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American Indian Law Deskbook, Fourth Edition

Conference of Western Attorneys General

Publication Year: 2009

"Students and practitioners of law, American Indian history, cultures, and contemporary issues; tribal officials; people who need quick, reliable, and basic information (e.g., journalists and legislators); and lawyers who do not specialize in Indian law but need a broad overview of particular legal issues will find this resource useful."— American Reference Books Annual

A collaborative effort from attorney general offices faced daily with legal questions involving state and tribal relations, the American Indian Law Deskbook, Fourth Edition is an up-to-date, comprehensive treatise on Indian law. The Deskbook provides readers with the neccessary historical and legal framework to understand the complexities faced by states, Indian tribes, and the federal government in Indian country. Thorough, scholarly, and balanced, the American Indian Law Deskbook, Fourth Edition is an invaluable reference for a wide range of people working with Indian tribes, including attorneys, legal scholars, government officials, social workers, state and tribal jurists, and historians. This revised edition includes information from more recent court decisions, federal statutes, administrative regulations, and law reviews.

Published by: University Press of Colorado

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-xix

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Foreword to Fourth Edition

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pp. xxi-xxii

Few areas of legal practice have the breadth, both substantively and procedurally, of Indian law. Although primarily the province of federal courts, Indian law questions are confronted with increasing frequency by state courts in a variety of areas, most notably child custody...

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Foreword to Third Edition

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pp. xxiii-xxiv

Since publication of the Second Edition of the American Indian Law Deskbook, the field of Indian law has developed significantly, most notably in the areas of tribal lands acquisitions, tribal gaming, child custody, and contested sovereignty matters. As with the First Edition...

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Foreword to Second Edition

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pp. xxv-xxvi

As former North Dakota Attorney General Nicholas Spaeth wrote in the Foreword to the First Edition of American Indian Law Deskbook, the objective of the Conference of Western Attorneys General has been to present a comprehensive and objective treatise...

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Foreword to First Edition

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pp. xxvii-xxix

The United States’ romance with the West and its historical development has been chronicled in countless books and films. A central theme is often the relationship between white settlers and Indians and Indian tribes. This part of the romance...

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1: Federal Indian Law Policy: Origins and Legal Development

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pp. 1-47

Article I, section 8, clause 3 of the United States Constitution empowers Congress “[t]o regulate commerce . . . with the Indian tribes.” The Indian Commerce Clause’s purpose was, and its effect has been, to make “Indian relations . . . the exclusive province...

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2: Indian, Indian Tribe, and Indian Country

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pp. 48-78

Fundamental to Indian law are the terms “Indian,” “Indian tribe,” and “Indian country.” For criminal law purposes, the existence of federal, state, or tribal jurisdiction depends on the place of the crime—i.e., whether it occurred in Indian country—and the Indian...

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3: Indian Land and Property: Title and Use

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pp. 79-140

Land occupancy and ownership issues have been a central concern of Indian law since the nation’s founding. Beginning with the first Trade and Intercourse Act in 17901, statutory restraints have limited the ability of tribes to alienate land. In...

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4: Criminal Law

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pp. 141-168

Criminal jurisdiction in Indian country is relatively settled. As a general matter, federal statutes look to the nature of the offense, the location of the offense, and the Indian or non-Indian status of the offender and victim in allocating criminal jurisdiction among federal...

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5: General Civil Regulatory Jurisdiction

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pp. 169-224

Among the most difficult and recurring issues in Indian law is the scope of federal, tribal, and state civil regulatory authority in Indian country. Since Worcester v. Georgia1, the Supreme Court has labored to articulate general principles to resolve these issues...

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6: Civil Adjudicatory Jurisdiction

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pp. 225-286

Courts adjudicating civil matters connected with Indian country must make the threshold decision whether subject matter jurisdiction exists or, in the case of federal courts, whether it should be exercised even when present. The core issues involve the standards...

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7: Tribal Sovereign Immunity and the Indian Civil Rights Act

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pp. 287-330

Indian tribes are unique political entities, and the relation of a tribe and the United States is “perhaps unlike that of any other two people in existence.”1 They are not foreign nations separate and apart from the United States; instead they are...

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8: Indian Reserved Water Rights

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pp. 331-383

Most treaties and executive orders that set aside land for Indian reservations do not have express provisions addressing water rights. Nevertheless, courts, with few exceptions, have found that there is an implied federal water right sufficient to fulfill...

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9: Fish and Wildlife Regulation

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pp. 384-426

Indian hunting and fishing issues arise in a wide variety of contexts. Individual tribal members take fish and wildlife inside and outside Indian reservation boundaries, often raising questions of whether state, tribal, and federal laws apply to their actions...

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10: Environmental Regulation

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pp. 427-463

Beginning with the Clean Air Act (CAA) in 1963, Congress enacted a series of comprehensive statutes designed to clean up and protect the environment. Environmental statutes administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency...

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11: Taxation in Indian Country

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pp. 464-509

Taxation has been a frequent source of controversy between states and Indian tribes. Freedom of a sovereign government from taxation by another sovereign has been recognized as an important aspect of our federal system1, and this concept has been extended...

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12: Indian Lands Gaming

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pp. 510-570

No other economic activity undertaken by Indian tribes has been as far-reaching and important as tribal gaming, starting in the late 1970s1 and expanding in earnest since the early 1990s. Unsurprisingly, this gaming explosion has spawned a significant level of litigation and regulatory...

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13: Indian Child Welfare Act

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pp. 571-619

The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA)1 was enacted in response to what was characterized as “[t]he wholesale separation of Indian children from their families” through various methods of state court voluntary or involuntary termination of parental...

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14: State-Tribal Cooperative Agreements

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pp. 620-660

States and tribes share adjacent lands, resources, and citizens, while jurisdictional rules are often not clearly established under federal law. This situation has historically created conflict and uncertainty, often leading to expensive and lengthy litigation...

Table of Cases

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pp. 661-718

Table of Statutes and Codes

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pp. 719-727


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pp. 728-754


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pp. 755-789

E-ISBN-13: 9780870819933
E-ISBN-10: 0870819933
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870819254
Print-ISBN-10: 0870819259

Page Count: 736
Publication Year: 2009