Tribal Law in Settler Courts: Settler Jurisprudence in Allotment's Aftermath

José Edwin Argueta Funes, History

Wed, 02/24/2021 - 12:00pm
via Zoom
Event Category: 
By Invitation Only
Graduate Students

To RSVP, please email

LEGS, or "Law-Engaged Graduate Students," meets during the academic year to discuss a work in progress by one of our Graduate Associates. Academic papers, dissertation proposals, and dissertation chapters have been presented at these meetings, to an audience of fellow graduate students.

From Jose:  "Contrary to late-nineteenth-century proclamations that Indian tribes lacked law, lawyers in Oregon and Oklahoma helped their clients articulate claims to land in the aftermath of allotment by relying on tribal customs and statutes. This paper analyzes lawyers' attempts to use tribal law in settler courts and articulates. In response, courts developed a "settler jurisprudence" to buttress efforts to obtain Indian land while simultaneously undermining and limiting the authority of tribal law."


José Edwin Argueta Funes

José is a legal historian focusing on the work of judges in nineteenth-century America and writing about the transformation of family and property law around adoption in Hawai'i and the United States between 1840 and 1940. Originally from San Salvador, El Salvador, he moved to the United States in 2009 to attend the University of Virginia, where he graduated with a B.A. in history and philosophy in 2013. He holds an M.A. in history from Princeton University, where he is a doctoral candidate, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Currently, he is a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Guido Calabresi on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.