The Canons of Indian Treaty and Statutory Construction: A Proposal for Codification

This Note argues that the canons of construction should play a central role in the interpretation of Indian treaties and statutes. The Note proposes revitalization of the canons through congressional action codifying the rules of construction into federal law. Part I traces the historical development of the canons to further the federal-Indian trust relationship. Part II analyzes recent Supreme Court decisions that demonstrate decreased use of the canons. Part III argues that strong canons of construction are necessary to the development of self-determining Indian tribes and proposes federal legislation to ensure the continued vitality and importance of the canons of construction.