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.