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Hear seven perspectives on why treaties matter

The United States signed more than 370 treaties with tribal nations. They are legally binding documents that can only be signed by two sovereign nations.

The United States, before it was even called the United States after it won the war against Great Britain, needed to sign treaties with Native Nations to prove they were legitimate and sovereign. In other words, the U.S. needed these treaties more than Native people did to prove they were legit.

Today in Oklahoma, we talk about the McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court decision and the fact that much of Eastern Oklahoma had its reservation status reaffirmed by the nation's highest court. Tribal Nations were removed here by the Federal Government to what was known as Indian Territory after signing treaties that made, "a promise at the end of the Trail of Tears."

This video, created with help from the NPR video team, was created to help foster an understanding about why treaties matter, who can sign them and why they are still the law of the land today.

Why Treaties Matter was created out of a Storylab Project called Inter(Nation)al by Isaac Kestenbaum, Josie Holtzman and Allison Herrera.

For more information about the project, visit pulitzercenter.org.

Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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