The subject matter of this Restatement predates the birth of our nation. Some of the most important early decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States, including ones authored by Chief Justice John Marshall, deal with the Law of American Indians. And tribes, along with the federal government and the states, are one of the three categories of sovereigns in the United States. (Excerpted from the Forward of Tentative Draft No. 1 by ALI Director Richard L. Revesz)
This field is so informed by history, probably more than any other in some ways. … Certainly in the field of Indian affairs, a lot of damage has been done in the past, and there are a lot of challenges for the future just to get things right from the perspective of those of us who believe that tribes should have a voice in this society, and that there are good rules to help bolster that voice. (Excerpted from an interview with Associate Reporter Kaighn Smith)
A significant portion of Chapter 1 (Federal-Tribal Relationships) has been approved by ALI’s membership. This chapter contains General Terms, Federal–Tribal Relationship, American Indian Treaty Law, Federal Legislation, and Breach of Trust Claims.
Additional planned chapters:
- Chapter 2 will focus on the powers of Indian tribes, including the power to determine what form of government tribes will develop, to determine the criteria for membership in the tribe, and also to legislate with respect to a wide variety of matters like taxation.
- Chapter 3 will address tribal-state relations.
- Chapter 4 is going to address two aspects of economic development in Indian country; tribes as economic actors, and tribes as economic regulators.
- Chapter 5 will address an issue that is at the forefront in Indian law policy right now – Indian country criminal jurisdiction.
This article argues that violence in Indian country will not be meaningfully reduced until tribes have full autonomy over their criminal systems. This can only be achieved when tribal criminal jurisdiction is equivalent to that exercised by states.
UC Hastings Indigenous Law Center Inaugural Panel: The Impact of COVID on Native and Indigenous Communities
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, UC Hastings Indigenous Law Center is hosting its inaugural panel event, co-sponsored by the UCSF-UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy. The panelists will discuss the Impact of COVID on Native and Indigenous Communities.
An article from Vice details how the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McGirt v. Oklahoma could affect the lives and sentences of Native American’s convicted of crimes in the 3 million acres of eastern Oklahoma that is now recognized as “Indian Country.”
The Indian Child Welfare Act’s Application to Civil Commitments of Indian Children in State Court Proceeding
This article argues that ICWA applies to any state court proceeding for civil commitment of an Indian child if the Indian parent cannot have their child returned upon demand. The plain language of ICWA provides for this reasonable interpretation.
This article addresses a significant challenge to federal Indian law currently emerging in the federal courts. In 2013, the Supreme Court suggested that the Indian Child Welfare Act may be unconstitutional, and litigation on that question is now pending in the Fifth Circuit.