Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Native Americans: Culture, Identity, and the Criminal Justice System
Sharon RedHawk Love
Historically, the fate of American Indians has been in the hands of others: politicians, the military, and varying justice jurisdictions at the federal, state, and local levels. Simultaneously, Native Peoples' success was dependent upon functioning in a European-based sociocultural environment that was diametrically opposed to their own social and cultural foundations. The entry reviews the experience of the Native Peoples and the adaptations they have had to make in order to survive. It also examines their perception of and relationship to the U.S. criminal justice system. Unlike ethnic minorities that have migrated to the United States, American Indians were indigenous First Peoples. At the time Europeans “discovered” the New World, Native Peoples had developed a remarkable diversity of languages, politics, religious expression, and other cultural patterns. First contact with Europeans brought with it diseases to which tribes had no resistance and no immunity. Populations declined further due to conflicts with ...