Policy Analysis of the Oneida Land Claim Using Political Systems Theory and Institutionalism

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Policy Analysis of the Oneida Land Claim Using Political Systems Theory and Institutionalism The Oneida Land Claim is an issue that reaches far into our country’s history. In recognition of support the Oneidas gave to the colonial United States during the Revolutionary war, the Oneidas were granted approximately 270,000 acres of land by, most notably, the Treaty of Canandaigua in 1794 (Haggas 1999). These lands were reserved to be their property under the agreement that the United States would never disturb them or reclaim the property given in the treaty. In 1790 the United States Congress passed the Trade and Intercourse Act which stated that the purchase of Indian lands could not concluded without congressional consent (Haggas 1999). The Treaty of Canandaigua and the Trade and Intercourse Act remain effective today and are the basis of the Oneida Land Claim. Between 1795 and 1846 the State of New York imposed 26 treaties without federal consent, taking away all but a fraction of the Oneidas ancestral homeland (Oneida Nation 1999). The last 32 acres were recovered in a suit filed by the federal government (U.S. vs. Boylan) in 1919 and was upheld in 1920 by the United States Court of Appeals (Oneida Nation 1999). The claim began in 1951 when the Oneida Nation filed a claim for the land that they lost to New York State with Indian Claims Commission. The Commission ruled that they should be compensated but it lacked authority to act on this ruling. Nineteen years later, in 1970, the Oneida nation again filed suit, this time in federal court to reclaim their lands (Oneida Nation 1999). Two lower federal courts ruled that they could not address their claims but the Supreme Court reversed these decisions in 1974 stating... ... middle of paper ... ...making process but it also falls short of answering how the policy is actually created. It is interesting to see the patterns of behavior evolve, especially the apparent pattern of New York State historically not obeying federal policy decisions with regard to Indian land claims. Works Cited Anderson, James E. 1984. Public Policy Making. New York: CBS. Haggas, Stephen W. 1999. Questions and Answers Concerning the Indian Land Claim Actions. Oneida County Department of Law. Halbritter, Ray. 1999. Letter to Neighbors in Madison and Oneida Counties. Oneida Nation. Oneida Nation. 1999. Oneida Indian Nation Land Claims: A Time Line. Oneida Nation Publications. www.oneida-nation.net. Oneida Nation. 1999. Land Claims Questions and Answers. Oneida Nation Publications. www.oneida-nation.net. Syracuse Online. 1999. Indian Land Claims. www.syracuse.com.

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