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American Indian Oral History: Interview with Judge Warren K. Urbom

UNO Libraries - Oral History Projects


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00:00:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: ...Nebraska, Omaha history of American Indians...

00:00:33 - Some Background Information

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Partial Transcript: Judge Urbom, I would like to have you give some of your personal background if you would.

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom gives a quick summary of his past leading up to his position as the United States District Judge.

Keywords: Arapahoe, Nebraska; Army; Atlanta, Nebraska; Balyor, Evnen, Baylor; Nebraska Wesleyan University; Nixon; United States District Judge; University of Michigan

00:01:46 - Wounded Knee Trials

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Partial Transcript: I understand that you officiated with several of the trials...

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom explains how he got involved in the Wounded Knee trials and why the trails were moved to Lincoln.

Keywords: Dismiss; Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals; Guilty; Judge Andrew Bogue; Judge Haine; Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; South Dakota; United States Government; Wounded Knee; nolo contendere

00:13:08 - Few Full Trials

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Partial Transcript: How many trials did you, or how many cases did you try in all?

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom explains the different kinds of cases and how they could and had been handled.

Keywords: Defendant; Dismiss; Dispose; Evidence; Government; Jury; Motion; Motion to Supress; Trial; Tried

00:16:55 - Making Appeals

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Partial Transcript: Do you recall exactly how many of the hundred were actually convicted?

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom explains the appeals process during the Wounded Knee cases and explains how the process works.

Keywords: 1868 Treaty; Alan Cooper; Appeal; Convicted; Court of Jurisdiction; Defendant; Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals; Guilty; Judge; Plead; Record; Supreme Court

00:21:48 - Federal Enclaves

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Partial Transcript: Could you tell me what precedents were used for the cases?

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom briefly talks about the difference in Native American cases compared to the average case.

Keywords: 1868 Treaty; Law; Precedent; Supreme Court

00:23:41 - A Very Careful... Impression

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Partial Transcript: There are various Indian movements and organizations which were involved...

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom explains why he needs to reserve any feelings or statements of "good or bad" but he does share some of the impressions he received from the trails.

Keywords: American Indian Movement; Bureau of Indian Affairs; Department of Interior; Occupation; Opinion; Wounded Knee

00:31:09 - Defendants Choose Attorneys

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Partial Transcript: I wonder if you could make any comment about the Indians claim that...

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom talks about letting the defendants pick attorney's. The attorneys were not allowed a fee except for the travel expense that was covered by the United States Government.

Keywords: Appointment; Community; Counsel; Court; Expense; Fee; Justification; Lawyer; Police; Treatment; Wounded Knee

00:36:22 - Why Wounded Knee

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Partial Transcript: Do you have any opinion or any comment about why the confrontation...

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom is not entirely sure why the confrontation happened at Wounded Knee but he does believe a reaction to ills had been brewing.

Keywords: Pine Ridge Reservation; Wounded Knee

00:38:31 - A History Lesson: 1868 Treaty

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Partial Transcript: In your opinion, what do you think the future of the Indian/white...

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom gives a history and background of the 1868 Treaty with the Sioux.

Keywords: 1868 Treaty; Annuities; Army; Black Hills; Buffalo; Bureau of Indian Affairs; California; Citizen; Congress; Culture; Disease; Fail; Fort Laramie; Gold; Government; Impose; President Grant; Railroad; Red Cloud's War; Reservation; Sioux; South Dakota; Supreme Court; Treaties; War

00:52:09 - Not-So-Binding Treaties of Big Government

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Partial Transcript: Could I interject something here?

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom explains how a treaty is binding until Congress decides it's not.

Keywords: 1868 Treaty; Case; Civilization; Civilized; Congress; Constitution of the United States; European; History; Justice John Marshall; Law; Legal; Religion; Supreme Court

01:04:23 - The Constitution of the United States

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Partial Transcript: During a short break here, we were talking about the Constitution...

Segment Synopsis: Judge Urbom explains the differences that the Constitution holds for the Native American versus the average US citizen.

Keywords: 14th Amendment; Amendments; American Indian; Congress; Constitution; Federal Government; First; Indian Bill of Rights; Liberty; Section 8 Article 1; State; Tribal Law; Tribe

01:11:35 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: I would like to thank you...