Journal Article Evaluates Treaty Provisions and their Import for Michigan Indian Education

Written by: Wenona Singel

Primary Source : Turtle Talk, August 2, 2011.

From the Indigenous Policy Journal’s Winter 2010 issue (link to article here).

The article, titled “The Treaty Basis of Michigan Indian Education,” was authored by Martin Reinhardt and John Tippeconnic, III.

Here’s the abstract:

A socio-historical content analysis of 16 treaties and 3 contemporary American Indian education laws at the federal level revealed that a certain amount of the treaty obligation may yet be unfulfilled regarding tribes currently located within the State of Michigan. Both monetary and non-monetary provisions were analyzed using the United States Supreme Court’s Canons of Treaty Construction. The treaty provisions were further categorized according to certain criteria based on the trust doctrine. The outcomes of the treaty analysis were then compared to the provisions of the Indian Education Act, the Indian Self-Determination & Education Assistance Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Responsibilities of each level of government, implications for school policy and procedures, and recommendations for further study are included.

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Wenona Singel
Wenona T. Singel is an Associate Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and the Associate Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center. She teaches courses in the fields of federal Indian law and natural resources law, and her research and publications address the development of tribal legal systems and tribal accountability for human rights. In addition to teaching, Ms. Singel’s professional activities include serving as the Chief Appellate Justice for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and former service as the Chief Appellate Judge for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. From 2006 – 2009, she served as President and Board Member of the Michigan Indian Judicial Association. On March 29, 2012, the United States Senate passed by unanimous consent President Barack Obama's nomination of her to serve as a member of the Advisory Board of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. Ms. Singel is also an elected member of the American Law Institute, where she is the Co-Reporter for the project to develop a Restatement of the Law of American Indians.