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Since American Indians and Alaskan Natives are the indigenous peoples of North America, why do we fail to acknowledge them as having the first forms of national government? Indian nations are sovereign they have their own tribal governments, their own separate territories, and they are able to negotiate treaties, exercise taxing authority over persons and businesses in their nations, and operate gambling casinos, among other things. At the same time, the individuals who constitute Native nations have also been declared U.S. citizens subject to congressional legislation, presidential decrees, and rulings by the Supreme Court. The conflict between these two political states of being and the struggle of Indian nations and tribes to control their own political destiny form the focal points of this book. American Indian Politics and the American Political System brings together in one source a comprehensive introduction to the history, structure, and function of tribal governments, their relationship to contemporary American politics, and the rights of individual Indians who are often caught in between these frequently contentious sovereigns. As David E. Wilkins expertly demonstrates, American Indian politics today is an elaborate braid of tribal government, American citizenship, indigenous activism, economic development, media attention, and cultural identity. Here, the many strands of American Indian politics come together in a beautiful and authoritative large format book, reader-friendly in every way. Photos, maps, and highlighted case studies add to the highly visual presentation overall.