In 1914, Francis E. Leupp, former commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, presented an answer to the so-called Indian Problem that some have called pluralist. This paper examines the development of Leupp’s pluralism as part of the policies and practices of the genocide of American Indians as it was carried out in the years following the US Civil War. Rather than being a singular event in the history of US-Indian relations, I argue that Leupp’s pluralism is part of the settler colonial system that persists and finds present expression in contemporary liberal pluralism. I consider two examples of recent pluralist theory, those of Charles Taylor and William Galston. I conclude by arguing that what both forms of pluralism—Leupp’s and recent liberal varieties—have in common is a conception of agency that rejects the American Indian conception and conserves structural genocide as a central part of present-day society.


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pp. 13-30
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