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Native American tribes began organizing their modern governments as a result of the federal Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. However American Indians have had organized societal management systems, otherwise known as governments, since the beginning of time. Like most peoples, they have needed such systems to organize their societies into groups capable of making important decisions in their peoples’ best interests.

Archeological research has uncovered early models of hierarchical order in the Mississippian culture, exemplified most aptly by the Mound Builder peoples of the midwestern, southeastern, and eastern United States, from 800 to 1500 CE. As Native people began interacting with European explorers who had varying degrees of integrity, tribal leaders often made difficult decisions regarding land, resources, living environments, trade agreements, and military alliances, and ...

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