Public Law 280

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Leech Lake Joint Tribal-State Jurisdiction

Leech Lake Joint Tribal-State Jurisdiction

Across Indian Country tribes are strengthening and better defining their governments in order to meet the unique needs of their communities. As Native nations work to expand their sovereign powers, tribal justice departments can play a critical role in achieving those goals. In the early 2000s, the…

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Devon Lomayesva: Making Constitution Reform and Tribal Law Work

Devon Lomayesva, a citizen of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel in California, offers her perspectives on asserting tribal law in a P.L. 280 state. The Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel underwent a constitutional reform process, and Devon shares her experiences with and perspectives of that process. Her…

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Eldena Bear Don't Walk: So What's So Important about Tribal Courts?

Eldena Bear Don't Walk, Chief Justice of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, discusses some of the things that tribal justice systems need to have in place in order to be effective, and how important it is for Native nation governments and citizens to respect and support the decisions…

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Adam Geisler: What I Wish I Knew Before I Took Office

Adam Geisler, Secretary of the La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians, discusses the diverse set of challenges he faces as an elected leader of his nation and discusses some of the innovative ways that he, his leadership colleagues, and his nation have worked to overcome those challenges. He also offers…

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Honoring Nations: Rick Hill: Sovereignty Today

Former Oneida Nation Business Committee Chairman Rick Hill offers his perspectives on sovereignty today through the lens of the challenges facing his nation and the strategies theyr employing to achieve their nation-building goals. 

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Honoring Nations: David Gipp: Sovereignty, Education and United Tribes Technical College

United Tribes Technical College President David Gipp discusses the impetus behind the establishment of United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) and the emergence of the tribal college movement, the growth of UTTC over the past four decades, and the critical roles tribal colleges and universities play…

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Theresa M. Pouley: Reclaiming and Reforming Justice at Tulalip

Tulalip Tribal Court Chief Judge Theresa M. Pouley shares the long-term, positive effects of the Tulalip Alternative Sentencing Program on the Tulalip tribal community.

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Honoring Nations: Theresa M. Pouley: The Tulalip Alternative Sentencing Program

Judge Theresa M. Pouley of the Tulalip Tribal Court discusses how the Tulalip Tribes reclaimed criminal jurisdiction from the State of Washington and then developed the award-winning Tulalip Alternative Sentencing Program, which she explains is a more effective and culturally appropriate approach…

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Yakama Nation To Regain Full Authority On Tribal Lands

Yakamas to regain full authority on tribal land

In what tribal leaders call a historic development, Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday signed a proclamation that returns almost all civil and criminal authority over tribal members on the reservation back to the Yakama Nation. Tribal Council Chairman Harry Smiskin said the signing is not only “historic”…

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A clear and present danger to our tribal sovereignty

A clear and present danger to our tribal sovereignty

Indian law, sovereignty and jurisdiction are not “one size fits all” issues in Indian country. There are too many variations in how different states view the Indian nations within their borders and even in how the federal government treats issues of Indian sovereignty. With the surge in Indian…

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Open Mike: Feds, Yakamas make historic pact

Open Mike: Feds, Yakamas make historic pact

Reporter Phil Ferolito joins Mike Faulk on Open Mike this week to discuss a recent pact between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Yakama Nation to notify tribal police before executing search and arrest warrants. The move could help widen the path for the Yakama Nation, a sovereign nation, to…

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Sovereignty Under Arrest? Public Law 280 and Its Discontents

Sovereignty Under Arrest? Public Law 280 and Its Discontents

Law enforcement in Indian Country has been characterized as a “maze of injustice”—one in which offenders too easily escape and victims are too easily lost (Amnesty International, 2007). Tribal, state, and federal governments have recently sought to amend this through the passage of the Tribal…