The David M. Rubenstein Gallery at the National Archives has a permanent display of records “documenting the ongoing struggle of Americans to define, attain, and protect their rights.” These include the rights – and plight to attain those rights – of Native Americans. Versions of those documents are also accessible via the Internet, including high-resolution copies of original documents whose text and story we are all stewards of.
The history of Native American rights is not a progressive march; it’s a story of rights being alternately acknowledged and disregarded. In this struggle, tribes negotiated hundreds of treaties with the Federal Government. Nonetheless, Native Americans lost many rights due to conflicts with Americans and the interests of the Federal Government.
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