Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2011


Great Plains Research Vol. 21 No.1, 2011


© 2011 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


In this fascinating and well-documented account, L. Susan Work illustrates how a myriad of federal laws and legal rulings limited tribal self-government and otherwise sought to dissolve the modern Seminole Nation. Along the way, the former attorney general of the Seminole Nation and a member of the Choctaw Nation explores the legal peculiarities of Seminole history and the ways that the federal government frequently chose to homogenize the Five Tribes into a single legal standard. Dissolution, of course, did not occur, and Work carefully reconstructs the process by which the Seminole Nation capitalized on changes in federal policies and various legal rulings to secure its sovereignty in modern America. Most of The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma examines the meaning and implementation of dozens of treaties, laws, regulations, court rulings, and ordinances. It also details the explanations of various legislators and litigators, as they crafted policies intended to destroy a tribal government and otherwise dispossess the Seminoles of their land and ignore their legal claims. The volume also contains a rich governmental history, exploring 20thcentury Seminole Nation-United States relations in depth as well as the dissolving and then ultimate creation of a strong tribal government. As a result, Work provides a standard text for anyone interested in understanding these modern events.