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Tribal sovereignty

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Institution
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Full-Text Articles in Law

Restoring Indian Reservation Status: An Empirical Analysis, Michael K. Velchik, Jeffery Zhang Jan 2023

Restoring Indian Reservation Status: An Empirical Analysis, Michael K. Velchik, Jeffery Zhang

Articles

In McGirt v. Oklahoma, the Supreme Court held that the eastern half of Oklahoma was Indian country. This bombshell decision was contrary to settled expectations and government practices spanning 111 years. It also was representative of an increasing trend of federal courts recognizing Indian sovereignty over large and economically significant areas of the country, even where Indians have not asserted these claims in many years and where Indians form a small minority of the inhabitants.

Although McGirt and similar cases fundamentally turn on questions of statutory and treaty interpretation, they are often couched in consequence-based arguments about the good …


Tribal Communities And State And Local Governments: Existing Relationships, Mikayla Mangle Apr 2022

Tribal Communities And State And Local Governments: Existing Relationships, Mikayla Mangle

Virginia Coastal Policy Center

Tribal and state/local governments have maintained a unique and crucial relationship throughout the United States’ history. Today, state and federally recognized Tribes sometimes face obstacles when attempting to implement projects due to state or local government opposition and vice versa. Federally recognized Tribes are sovereign, self-governing entities on equal footing with state governments. State recognized tribes, on the other hand, may not be equal to state governments, depending on the state laws regarding tribal state recognition. State recognized tribes do not have the same benefits as federally recognized tribes in that the tribe’s status is recognized by the state but …


A Study Of Tribal Communication Frameworks: Some Approaches To Building Partnerships Between Tribal, State, And Local Governments In Virginia, Karly Newcomb, Abigail Sisti Apr 2022

A Study Of Tribal Communication Frameworks: Some Approaches To Building Partnerships Between Tribal, State, And Local Governments In Virginia, Karly Newcomb, Abigail Sisti

Virginia Coastal Policy Center

This paper discusses options the Commonwealth could consider when evaluating decision-making processes that affect tribes in Virginia, with the goal of improving communication and collaboration between tribal, state, and local governments; and will highlight key case studies from other states and localities that provide precedents. The following options are based on a framework of free, prior, and informed consent, which emphasizes self-determination and an individual right to pursue economic, social, and cultural development. This framework can be applied to decision making and projects for any topic. Moving forward, government-to-government communication will be key to developing solutions to pressing issues such …


Of Reservation Boundary Lines And Judicial Battle Lines, Part 1 - Reservation Diminishment/Disestablishment Cases From 1962 To 1975: The Indian Law Justice Files, Episode 1, John P. Lavelle Jan 2022

Of Reservation Boundary Lines And Judicial Battle Lines, Part 1 - Reservation Diminishment/Disestablishment Cases From 1962 To 1975: The Indian Law Justice Files, Episode 1, John P. Lavelle

Faculty Scholarship

This Article is the first of a two-part investigation into the Indian law doctrine of reservation diminishment/disestablishment, examining Supreme Court decisions in this area in light of insights gathered from the collected papers of individual Justices archived at the Library of Congress and various university libraries. The Article first addresses Seymour v. Superintendent (1962) and Mattz v. Arnett (1973), observing that these first two diminishment/disestablishment cases are modern applications of basic, longstanding principles of Indian law which are highly protective of Indigenous people’s rights and tribal sovereignty. The Article then examines in detail DeCoteau v. District County Court, the anomalous …


Professionalism In Tribal Jurisdictions, Matthew L.M. Fletcher Jan 2022

Professionalism In Tribal Jurisdictions, Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Articles

American Indian law is an important area of law. There are 12 federally recognized Indian tribes in the state of Michigan.1 Indian tribes throughout the United States do business in Michigan. Indian tribal governments and corporations employ hundreds of thousands of non-Indians and received billions in federal pandemic relief. Indian gaming generated nearly $40 billion in revenues nationally last year. Still, many lawyers ignore the field or claim ignorance about the basic precepts of federal Indian law.

This article will canvass several themes of professionalism in tribal practice, drawing from this author’s tribal law experience over the last few decades. …


It's None Of Your Business: State Regulation Of Tribal Business Undermines Sovereignty And Justice, Robin M. Rotman, Sam J. Carter Oct 2021

It's None Of Your Business: State Regulation Of Tribal Business Undermines Sovereignty And Justice, Robin M. Rotman, Sam J. Carter

Faculty Publications

The U.S. Constitution grants the federal government plenary power over American Indian affairs, yet states are increasingly attempting to assert regulatory and tax jurisdiction over tribal businesses. This overreach threatens tribal sovereignty and contravenes the terms of treaties entered between the United States and American Indian tribes. This Article begins by examining the legal foundations of federal, state, and tribal relations. It then examines recent cases across four business sectors - gaming, tobacco sales, petroleum sales, and online lending - in order to illustrate the pervasive jurisdictional challenges faced by courts in cases involving tribal businesses. This Article offers three …


The Tribal Right To Exclude Non-Tribal Members From Indian-Owned Lands, Alexander Tallchief Skibine Oct 2020

The Tribal Right To Exclude Non-Tribal Members From Indian-Owned Lands, Alexander Tallchief Skibine

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

In 1981, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Montana v. United States, severely restricting the ability of Indian Tribes to assume civil regulatory and adjudicatory jurisdiction over non-tribal members for activities taking place on non-Indian lands within Indian reservations. The Court in Montana stated that “it could readily agree” with the Court of Appeals’ holding that the tribe could regulate the conduct of non-member on tribal lands. Yet, twenty years later, the Court issued its opinion in Nevada v. Hicks holding that in certain circumstances, the jurisdiction of Indian tribes could also be limited even if the activities of …


Upholding Tribal Sovereignty And Promoting Tribal Public Health Capacity During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Heather Tanana, Aila Hoss Aug 2020

Upholding Tribal Sovereignty And Promoting Tribal Public Health Capacity During The Covid-19 Pandemic, Heather Tanana, Aila Hoss

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

Tribes are sovereign nations with authorities and responsibilities over their land and people. This inherent sovereign authority includes the right to promote and protect the health and welfare of their communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought national attention to the health inequities experienced by American Indian and Alaska Native communities. The sovereign legal authority for Tribes to respond to this pandemic has received less attention. This Chapter describes some, but not all, of the urgent legal issues impacting Tribal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It describes and identifies gaps in federal Indian health policies and highlights how Tribes have exercised …


Changing Consultation, Elizabeth Kronk Warner, Kathy Lynn, Kyle Whyte Apr 2020

Changing Consultation, Elizabeth Kronk Warner, Kathy Lynn, Kyle Whyte

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

As climate change and fossil fuel extractive industries ravage Indian country and burden many Indigenous communities with risks, the negative impacts on tribal sovereignty, health, and cultural resources demand consultation between tribes and the federal government. Yet, this is an area where the law fails to provide adequate guidance to parties who should be engaging or are already engaging in tribal consultations. The law, both domestic and international, may require that consultation occurs, but leaves parties to determine themselves what constitutes effective and efficient consultation. The legacy of the law’s inability to provide effective guidance has generated a litany of …


Compensation Regarding The Sioux Nation, Jacob Degallery Apr 2020

Compensation Regarding The Sioux Nation, Jacob Degallery

Student Writing

The Sioux Nation has been treated unfairly during the Lakota Wars and is still facing many of the same problems with reservation land rights. By looking at past and recent incidents, such as the injustice of removing of Sioux from the Black Hills and the Dakota Pipeline, the problem is explained, and potential solutions can be discussed. The Sioux should be fairly compensated for the loss of land and further land violations such as the issues regarding the Standing Rock Reservation stopped. The possibilities of Tribal Sovereignty and recognition within the Black Hills are specifically mentioned as potential solutions to …


Icwa International: The Benefits And Dangers Of Enacting Icwa-Type Legislation In Non-U.S. Jurisdictions, Marcia A. Yablon-Zug Feb 2020

Icwa International: The Benefits And Dangers Of Enacting Icwa-Type Legislation In Non-U.S. Jurisdictions, Marcia A. Yablon-Zug

Faculty Publications

For decades, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) has been considered the “gold standard” in Indigenous child protection. As a result, Indigenous advocates around the world have sought the passage of similar legislation. However, it is far from clear that the benefits of the ICWA are easily exported. The ICWA is based on a recognition of tribal sovereignty. Unfortunately, many of the countries that could benefit from ICWA-type protections do not recognize the sovereignty of their Indigenous populations.

This Article explores how the ICWA would have to be adapted to work in such countries and whether the needed changes would …


The Belloni Decision: A Foundation For The Northwest Fisheries Cases, The National Tribal Sovereignty Movement, And An Understanding Of The Rule Of Law, Charles Wilkinson Jan 2020

The Belloni Decision: A Foundation For The Northwest Fisheries Cases, The National Tribal Sovereignty Movement, And An Understanding Of The Rule Of Law, Charles Wilkinson

Publications

Judge Belloni’s decision in United States v. Oregon, handed down a half-century ago, has been given short shrift by lawyers, historians, and other commentators on the modern revival of Indian treaty fishing rights in the Pacific Northwest. The overwhelming amount of attention has been given to Judge Boldt’s subsequent decision in United States v. Washington and the Passenger Vessel ruling by the Supreme Court affirming Judge Boldt. I’m one who has been guilty of that.

We now can see that United States v. Oregon was the breakthrough. In those early days, Judge Belloni showed deep understanding of the two …


To Sue And Be Sued: Capacity And Immunity Of American Indian Nations, Richard B. Collins Jan 2018

To Sue And Be Sued: Capacity And Immunity Of American Indian Nations, Richard B. Collins

Publications

Can American Indian nations sue and be sued in federal and state courts? Specific issues are whether tribes have corporate capacity to sue, whether a Native group has recognized status as a tribe, and whether and to what extent tribes and their officers have governmental immunity from suit. Tribal capacity to sue is now well established, and federal law has well-defined procedures and rules for tribal recognition. But tribal sovereign immunity is actively disputed.

This Article reviews retained tribal sovereignty in general and summarizes past contests over tribal capacity to sue and their resolution into today’s settled rule. Next is …


The Supreme Court's Last 30 Years Of Federal Indian Law: Looking For Equilibrium Or Supremacy?, Alexander Tallchief Skibine Oct 2017

The Supreme Court's Last 30 Years Of Federal Indian Law: Looking For Equilibrium Or Supremacy?, Alexander Tallchief Skibine

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

Since 1831, Indian nations have been viewed as Domestic Dependent Nations located within the geographical boundaries of the United States. Although Chief Justice John Marshall acknowledged that Indian nations had a certain amount of sovereignty, the exact extent of such sovereignty as well as the place of tribes within the federal system has remained ill-defined. This Article examines what has been the role of the Supreme Court in integrating Indian nations as the third Sovereign within our federalist system. The Article accomplishes this task by examining the Court’s Indian law record in the last 30 years. The comprehensive survey of …


Traditional Problems: Gay Marriage And The Backlash Against Indian Sovereignty, Marcia A. Yablon-Zug Jan 2017

Traditional Problems: Gay Marriage And The Backlash Against Indian Sovereignty, Marcia A. Yablon-Zug

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Native Youth & Juvenile Injustice In South Dakota, Addie C. Rolnick Jan 2017

Native Youth & Juvenile Injustice In South Dakota, Addie C. Rolnick

Scholarly Works

In this essay, Professor Rolnick uses the three themes of racism, jurisdiction, and tribal sovereignty to provide a snapshot of the juvenile justice system in South Dakota as it impacts Native youth. First, she describes the tribal juvenile justice systems in the state. She argues tribal systems should rightfully play a central role handling Native youth offenders, but they are underfunded and may not therefore be sufficiently responsive to young offenders' needs. Second, she examines the impact of federal power over youth on reservations in South Dakota. Specifically, federal juvenile jurisdiction, as well as federal financial and administrative power, can …


Plenary Power, Political Questions, And Sovereignty In Indian Affairs, Michalyn Steele Jan 2016

Plenary Power, Political Questions, And Sovereignty In Indian Affairs, Michalyn Steele

Faculty Scholarship

A generation of Indian law scholars has roundly, and rightly, criticized the Supreme Court’s invocation of the political question doctrine to deprive tribes of meaningful judicial review when Congress has acted to the detriment of tribes. Similarly, many Indian law scholars view the plenary power doctrine — that Congress has expansive, virtually unlimited authority to regulate tribes — as a tool that fosters and formalizes the legal oppression of Indian people by an unchecked Federal government. The way courts have applied these doctrines in tandem has frequently left tribes without meaningful judicial recourse against breaches of the federal trust responsibility …


Recentering Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction, Addie C. Rolnick Jan 2016

Recentering Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction, Addie C. Rolnick

Scholarly Works

The boundaries of modern tribal criminal jurisdiction are defined by a handful of clear rules—such as a limit on sentence length and a categorical prohibition against prosecuting most non-Indians—and many grey areas in which neither Congress nor the Supreme Court has specifically addressed a particular question. This Article discusses five of the grey areas: whether tribes retain concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute major crimes, whether tribes affected by Public Law 280 retain concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute a full range of crimes, whether tribes may prosecute Indians who are not citizens of any tribe, whether tribes may prosecute their own citizens for …


Law, Violence, And The Neurotic Structure Of American Indian Law, Sarah Krakoff Jan 2014

Law, Violence, And The Neurotic Structure Of American Indian Law, Sarah Krakoff

Publications

No abstract provided.


Comparative Institutional Competency And Sovereignty In Indian Affairs, Michalyn Steele Jan 2014

Comparative Institutional Competency And Sovereignty In Indian Affairs, Michalyn Steele

Faculty Scholarship

While vigorous debate surrounds the proper scope and ambit of inherent tribal authority, there remains a critical antecedent question: whether Congress or the courts are ultimately best situated to define the contours of inherent tribal authority. In February 2013, Congress enacted controversial tribal jurisdiction provisions as part of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization recognizing and affirming inherent tribal authority to prosecute all persons, including non-Indian offenders, for crimes of domestic violence in Indian country. This assertion by Congress of its authority to set the bounds of tribal inherent authority -- beyond where the United States Supreme Court has held …


A Most Grievous Display Of Behavior: Self-Decimation In Indian Country, David E. Wilkins Jan 2013

A Most Grievous Display Of Behavior: Self-Decimation In Indian Country, David E. Wilkins

Jepson School of Leadership Studies articles, book chapters and other publications

Vine Deloria, Jr., the greatest indigenous philosopher of his day, wrote Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto in 1969. It was a spirited polemic that both galvanized and inspired Native peoples at home and abroad. Simultaneously, the book's powerful and trenchant words sent shock waves through non-Indian society. Deloria articulated a resurgent indigenous-centered understanding of sovereignty that had largely been suppressed by federal policy and law for nearly a century. Why did he emphasize the word "sovereignty"? Because he knew that Native nations needed to employ such concepts since they were familiar to both federal and state …


Never Construed To Their Prejudice: In Honor Of David Getches, Richard B. Collins Jan 2013

Never Construed To Their Prejudice: In Honor Of David Getches, Richard B. Collins

Publications

This article reviews and analyzes the judicial canons of construction for Native American treaties and statutes. It discusses their theoretical justifications and practical applications. It concludes that the treaty canon has ready support in contract law and the law of treaty interpretation. Justification of the statutory canon is more challenging and could be strengthened by attention to the democratic deficit when Congress imposes laws on Indian country. Applications of the canons have mattered in disputes between Indian nations and private or state interests. They have made much less difference, and have suffered major failings, in disputes with the federal government. …


An Idea Of American Indian Land Justice: Examining Native Land Liberation In The New Progressive Era, Richael Faithful Jan 2011

An Idea Of American Indian Land Justice: Examining Native Land Liberation In The New Progressive Era, Richael Faithful

Articles in Law Reviews & Journals

This article is inspired by Professor Robert Odawi Porter’s remarks during the 2009 D.C. Federal Indian Bar conference in which he outlined a seemingly radical proposal for “land liberation” for American Indian tribes – the abandonment of United States trusteeship over tribal land, and return of title and associated rights to numerous tribes who have lost their land due to nefarious governmental policies and bad deals. In an effort to bridge Porter’s visionary legal viewpoint with renowned economist and philosopher, Amartya Sen’s recent visionary contribution on justice, An Idea of American Indian Land Justice, helps revive an Indian law, critical …


Cultural And Economic Self-Determination For Tribal Peoples In The United States Supported By The Un Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples, Angelique Eaglewoman Jan 2010

Cultural And Economic Self-Determination For Tribal Peoples In The United States Supported By The Un Declaration On The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples, Angelique Eaglewoman

Faculty Scholarship

No abstract provided.


The Stories We Tell, And Have Told, About Tribal Sovereignty: Legal Fictions At Their Most Pernicious, Hope M. Babcock Jan 2010

The Stories We Tell, And Have Told, About Tribal Sovereignty: Legal Fictions At Their Most Pernicious, Hope M. Babcock

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Starting with Chief Justice John Marshall and continuing through to the present Supreme Court, the story of Indian sovereignty has been consistent—it exists only in the most diminished form. Some reasons for this have been premised on the incapacity of Indians to self-govern; others on theories of federalism; while still others on the ambitions of non-Indians. However, the factual premises behind the concept of diminished sovereignty are baseless—legal fictions about the conquest of Indians and their nature. These fictions originated in Chief Justice Marshall’s Indian Law Trilogy and should have vanished long ago when their original purposes were fulfilled, like …


From Conflict To Cooperation: State And Tribal Court Relations In The Era Of Self-Determination, Aliza Organick, Tonya Kowalski Jan 2009

From Conflict To Cooperation: State And Tribal Court Relations In The Era Of Self-Determination, Aliza Organick, Tonya Kowalski

Faculty Scholarship

State and Tribal sovereigns have historically had a tense relationship, beginning in colonial times, when states vied with the federal government for trading rights and for control of Indian lands. Today, that tension still expresses itself in matters such as gaming compacts, criminal and civil jurisdiction, and taxation, to name just a few. While different sovereigns within a federal system may always vie for resources and power to some extent, it is time for states and Tribes to focus on what a more mutually supportive relationship with Tribal communities has to offer. This Essay explores the history of the two …


Slides: The Future Of Energy: What Are The Major Projections For The U.S. Energy Future, And What Are The Implications For The West?, Gary Bryner Jun 2008

Slides: The Future Of Energy: What Are The Major Projections For The U.S. Energy Future, And What Are The Implications For The West?, Gary Bryner

Shifting Baselines and New Meridians: Water, Resources, Landscapes, and the Transformation of the American West (Summer Conference, June 4-6)

Presenter: Gary Bryner, Brigham Young University, Department of Political Science

9 slides


Agenda: Shifting Baselines And New Meridians: Water, Resources, Landscapes, And The Transformation Of The American West, University Of Colorado Boulder. Natural Resources Law Center Jun 2008

Agenda: Shifting Baselines And New Meridians: Water, Resources, Landscapes, And The Transformation Of The American West, University Of Colorado Boulder. Natural Resources Law Center

Shifting Baselines and New Meridians: Water, Resources, Landscapes, and the Transformation of the American West (Summer Conference, June 4-6)

The Center’s 29th annual conference will focus on the changes in the West resulting from rapid population growth, development, disrupted historical weather patterns and the effects of those changes on land, water, and energy resources. Speakers and panelists will address the adaptability of the legal and political institutions and how the transformation of the West may foreshadow fundamental changes to these institutions.

The agenda includes panel discussions that will address:

  • Water for the 21st Century —the big questions in Western water and rethinking Western water law.
  • The Future of Energy —practical and sophisticated solutions to overcome the energy …


Indian Nations And The Federal Government: What Will Justice Require In The Future? Claims Against The Sovereign 20th Jusicial Conference Of The United States Court Of Federal Claims, Charles Wilkinson Jan 2008

Indian Nations And The Federal Government: What Will Justice Require In The Future? Claims Against The Sovereign 20th Jusicial Conference Of The United States Court Of Federal Claims, Charles Wilkinson

Publications

No abstract provided.


Taxation And Doing Business In Indian Country, Erik M. Jensen Jan 2008

Taxation And Doing Business In Indian Country, Erik M. Jensen

Faculty Publications

Furthering investment in Indian country (a term that includes, but is not limited to, reservations) is an important goal, but potential investors are hesitant - and with reason. One disincentive to invest is uncertainty about tax liability. Understanding taxation in Indian country requires knowledge not only of traditional tax law, but also of American Indian law principles dating from the early nineteenth century, and not many practitioners are up to that task. This article tries to make sense, as much as is possible, of the doctrines that have developed over the centuries.

The article first discusses some basics: the concept …