The Law of American Indians Posts

The 16th Annual Rennard Strickland Lecture

The University of Oregon School of Law hosted the 16th Annual Rennard Strickland Lecture Series, featuring a talk by Matthew L.M. Fletcher of University of Michigan Law School.

Teaching Indian Law in the 21st Century

In the 21st century, many law schools offer Indian law but generally are still far behind the curve. Worse, when it is offered, the Indian law canon tends to be taught in ways that ignore contemporary tribal agency by emphasizing historical events over modern issues. This article gives examples of tribal court cases and tribal statutes law teachers can use to incorporate Indian law into virtually any common law course.

Preemption, Commandeering, and the Indian Child Welfare Act

The Supreme Court has agreed to review constitutional challenges to the Indian Child Welfare Act brought by the State of Texas and three non-Indian foster families in the October 2022 Term. We argue that the anticommandeering challenges against ICWA are unfounded because all provisions of ICWA provides a set of legal standards to be applied in state which validly and expressly preempt state law without unlawfully commandeering the States’ executive or legislative branches.

Using Peacemaking Circles to Indigenize Tribal Child Welfare

This Article outlines the ways in which the modern tribal child welfare system has been structured to compartmentalize families and perpetuate historical federal policies of Indian family separation. This Article then suggests that circle processes are a framework for re-Indigenizing the tribal child welfare system to not just improve outcomes, but to also honor the interconnected, responsibility oriented worldview of Indigenous communities.

Testimony before the Commission on Native Children

This letter and powerpoint were prepared at the request of the Alyce Spotted Bear and Walter Soboleff Commission on Native Children in advance of a hearing on jurisdictional issues related to the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Divided court rejects Texas’ bid to control gambling in tribal casinos

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas resolves a longstanding dispute about the ability of Texas to control gambling on the lands of two of the Native American tribes that reside there. The answer the court gave was a stern rebuke, vitiating the plenary control that lower-court decisions had granted the state for more than a quarter of a century