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While some tribes supported allotment, most were unenthusiastic. Tribes pointed out that their communal uses of land were not inconsistent with productivity, that they were not interested in abandoning their traditional tribal ways for those of white American society, and that they were fearful that tribal fee simple ownership would tempt unscrupulous whites to purchase more tribal lands. The allotment program was nonetheless implemented, and that fact illustrated a reorientation of the federal government’s relationship with tribes. A case that demonstrated that development, Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, was decided by the Supreme Court in 1903. The Kiowa-Comanche tribe challenged allotment legislation allowing the federal government to acquire land within that tribe’s reservation and allot it to tribal members, without securing the consent of three-fourths of the adult members of the tribe, as required by an 1867 treaty between the tribe and the United States. The tribe argued that the legislation violated the treaty and did not provide adequate compensation for the tribe, in violation of the just compensation clause of the Fifth Amendment. In Lone Wolf, a unanimous Court reframed tribal relations with the federal government and legitimated the allotment program. Building on Johnson v. McIntosh’s characterization of tribes as “domestic dependent” nations, the Court held that since the federal government could nullify treaties with foreign nations in the national interest, it could do the same with tribal treaties. The power of the United States to abrogate treaties did not rest on any provision of the Constitution but on the need of a sovereign state to preserve itself. And since the federal government, through Congress, was the sole institution charged with exercising authority over tribes, and its relationship with the tribes paralleled that of guardian to ward, its decisions affecting the tribes were insulated from judicial review. With Lone Wolf, the last jurisprudential obstacle to the federal government taking tribal land was removed. Recent history By the 1930s, white humanitarians who had favored allotment had concluded that on the whole, tribes were no more assimilated, no more prosperous, and no more inclined to embrace settler-type forms of agriculture than they had been in the 1880s. In fact, one newspaper editorialized in 1934 that the allotment policy had “destroyed the native society, economy and organization.” In 1934, Congress ended allotments with the Indian Reorganization Act. Reservations remained in place, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs was authorized to restore to tribes all the land on reservations that had been transferred to the federal government but not allotted or sold to whites. The system in place before 1887 was restored, but without all the sold or parceled-out land. Although Congress has wanted to get out of the business of entering into treaties with tribes since 1870, numerous treaties remain in place. With the end of the allotment program, tribes began to draw attention to violations of those treaties and other unauthorized seizures of tribal land that had occurred before Lone Wolf. Twenty-first-century courts have listened. In a 2001 decision, the Cayuga Nation in New York received an award of $248 million for portions of their land that New York state had seized illegally in 1795 and 1807. The standard the court applied in evaluating New York’s actions was the governing relations between tribes and states in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. One can thus anticipate that the consistent pattern of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century white settlers depriving tribes of their land may actually help tribes retrieve some of that land. For it is clear that even though the initial proposition that tribes were regarded as the “owners” of land they occupied in early America was regularly ignored in practice, it remains a source of legal authority for contemporary tribal land claims. One of the ironies of the legal history of American Indian tribes is that the long-standing disregard by both white settlers and American governmental institutions of the rights and interests of tribes has emerged as a basis for restoring those rights and interests in the twenty-first century.