Making Indian Law: The Hualapai Land Case and the Birth of by Christian W. McMillen

By Christian W. McMillen

In 1941, after a long time of suffering to carry directly to the rest of their aboriginal domestic, the Hualapai Indians ultimately took their case to the ideally suited Court—and gained. The Hualapai case was once the culminating occasion in a felony and highbrow revolution that reworked Indian legislation and ushered in a brand new means of writing Indian historical past that supplied felony grounds for place of birth claims. yet Making Indian legislations is set greater than a criminal decision.  It’s the tale of Hualapai activists, and at last sympathetic legal professionals, who challenged either the Santa Fe Railroad and the U.S. govt to a court showdown over the that means of Indian estate rights—and the Indian past.At the center of the Hualapai crusade to save lots of the reservation was once documenting the background of Hualapai land use. Making Indian legislation showcases the vital function that the Hualapai and their attorneys performed in formulating new understandings of local humans, their estate, and their earlier. To at the present time, the impression of the Hualapai determination is felt anyplace and every time indigenous land claims are litigated through the international.

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Extra resources for Making Indian Law: The Hualapai Land Case and the Birth of Ethnohistory (The Lamar Series in Western History)

Example text

But in the 1880s their population diminished quickly—cattle pushed them out and railroad work drew them to Peach Springs, the fast-growing town in the middle of the reservation. Hackberry, a small mining town just west of the reservation boundary, where Hualapais lived among miners from Prussia, Saxony, Ireland, and all regions of the United States, also drew Hualapais toward wage work. By the mid-1870s they provided a key labor source for the mines. ’’ Men worked in the mines, and women did laundry and gathered hay.

And as the new government-sponsored cattle operation drew Hualapais toward Peach Springs from off-reservation towns such as Hackberry, the Hualapais and their animals needed all the water they could get. Why was the railroad taking all the water it needed and charging the tribe for the leftovers? Shell was indignant. He wrote to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, ‘‘There is no record in this office that I can find showing what right the railroad Company has to this water. ’’≥ Inquiries went a little further this time.

Conditions deteriorated. And in the fall, the BIA dispatched another inspector to Hualapai country, this time to investigate the unrest unleashed by the MIF. When John Atwater came to the reservation in October 1922, Hualapai political unity was beginning to gel.

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