Ryan Seelau

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Per Capita Distributions of American Indian Tribal Revenues: A Preliminary Discussion of Policy Considerations

Per Capita Distributions of American Indian Tribal Revenues: A Preliminary Discussion of Policy Considerations

This paper examines policy considerations relevant to per capita distributions of tribal revenues. It offers Native nation leaders and citizens food for thought as they consider whether or not to issue per capita payments and, if they choose to do so, how to structure the distribution of funds and…

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The Bay Mills Case: An Opportunity for Native Nations

The Bay Mills Case: An Opportunity for Native Nations

On May 27th, the U.S. Supreme Court finally handed down its decision in the Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community case. The good news for Native nations is that the Court upheld the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity, opting not to carry out any of the doomsday scenarios many suggested could…

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Disenrollment Demands Serious Attention by All Sovereign Nations

Disenrollment Demands Serious Attention by All Sovereign Nations

For most people, their sense of who they are–their identity–is at least partially defined from connection to others and to a community. When individuals are forced to sever those connections, the consequences can be devastating. Unfortunately, all too often in tribal disenrollment conflicts–like…

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Will the Supreme Court Use Bay Mills Case to Blow Up Tribal Sovereignty?

Will the Supreme Court Use Bay Mills Case to Blow Up Tribal Sovereignty?

As regular visitors to this site and other Indian country media outlets no doubt have seen in recent weeks, Native nation leaders, tribal attorneys, and federal Indian law practitioners alike are gravely concerned about a case currently pending before the Supreme Court: State of Michigan v. Bay…

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How Tribes Can Prepare for Tribal Sovereignty Blow From Supreme Court

How Tribes Can Prepare for Tribal Sovereignty Blow From Supreme Court

In the first part of this two-part series, we provided a short history of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case State of Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, discussed its relevance to the sustainability of the legal doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity, and detailed two potential outcomes of…

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In Defense of Tribal Sovereign Immunity: A Pragmatic Look at the Doctrine as a Tool for Strengthening Tribal Courts

In Defense of Tribal Sovereign Immunity: A Pragmatic Look at the Doctrine as a Tool for Strengthening Tribal Courts

Although the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity was recently upheld by the Supreme Court in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, its existence continues to be attacked as “antiquated” and leading to “unfair” results. While most defenses of tribal sovereign immunity focus on how the…