Graduation Year

Spring 2012

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Thomas Kim

Reader 2

Dionne Bensonsmith

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Elizabeth Shulterbrandt


This paper attempts to provide an answer to the question of why the White House Tribal Nations Conferences (2009-2011) are happening by offering two hypothesis-- the first being the growing American Indian political power, while the other looks at whether the Conferences are simply symbolic politics--as potential answers. An in depth analysis of the Conferences and the purported accomplishments from the summits are analyzed in order to gain a deeper understanding of the Conferences themselves. Lastly, an interview with a tribal leader is presented to provide another framework in which to view the Conferences.