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In The American Indian in Western Legal Thought Robert Williams, a legal scholar and Native American of the Lumbee tribe, traces the evolution of contemporary legal thought on the rights and status of American Indians and other indiginous tribal peoples. Beginning with an analysis of the medieval Christian crusading era and its substantive contributions to the West's legal discourse of 'heathens' and 'infidels', this study explores the development of the ideas that justified the New World conquests of Spain, England and the United States. Williams shows that long-held notions of the legality of European subjugation and colonization of 'savage' and 'barbarian' societies supported the conquests in America. Today, he demonstrates, echoes of racist and Eurocentric prejudices still reverberate in the doctrines and principles of legal discourse regarding native peoples' rights in the United States and in other nations as well.