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Cap Stone Tribal Employment Preference Policy Challenges Opportunities Sharon K Curley May 31 2006 1 Cap Stone Tribal Employment Preference Policy History Context Indian Preference for tribes began as early as 1910 with the Buy Indian Act In 1934 the Indian Reorganization Act IRA also known as the Howard Wheeler Act which contravened the anti discrimination provisions of the Equal Employment Opportunities Act of 1972 that deprived Indian of property rights without due process This proved to be in violation of the Fifth Amendment The court case that set precedence and deemed Indian Preference as a political associate rather than a racial discrimination was the Morton v Mancari that was argued April 24 1974 and decided on June 17 1974 Morton v Mancari s final decision on Indian Preference does not constitute racial discrimination or even racial preference but is an employment criterion designed to further the cause of Indian Self Government and to make the BIA more responsive to the needs of its constituent groups The court case also reaffirmed that as long as special treatment of Indians can be tied rationally to the fulfillment of congress s unique obligation toward Indians such legislative judgments will not be disturbed Shortly after the Morton v Mancari was passed Congress enacted new Indian preference laws as part of the Education Amendments of 1972 giving Indians preference in Government programs for training teachers of Indian children 2 Among the most difficult civil rights issues are those that are facing the nation s 25 million American Indians Federally recognized tribes are considered domestic dependent nations with their rights to govern themselves define their own membership manage tribal property and to regulate tribal business and domestic relations it further recognizes the existence of a government to government relationship between tribes and the federal government The federal government has a special trust obligation to protect tribal lands and



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