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The federal government signed treaties at a government-to-government level until the Indian Appropriations Act of 1871 ended recognition of independent native nations, and started treating them as "domestic dependent nations" subject to federal law.
This law did preserve the rights and privileges agreed to under the treaties, including a large degree of tribal sovereignty. citizenship to all Native Americans born in the United States who had not yet obtained it.
The differences in cultures between the established Native Americans and immigrant Europeans, as well as shifting alliances among different nations in times of war, caused extensive political tension, ethnic violence, and social disruption.
Even before the European settlement of what is now the United States, Native Americans suffered high fatalities from contact with new European diseases, to which they had not yet acquired immunity; the diseases were endemic to the Spanish and other Europeans, and spread by direct contact and likely through pigs that escaped from expeditions.
Over time, the United States forced a series of treaties and land cessions by the tribes and established reservations for them in many western states. The ways Native Americans refer to themselves vary by region and generation, with many older Native Americans self-identifying as "Indians" or "American Indians", while younger Native Americans often identify as "Indigenous" or "Aboriginal".
The term "Native American" has not traditionally included Native Hawaiians or certain Alaskan Natives, such as Aleut, Yup'ik, or Inuit peoples.
When the United States was created, established Native American tribes were generally considered semi-independent nations, as they generally lived in communities separate from British settlers.Bill of Rights protections do not apply to tribal governments, except for those mandated by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968.