Sources & Definitions


Age of Discovery

A period of European history from the 15th to the 18th century defined by a large amount of overseas exploration


The process by which an individual’s or group’s language and culture come to resemble another group, often a more dominant or colonizing group


Self governing; independent

Civil Rights Act of 1866

Defined citizenship to include then and former slaves, and gave all citizens equal protection under the law

Divine Right

A political and religious belief that a person can rule directly from the will of God, and is “above the law”


The deliberate large-scale killing of people from a particular ethnic, national, racial or religious group


Extending a country's power and influence through diplomacy or military force

Indigenous Peoples

People native to a land, in the U.S. the Indigenous Peoples are often referred to as American Indians or Native Americans


Advocating for certain changes in government by working directly with officials

Papal Bulls

Type of written order issued by a Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It is named after the seal (called a bulla) placed at the end of the document used to authenticate it.

Sovereign Nations

Self-governing regions that can administer their own public assets


The ability and authority to self-govern without interference

14th Amendment

A constitutional amendment created to make sure citizenship rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1866 would not be easily overturned in the future



  • McCool, Danial, Susan M. Olson, and Jennifer L. Robinson. “Native Vote: American Indians, the Voting Rights Act, and the Right to Vote.” New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. Print.
  • McDonald, Laughlin.” American Indians and the Fight for Equal Voting Rights.” Norman Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010. For a list of cases brought to suit by American Indians please see pp. 8-67. Print.
  • Wang, Tova Andrea. “Ensuring Access to the Ballot for American Indians and Alaska Natives: New Solutions to Strengthen American Democracy” Demos, (June 18, 2012).
  • Wilkins, David E.  and K. Tsianina Lomawaima. “Uneven Ground: American Indian Sovereignty and Federal Law.” Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. Print.

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Additional Resources