Immigration and Human Rights Law Review


The United States government’s systemic dispossession of Native peoples’ land and resources violates international law under the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ (UNDRIP). It is not a coincidence that the U.S. government has failed to adopt UNDRIP as binding domestic legislation, but a means to maintain the racist status quo upon which the country’s property laws were created. It is imperative that the United States legally recognizes the rights of Native People in order to provide justice for the millions wronged by the violence of settler colonialism. This article will begin with an introduction to the history of dispossession as it coincides with the development of Property Law in the United States. It will be followed by an analysis of critical case law that legitimized land theft of Indigenous Peoples. The impact of such case law will be further examined under a human rights framework, specifically the UN Declaration for Indigenous Rights, and how similar legislation passed in the United States is necessary to remedy the history of violence and oppression endured since the colonization of the Americas.