A graduate of Columbia Law School, Cohen was a prominent lawyer who drafted the legislation that became known as the Indian New Deal. The Indian Reorganization Act was the key law that provided for self-determination for Native Americans by ending the period of assimilation policy. After the New Deal ended, Cohen continued to advocate for Native American peoples in the United States. His 1941 “Handbook of Federal Indian Law” was the first comprehensive historical study of treaties and legal policies between the United States and indigenous peoples, and its publication helped to create the field of Federal Indian Law.
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