Indian treaties belong not just to Indians; they belong to everyone in the United States. Today, some of these treaties especially those reserving water rights or hunting and fishing rights, or granting immunities from certain state taxes, may seem “unfair” to non-Indians, just as many of these treaties seemed unfair to Indians at the time they were signed. But regardless of how they seemed then or now, the citizens of this country have legal, moral, and ethical duty to enforce these treaties. Indians paid dearly for their treaty rights, and the United States must keep its end of the bargain. Some people, calling these treaties “ancient documents,” argue that they no longer need to be enforced. However, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are “ancient” documents as well. As one court observed in enforcing a century-old treaty, “the mere passage of time has not eroded, and cannot erode, the rights guaranteed by solemn treaties that both sides pledged on their honor to uphold.
~Stephen L. Pevar, The Rights of Indians And Tribes, Fourth Edition (via adailyriot)