Reflections on the Changes in Indian Law, Federal Indian Policies and Conditions on Indian Reservations since the Late 1960s

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Reid Peyton Chambers

I want to begin by thanking my longtime friend and colleague Bob Clinton for his too generous introduction, and to Bob and the faculty at the Law School for inviting me to give this lecture in honor of Judge Canby. I also want to thank my many friends and colleagues in the audience who have sat through water rights negotiations in Arizona with me over the past two decades for coming to listen to me once again, particularly in this context where I get to talk uninterrupted for an hour and they can only speak during the question period.

Lastly, I want to thank Judge Canby for several things. First, for your continuing scholarship in Indian law during your busy and long tenure on the Ninth Circuit. Your American Indian Law in a Nutshell volume is something most teachers of seminars in Federal Indian Law recommend to their students, as I do at Georgetown. You have also written an excellent article setting forth errors the Supreme Court has made in Indian law decisions, stretching back into the nineteenth century. I want to add two decisions you did not mention, cases in which the Court reversed decisions you wrote. In both cases, I believe you got it right and the Supreme Court got it wrong.

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