There’s no alternative to the Trust Doctrine and legal system—Native groups won’t give up on them
WILKINS AND LOMAWAIMA 2002 (David E. Wilkins, a member of the Lumbee Tribe, is associate professor of American Indian studies, political science, and law at the University of Minnesota and coauthor, with Vine Deloria, Jr., of Tribes, Treaties, and Constitutional Tribulations. K. Tsianina Lomawaima is an associate professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Arizona and the daughter of a former Chilocco student., Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law, p. 97)
As Congress continues to vacillate in its commitment to provide social, health, and education programs to Indian peoples, the Cherokees and all federally recognized tribes anxiously await the results of these fiscal decisions, many of which are made without tribal involvement or with little substantive tribal consultation. It is presently unclear if Congress intends to diminish long-term treaty and trust entitlements. The federal courts would have to sanction such diminutions, and it is no comfort to tribes that the Supreme Court's recent decisions point toward a rise of antitrust sentiment in the law.12
Even if American Indian tribes suffer massive and unilateral cuts in federal services and dollars, and even if the federal courts constrict tribal sovereignty through opinions, tribes will not be convinced that the trust relationship is no longer viable. Tribes will regroup and continue their own campaign of quietly exercising sovereignty. This is the essence of an indigenous vision of trust.