INDIAN NON-INTERCOURSE ACT OF 1790
The United States Congress, in 1790 passed the Indian Non-Intercourse Act prohibiting all Indian land transactions that did not have the federal government's approval. The law stemmed from tendency of colonizing nations and, later, the United States to deal with Indian tribes as foreign sovereigns, having comprehensive authority over their lands and peoples. The federal government entered into treaties with tribes, pursuant to which the tribe usually gave up certain disputed lands in exchange for exclusive occupancy of treaty-guaranteed lands, generally contiguous. This way of dealing with the different tribes within the United States boundaries stretched from the colonial times through approximately 1870. The Indian Non-Intercourse Act of 1790, since amended reflected the federal commitment to protecting tribes' treaty lands and the early federal assertion of legislative primacy over transactions with tribes. The Indian Non-Intercourse Act declared invalid any "purchase, grant, lease, or other conveyance of lands" from any Indian tribe or nation unless properly approved by the United States. That policy, reaffirmed and refined in statutes governing leasing and permitting of Indian lands, remains a central element of Indian lands management policy today
H. Slade Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk, P.A.
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