Eastern Shawnee Tribe and law

Here’s a chapter I wrote in the 2017 book about my tribe.  You can download it for free at:  https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2875892

Tribal, Federal, and State Laws Impacting the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, 1812 to 1945

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma: Resilience through Adversity (University of Oklahoma Press 2017)

Robert J. Miller – Arizona State University (ASU) – Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law


The Indian nations in what is now North America developed traditions and laws to manage and control their societies and peoples and their interactions with other tribal governments. No society can long exist without developing effective control mechanisms. Thus, indigenous peoples governed themselves pursuant to well-established codes and rules. The vast diversity of the myriad cultures of Indian peoples across what is now the United States well represents the diverse governing systems and laws they developed.

The Euro-American societies that established themselves on the North American continent, and especially the United States, also developed policies, courts, and laws that had enormous impacts on tribal governments and Indian peoples. Many of these court cases, policies, and laws played an important role in the history, operation, and existence of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe and its citizens. In addition, the state of Oklahoma and its courts and laws also impacted the Eastern Shawnee. This chapter examines some of the constitutional and legal provisions, from roughly 1812 to 1945, that the Eastern Shawnee, United States, and Oklahoma governments adopted that impacted the Eastern Shawnee people. The chapter also highlights how the Eastern Shawnee people governed themselves in Ohio, until 1832, and then in the Indian Territory, and the Constitution and By-laws that the Tribe adopted in 1939 and 1940.

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