AMERICAN INDIAN LAW, SPRING 2019

LAWW 7662. American Indian Law. 2 Hours.

Study of the domestic federal law of the United States as it applies to Native Americans and tribes. The general concept of tribal self-determination is the unifying theme of the course. Particular topics include tribal sovereignty and government; American Indian civil rights; administration of justice on and off the reservation; American Indian land claims; land, hunting, and fishing rights; water rights; American Indian health, education, and welfare; Bureau of Indian Affairs; state taxation; individual and tribal treaty rights; federal Indian policy; and zoning and environmental controls.

Course Syllabus and Subject Matter Areas and Readings Overview


Wednesday, January 16 - PowerPoint Slides (Doctrine of Discovery and Definitions)

Johnson v. McIntosh, 21 U.S. 543 (1823), Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535 (1974)


Wednesday, January 23 - PowerPointSlides (Foundational Sovereignty Cases)

Cherokee Nation v. Georgia (1831), Worcester v. Georgia (1832)




Monday, February 18 (outside written assignment)

Turn in answers to Criminal Law Questions (this constitutes a makeup of class period from January 30)


Wednesday, February 20 (Capstone Criminal Law Practice Discussion)

Guest Appearance - John Young, Assistant Attorney General, Cherokee Nation, bio here. No new readings.


Wednesday, February 27 (Tribal Property Law) PowerPointSlides

Lonewolf v. Hitchcock (1903), Hodel v. Irving (1987)

Federal Statute: Indian Reorganization Act of 1934

Land-into-trust Regulations: 25 CFR Part 151


Wednesday, March 6 (Civil Jurisdiction) PowerPointSlides

Williams v. Lee (1959), United States v. Montana (1981), National Farmers v. Crow (1985)


Wednesday, March 13 continued to March 27 (Civil Jurisdiction and Recognition/Enforcement of Judgments)

Affiliated Tribes v. Wold (1986), Strate v. A-1 Contractors (1997), Mississippi Choctaw v. Dollar General (2016)


Wednesday, April 3 (Indian Child Welfare and Family Law)

Mississippi Choctaw v. Holyfield (1989), Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (2013)

Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978


Wednesday, April 10 (Indian Gaming and Non-Gaming Economic Development)

Wednesday, April 17 (Federal Statutory and Regulatory Applicability)

Wednesday, April 24 (Recap and Final Review)