restricted access 212. Joint Federal-State Commission on Policies and Programs Affecting Alaska Natives (Alaska Natives Commission) August 18, 1990
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329 that asserts jurisdiction. As in Oliphant, the tribal officials do not claim jurisdiction under an affirmative congressional authorization or treaty provision, and petitioner does not contend that Congress has legislated to remove jurisdiction from the tribes. The question we must answer is whether the sovereignty retained by the tribes in their dependent status within our scheme of government includes the power of criminal jurisdiction over nonmembers . We think the rationale of our decisions in Oliphant and Wheeler, as well as subsequent cases, compels the conclusion that Indian tribes lack jurisdiction over persons who are not tribe members. Our discussion of tribal sovereignty in Wheeler bears most directly on this case. We were consistent in describing retained tribal sovereignty over the defendant in terms of a tribe’s power over its members. . . . Criminal trial and punishment is so serious an intrusion on personal liberty that its exercise over non-Indian citizens was a power necessarily surrendered by the tribes in their submission to the overriding sovereignty of the United States. . . . We hesitate to adopt a view of tribal sovereignty that would single out another group of citizens, nonmember Indians, for trial by political bodies that do not include them. As full citizens, Indians share in the territorial and political sovereignty of the United States. The retained sovereignty of the tribe is but a recognition of certain additional authority the tribes maintain over Indians who consent to be tribal members. Indians like all other citizens share allegiance to the overriding sovereign, the United States. A tribe’s additional authority comes from the consent of its members, and so in the criminal sphere membership marks the bounds of tribal authority . . . . If the present jurisdictional scheme proves insufficient to meet the practical needs of reservation law enforcement, then the proper body to address the problem is Congress, which has the ultimate authority over Indian affairs. We cannot, however, accept these arguments of policy as a basis for finding tribal jurisdiction that is inconsistent with precedent, history, and the equal treatment of Native American citizens. The judgment of the Court of Appeals is hereby Reversed. [495 U.S. Reports, 679, 684–85, 693, 698.] 212. Joint Federal-State Commission on Policies and Programs Affecting Alaska Natives (Alaska Natives Commission) August 18, 1990 The economic and social conditions of Alaska Natives were not materially improved by the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, and scathing reports of those conditions appeared. One important one was The Report of the Alaska Federation of Natives on the Status of Alaska Natives: A Call for Action (1989). In response, Congress, after substantial hearings, established a commission to study the problems. Senator Daniel Inouye, who conducted the hearings, likened the commission to the American Indian Policy Review Commission of 1975. An Act to clarify and strengthen the authority for certain Department of the Interior law enforcement services, activities, and officers in Indian country, and for other purposes. . . . . alaska natives commission Sec. 12(a)(1) The Congress has conducted a preliminary review of the social and economic circumstances of Alaska Natives and of governmental policies and programs affecting Alaska Natives and finds that— (A) in this period of rapid cultural change, there is, among Alaska Natives , a growing social and economic crisis characterized by, among other things, alcohol abuse and violence, grave health problems, low levels of educational achievement, joblessness, a lack of employment opportunities, 330 and a growing dependency upon transfer payments; (B) these conditions exist even though public policies and programs adopted in recent decades have been intended to assist Alaska Natives in protecting their traditional cultures and subsistence economies and in encouraging economic self-sufficiency and individual, group, village, and regional self-determination; and (C) Alaska Natives and the State of Alaska have expressed a need for a review of public policies and programs and a desire to make such policies and programs more effective in accomplishing their intentions. (2) The Congress hereby declares that it is timely and essential to conduct, in cooperation with the State of Alaska and with the participation of Alaska Natives, a comprehensive review of Federal and State policies and programs affecting Alaska Natives in order to identify specific actions that may be taken by the United States and the State of Alaska to help assure that public policy goals are more fully realized among Alaska Natives. (b)(1) There is hereby established a Commission to be known as the “Joint FederalState Commission on Policies and...


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