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For Indian tribes in the United States, sovereignty and treaty rights are key issues involving historic and modern-day relations between tribes--as nations with the ability to govern themselves--and the federal government of the United States. Both sovereignty and treaty rights rely on the historic recognition that Native American tribes possessed the lands they lived on when Whites came to this continent and that they had--and retain--the right to be treated as independent nations within the U.S. Although sovereignty and treaty rights are complex historical concepts, they are fundamental to understanding the social and political position of American Indians and American Indian tribes today.

What's a Tribe? Sovereignty Treaty Rights