The Law of American Indians Posts

Navajo Sign Law Criminalizing Human Trafficking

Navajo President Russell Begaye on August 7 signed the Navajo Nation Law against Human Trafficking, signaling his commitment to take a stance against an international crime that targets some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The law, which amends the tribe’s criminal code, also calls for cooperation among government and civil institutions to define, prevent and combat the illegal “transporting, trading or dealing” of people.

Ninth Circuit Allows Bishop Paiute Law Enforcement Case to Proceed

The Bishop Paiute Tribe (the “Tribe”) seeks a declaration that they have the right to “investigate violations of tribal, state, and federal law, detain, and transport or deliver a non-Indian violator [encountered on the reservation] to the proper authorities.” Before reaching this issue, the district court dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds, concluding that the case presents no actual case or controversy.

The Master’s Tools: Tribal Sovereignty and Tribal Self-Governance Contracting/Compacting

Tribal self-governance contracting/compacting has significantly raised American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) health outcomes, standards of living, and education rates across tribal backgrounds. However, whether the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDEAA) of 1975 empowers tribal sovereignty remains an open question—a question with important policy implications for tribal governments.

Arizona Supreme Court Decides ICWA Transfer Case

The Community did not expressly waive its right to seek transfer; thus, the only waiver here would be implied because the Community did not seek transfer until after parental rights were terminated. However, “[t]o imply a waiver of jurisdiction would be inconsistent with the ICWA objective of encouraging tribal control over custody decisions affecting Indian children

Tribal Appellate Court Affirms Immunity

The issue as to whether Comanche Nation waived its sovereign immunity with respect to a binding arbitration clause contained in gaming machine vendor agreements signed by the Tribal Chairman on behalf of the tribe was brought before the Court of Indian Appeals for the Southern Plains Region in Anadarko, Oklahoma.

Overriding Tribal Sovereignty by Applying the National Labor Relations Act to Indian Tribes in Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort v. National Labor Relations Board

On July 1, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort v. NLRB. The three-judge panel unanimously concluded that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), a generally applicable federal statute, should not apply to Indian tribes. However, by a 2-1 vote, the court held that the NLRA would apply to the tribally-owned and operated casino by the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation on reservation land.

123