Jurisdiction in Indian Country: A Guide to
Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction

The most complicated issues in the field of Indian law and tribal governance arise with respect to judicial and regulatory jurisdiction. Indian Country jurisdiction is a complex subject and may be one of the most rapidly changing areas of American law. With millions of non-Indians visiting gaming facilities, leisure resorts and other attractions on reservations each year, understanding jurisdictional issues is critical.

One of the most contentious issues in Indian Country is that of jurisdiction over Indians and tribes by state and local governments. State and local authorities make ongoing attempts to exercise control over tribes and tribal members on reservation lands. This class will take you through virtually every issue and significant court decision impacting jurisdiction on Indian lands.

This popular class is a must for anyone involved in Indian issues. Our expert instructor will guide you through the finer points of key laws, regulations and court decisions. You’ll have the opportunity to discuss jurisdictional concerns that affect your tribe — taxation, land use, sovereign immunity, gaming and more. Each participant will receive a comprehensive manual and certificate of completion.

T O P I C S   I N C L U D E
Historical Perspective
  • Historical and legal origins of Indian sovereignty
  • Limitations on tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction
  • Political and cultural aspects of tribes
  • The federal-tribal relationship
  • Sources and extent of federal power over Indians
  • Role of the Constitution, Congress and the Supreme Court
Basic Concepts of Jurisdiction
  • Civil vs. criminal jurisdiction
  • Types of governmental and judicial jurisdiction
  • History of Indian Country jurisdiction
  • Early court definitions of “Indian Country”
  • Case law (Worcester, Cherokee, Venetie)
Exercise of Tribal Government Authority
  • Tribal authority over liquor sales
  • Exclusion from reservation lands
  • Court jurisdiction and the Indian Civil Rights Act
  • Due process and equal protection
  • Indian Child Welfare Act
Federal Power and Jurisdiction Over Indians and Indian Country
  • Major Crimes Act

*Topics subject to change.

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