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Keywords:

  • settler colonialism;
  • territory;
  • American Indian reservations;
  • public education;
  • Osage Nation;
  • MARS classes

This article interrogates the various tactics settler colonial legal systems use in establishing and entrenching authority over territories. By comparing a recent Osage Nation reservation court case with Arizona House Bill (HB) 2281, enacted into law as Ariz. Rev. Stats. § 15–112, which has been used to ban Mexican American/Raza Studies (MARS) from the classroom, it is possible to illustrate the varied processes by which legal systems attempt to render U.S. control of land an indisputable norm. In the context of both Oklahoma and Arizona, settler authority over territory is entrenched through the outlawing of institutions that contest its neutrality and universality. This article challenges U.S. settlement by making visible some of the legal processes by which it operates.