The obvious question is that why didn't he "write the meaning" into the law when he had the chance? This would have completely avoided any ambiguity and need for interpretation from judges and tribe. Are we supposed to take his word on this now and disregard the possibility that decades of life would have changed the meaning for Davis? These "understandings" need to be written down to avoid the misuse we are seeing.
Isn't all law about trying to determine meaning?