. 199, 94 S.Ct. 1055, 39 L.Ed.2d 270 (1974)
Indian Financing Act of 1974 – April 12, 1974
Pub. L. No. 93-262, 88 Stat. 77 (1974). 
Morton v. Mancari – June 17, 1974
417 U.S. 535, 94 S.Ct. 2474, 41 L.Ed.2d 290 (1974)
Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act of 1974 – December 22, 1974
88 Stat. 1712.

1975

Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act – January 4, 1975
88 Stat. 2203.
United States v. Mazurie – January 21, 1975
419 U.S. 544 (1975).
DeCoteau v. District Court – March 3, 1975
420 U.S. 425, 95 S.Ct. 1082, 43 L.Ed.2d 300 (1975).

1976

Colorado River Water Conservation District v. United States – March 24, 1976
424 U.S. 800 (1976).
Indian Health Care Improvement Act – September 30, 1976
90 Stat. 1400.

1978

Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe – March 6, 1978
435 U.S. 191, 98 S.Ct. 1001, 55 L.Ed.2d 209 (1978).
United States v. Wheeler – March 22, 1978
435 U.S. 313, 98 S.Ct. 1079, 55 L.Ed.2d 303 (1978).
Santa Clara Pueblo v. Martinez – May 15, 1978
436 U.S. 49, 98 S.Ct. 1670, 56 L.Ed.2d 106 (1978).
American Indian Religious Freedom Act – August 11, 1978
92 Stat. 469.
Indian Child Welfare Act – November 8, 1978
92 Stat. 3069.

1979

Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 – October 31, 1979
93 Stat. 721.

1980

White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker – June 27, 1980
358 U.S. 217, 79 S.Ct. 269, 3 L.Ed.2d 251 (1980).
United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians – June 30, 1980
448 U.S. 371 (1980).
Navajo and Hopi Relocation Amendments Act of 1980 – July 8, 1980
94 Stat. 929.
Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act – December 2, 1980
94 Stat. 2371.

1981

Montana v. United States – March 24, 1981
450 U.S. 544, 101 S.Ct. 1245, 67 L.Ed.2d 493 (1981).

1983

Indian Tribal Governmental Tax Status Act of 1982 – January 14, 1983
96 Stat. 2607.
Arizona v. California (II) – March 30, 1983
460 U.S. 605 (1983).
Arizona v. San Carlos Apache Tribe – July 1, 1983
463 U.S. 545, 103 S.Ct. 3201, 77 L.Ed.2d 837 (1983).

1987

California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians – February 25, 1987
480 U.S. 202, 107 S.Ct. 1083, 94 L.ed.2d 244 (1987).

1988

Lying v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association – April 19, 1988
485 U.S. 439, 108 S.Ct.1319, 99 Led.2d 534 (1988).
Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act Amendments of 1988 – October 5, 1988
102 Stat. 2285.
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act – October 17, 1988
102 Stat. 2467.
Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation Amendments of 1988 – November 16, 1988
102 Stat. 3929.

1989

Brendale V. Confederated Tribes and Bands of Yakima Indian Nation – June 29, 1989
492 U.S. 408, 109 S.Ct. 2994, 106 L.Ed.2d 343 (1989). 
National Museum of the American Indian Act – November 28, 1989
103 Stat. 1336

1990

Employment Division v. Smith – April 17, 1990
494 U.S. 872, 110 S.Ct. 1595, 108 L.Ed.2d 876 (1990).
Duro v. Reina – May 29, 1990
495 U.S. 676, 110 S.Ct. 2053, 109 L.Ed.2d 693 (1990)
Native American Languages Act – October 30, 1990
104 Stat. 1153.
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act – November 16, 1990
104 Stat. 3048.
Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 – November 29, 1990
104 Stat. 4662.
Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act Amendments of 1990 – November 29, 1990
104 Stat. 4665.

1991

Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe – February 26, 1991
498 U.S. 505 (1991).

1992

Native American Languages Act of 1992 – October 26, 1992
106 Stat. 3434.

1994

American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments of 1994 – October 6, 1994
108 Stat. 3125.

1996

Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida – March 27, 1996
517 U.S. 44, 116 S.Ct. 1114, 134 L.Ed.2d 252 (1996).
Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute Settlement Act of 1996 – September 26, 1996
110 Stat. 3649. 
Executive Order 13007 – May 24, 1996
Indian Sacred Sites

1997

Strate v. A-1 Contractors – April 28, 1997
520 U.S. 438, 117 S.Ct. 1404, 137 L.Ed.2d 661 (1997)
Idaho v. Coeur D’Alene Tribe of Idaho – June 23, 1997
521 U.S. 261, 117 S.Ct. 2028, 138 L.Ed.2d 438 (1997)

1998

State of Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government – February 25, 1998
522 U.S. 520, 118 S.Ct. 948, 140 L.Ed.2d 30 (1998)
Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma v. Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. – May 28, 1998
523 U.S. 751, 118 S.Ct. 1700, 140 L.Ed.2d 981 (1998)

1999

Cobell v. Babbitt – February 22, 1999
91 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C. 1999)

2000

Arizona v. California (III) – June 19, 2000
530 U.S. 392 (2000).

2001

Native American Education Improvement Act of 2001 (No Indian Child Left Behind Act) – January 8, 2002
115 Stat. 2007.
C & L Enterprises, Inc. v. Citizen Band Potawatomi Indian Tribe of Oklahoma – April 30, 2001
532 U.S. 411, 121 S.Ct. 1589, 149 L.Ed.2d 623 (2001)
Nevada v. Hicks – June 25, 2001
533 U.S. 353, 121 S.Ct. 2304, 150 L.Ed.2d 398 (2001)

2004

American Indian Probate Reform Act of 2004 – October 27, 2004
118 Stat. 1773
United States v. Lara - April 19, 2004
541 U.S. 193, 124 S.Ct. 1628, 158 L.Ed.2d 420 (2004)

2005

Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma v. Leavitt - March 1, 2005
543 U.S. 631, 125 S.Ct. 1172, 161 L.Ed.2d 66 (2005)
City of Sherrill, N.Y. v. Oneida Indian Nation of New York – March 29, 2005
544 U.S. 197, 125 S.Ct. 1478, 161 L.Ed.2d 386 (2005)

2006

Esther Martinez Native American Languages Preservation Act of 2006 – December 14, 2006
120 Stat. 2705.
Allen v. Cherokee Nation Tribal Council – March 7, 2006
9 Okla. Trib. 255 (2006)
Pueblo of Isleta Settlement and Natural Resources Restoration Act of 2006 – December 1, 2006
120 Stat. 2666

2007

Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – September 13, 2007

2008

Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 – October 15, 2008
Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family & Cattle Co., Inc - June 25, 2008
554 U.S. 316, 128 S.Ct. 2709, 171 L.Ed.2d 457 (2008)

2009

Carcieri v. Salazar – February 24, 2009
555 U.S. 379, 129 S.Ct. 1058, 172 L.Ed.2d 791 (2009)
United States v. Navajo Nation – April 6, 2009
556 U.S. 287, 129 S.Ct. 1547, 173 L.Ed.2d 429 (2009)
Cobell v. Salazar Class Action Settlement Agreement – December 7, 2009

2010

Indian Arts and Crafts Act Amendments of 2010 – July 29, 2010
124 Stat. 2258
Claims Resolution Act of 2010 regarding the Cobell settlement - December 8, 2010
124 Stat. 3064
Announcement of the United States support for the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – December 16, 2010
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