Indigenous people from North America have fought hard to obtain civil liberties from the nations that have colonized them. Historically, the United States interacted with the various tribes, nations, and Native communities as fellow sovereigns, who ceded land to the United States by treaty and other compacts. Despite promises to respect Native American sovereignty, the United States reneged on many of the terms of its treaties. What
Throughout this section, the indigenous people of the United States are referred to as either "Native American" or "indigenous". At times, the term "Indian" is used to describe Native Americans. This reflects the language that the federal courts use in identifying Native Americans and their political identity in relation to the Constitution and laws of the United States. Take note that tribes and nations, as well individuals, may have preferred identifiers that differ from those found here.