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ITG FAQ #2 Answer-Does the United States still make treaties with Indian tribes?

Congress ended treaty-making with Indian tribes in 1871. Since then, relations with Indian groups are by Congressional acts, Executive Orders, and Executive Agreements. Between 1788, when the first treaty was made with the Delawares, to 1871, when Congress ended the treaty-making period, the U.S. Senate ratified 370 Indian treaties. At least 45 others were negotiated with tribes but were never ratified by the Senate.

The treaties that were made often contain obsolete commitments, which have either been fulfilled or superseded by Congressional legislation. The provision of education, health, welfare, and other services by the government to tribes often has extended beyond treaty requirements. A number of large Indian groups have no treaties, yet share in the many services for Indians provided by the Federal Government.

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 04-Nov-2013