the Relationship Between Indian Nations, the Federal Government, and State Governments
Jerry Gardner, Esq., is the Executive
Director of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, the Administrator for the National
American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA), and an Adjunct Lecturer at the
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall).
In order to effectively address criminal justice issues in Indian country and services
for victims of crime in Indian country, it is vital that productive efforts are made to
improve the relationship between Indian Nations, the federal government, and state
governments. The first step required in any effort to improve these relationships is an
understanding and recognition of the unique sovereign status of Indian Nations. Second,
contemporary problems in the relationship between these governments should be examined.
Third, recent examples of efforts to improve the relationship between these governments
should be reviewed. Then, the potential use of written cooperative agreements - such as
Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) - to improve the relationship between these
governments should be examined. Finally, practical tips for developing and implementing
written cooperative agreements should be reviewed.
- Unique Sovereign Status of Indian Nations
Any effort to improve the relationship between Indian Nations, the federal government,
and state governments must begin with an understanding and recognition of the unique
sovereign status of Indian Nations. The Congressional findings in the 1993 Indian Tribal
Justice Act provide a brief overview of the basic concepts of this unique sovereign status
The Congress finds and declares that-
- there is a government-to-government relationship between the United States and each
- The United States has a trust responsibility to each tribal government that includes the
protection of the sovereignty of each tribal government;
- Congress, through statutes, treaties, and the exercise of administrative authorities,
has recognized the self-determination, self-reliance, and inherent sovereignty of Indian
- Indian tribes possess the inherent authority to establish their own form of government,
including tribal justice systems;
- tribal justice systems are an essential part of tribal governments and serve as
important forums for ensuring public health and safety and the political integrity of
- Congress and the Federal courts have repeatedly recognized tribal justice systems as the
appropriate forums for the adjudication of disputes affecting personal and property
- traditional tribal justice practices are essential to the maintenance of the culture and
identity of Indian tribes and to the goals of this Act;
In April 1994, President Bill Clinton reinforced the longstanding federal policy
supporting self-determination for Indian Nations and directed federal agencies to deal
with Indian Nations on a government-to-government basis when tribal governmental or treaty
rights are at issue.(2) Each President
since Lyndon Johnson has formally recognized the sovereign status of Indian Nations.(3)
- Contemporary Problems in the Relationship Between Indian Nations, the
Federal Government, and State Governments
There are a wide range of contemporary problems in the relationship between Indian
Nations, the federal government, and state governments which need to be addressed,
including the following:
- Historic Oppression of Native Peoples
It is difficult to overstate the continuing impact of the historic oppression of Native
Peoples upon contemporary problems in Indian country. For example, it is impossible to
understand contemporary child abuse problems in Indian country without an understanding of
the historic governmental interference with Indian family life.(4)
- Historic Mistrust Between Tribal, State, and Federal Governments
The historic oppression of Native Peoples has resulted in an historic mistrust of state
and federal governmental agencies. For example, Congress recognized the continuing impact
of the historic oppression and mistrust when it found in enacting the Indian Child Welfare
Act that "the States, exercising their recognized jurisdiction over Indian child
custody proceedings through administrative and judicial bodies, have often failed to
recognize the essential tribal relations of Indian people and the cultural and social
standards prevailing in Indian communities and families".(5)
- Cultural Differences
Any effort to improve the relationship between Indian Nations, the federal government,
and the state governments must address the critical issue of cultural differences.
Although there is much diversity within Native American communities, an Office for Victims
of Crime (OVC) Monograph entitled "Cultural Differences in Working With American
Indian Crime Victims" suggests three common areas to consider in dealing with Native
communities - boundaries (limits of acceptable behavior), training representation and
sensitivity issues, and the important role of spirituality.
- High Crime Rate in Indian Country
While the crime rate, especially the violent crime rate and juvenile crime rate, has
been substantially declining nationally, these crime rates have been increasing
substantially in Indian country.(6)
- Jurisdictional Complexities and Limitations in Indian Country
There are many jurisdictional complexities and limitations in Indian country which
present overwhelming difficulties for any effort to improve the relationship between
Indian nation, the federal government, and state governments. The confusing division of
jurisdiction among tribal, federal, and state governments results in a jurisdictional maze
and the resultant jurisdictional gaps and disputes. This jurisdictional maze is
complicated by the lack of tribal court criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians,(7)
the practical impact of Public Law 280,(8) and other limitations on
tribal criminal jurisdiction. The difficulty of determining jurisdiction, and provisions
for concurrent jurisdiction of certain cases, can cause conflict and confusion for law
enforcement, prosecution, courts, service providers, and crime victims in Indian country.
- Coordinating the Investigation and Prosecution of Criminal Cases in Indian Country
The jurisdictional complexities and limitations in Indian country substantially
complicate any effort to improve the coordination of the investigation and prosecution of
criminal cases in Indian country.(9)
- Problems with Cross-Recognition of Judgements, Final Orders, Laws and Public Acts
Between Tribal, State, and Federal Courts
The issue of reciprocal recognition of judgments between tribal, state, and federal
courts is an important and contentious issue in tribal-state-federal relations.
- Lack of Knowledge and Contact with Tribal Criminal Justice Systems
The historic lack of knowledge and contact with tribal criminal justice systems,
including tribal court systems, by state and federal court systems has greatly complicated
the relationship between Indian Nations, the federal government, and state governments.
- Inadequately Funded Tribal Criminal Justice Systems
The well documented lack of adequate funding for tribal criminal justice systems has
presented substantial problems for improving the relationship between Indian Nations, the
federal government, and state governments. For example, Congress found in enacting the
Indian Tribal Justice Act that "tribal justice systems are inadequately funded, and
the lack of adequate funding impairs their operation".(10)
- Lack of Facilities/Resources and Isolated Rural Locations of Most Indian Reservations
The lack of facilities and resources available to most tribal criminal justice systems
(see above) has presented substantial problems for improving the relationship between
Indian Nations, the federal government, and state governments.(11)
This situation is complicated by the isolated, rural locations of most Indian
- Recent Examples of Efforts to Improve the Relationship
Between Indian Nations, the Federal Government, and State Governments
There have been many efforts in recent years to improve the relationship between Indian
Nations, the federal government, and state governments. These efforts need to be examined
in order to determine the most effective strategies. The following are some of these
- Congressionally Authorized or Mandated Cooperation (1978-Present)
The U.S. Congress has occasionally enacted legislation which either authorizes or
mandates cooperation between Indian Nations, the federal government, and state
governments. These Congressional Acts have included the following:
- The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (Public Law 95-608, 25 U.S.C. 1901-1963) sets out a
series of Congressional mandates including (1) that Indian tribes shall have exclusive
jurisdiction over certain Indian child custody proceedings (section 1911(a)) and transfer
from state court in others (section 1911(b)); (2) that "the United States, every
State, every territory or possession of the United States, and every Indian tribe shall
give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of any
Indian tribe applicable to Indian child custody proceedings to the same extent that such
entities give full faith and credit to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings
of any other entity" (section 1911 (d)); and (3) authorized States and Indian tribes
to enter into agreements with each other respecting care and custody of Indian children
and jurisdiction over child custody proceedings (section 1919).
- The Indian Law Enforcement Reform Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-379, 25 U.S.C. 2801-2809)
authorizes federal law enforcement officials (Bureau of Indian Affairs, Federal Bureau of
Investigation, and United States Attorneys) to provide Indian Nations with comprehensive
federal prosecution declination notification reports (including the reasons why the
investigation or prosecution was declined or terminated) and access to investigation case
- The Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act of 1990 (Public Law
101-630, 25 U.S.C. 3201-3211) authorizes the exchange of child abuse information between
Indian Nations, the federal government, and state governments - "
any Indian tribe, of any State, or of the Federal Government that investigate and treat
incidents of abuse of children may provide information and records to those agencies of
any Indian tribe, any State or the Federal Government that need to know the information in
the performance of their duties. For purposes of this section, Indian tribal governments
shall be treated the same as other Federal Government entities" (section 3205).
- The Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-647, 18 U.S.C. 3509 (g)) provides
that federal agencies must work and consult with local governmental multidisciplinary
child abuse teams (MDTs), including MDTs established by Indian Nations.
- The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 (Public law 103-322, 108 Stat. 1902-1955)
provides that full faith and credit must be accorded to all protection orders from other
jurisdictions, including those from tribal courts.
- United States Commission on Civil Rights Report on The Indian Civil Rights Act (June
- The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights made several recommendations concerning the
relationship between Indian Nations, the federal government, and state governments,
including a recommendation that "The Commission believes that Federal support for
reciprocal recognition of State and tribal court judgments will result in greater public
respect for tribal court authority, and encourages the Congress to reflect such support in
tribal court legislation".
- Building on Common Ground Report (1988-1993)
- In 1988, the Conference of Chief Justices of State Supreme Courts convened a Committee
on Jurisdiction in Indian Country and began a process to improve the working relations
between tribal, state, and federal judicial systems. The culmination of this process was a
national leadership conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico in September 1993 (the sponsoring
organizations included the State Justice Institute, Conference of Chief Justices, Native
American Tribal Courts Committee of the National Conference of Special Court Judges of the
American Bar Association, National American Indian Court Judges Association, and National
Center for State Courts). At the Santa Fe conference, the participants unanimously adopted
a series of recommendations for the improvement of the working relations between tribal,
state, and federal judicial systems which were later compiled into a written report
entitled "Building On Common Ground: A National Agenda To Reduce Jurisdictional
Disputes Between Tribal, State, And Federal Courts". The following are the four major
recommendations from that report (the report includes many more specific recommendations
to implement each of these four major recommendations):
- Tribal, state, and federal courts should continue cooperative efforts to resolve and
reduce jurisdictional disputes.
- Congress should provide resources to enhance and expand tribal court operations
concomitant with their increased authority.
- Appropriate action should be taken to assure cross-recognition of judgments, final
orders, laws and public acts between tribal, state, and federal courts.
- It should be a goal of all concerned for Indian tribes to have some jurisdiction, at
their option and as their resources permit, over conduct in Indian country, whether by
Indian tribal members, non-members, or non-Indians.
- Tribal/State/Federal Court Forums (1991-Present)
In January 1989, the Conference of Chief Justices created the Prevention and Resolution
of Jurisdictional Disputes Project to improve the operational relationships among tribal,
state, and federal judicial systems. This Project implemented a series of tribal
court-state court forums. For the most part, these forums have been very effective in
providing a methodology for addressing an improvement of the operational relations among
tribal and state courts. Over time, most of these forums have been expanded to also
include federal courts and to more fully address improving the relations between tribal,
state, and federal court systems. Overall, these forums have been very effective in
addressing potential conflicts between tribal, state, and federal courts - for example,
many of the forums have played a critical role in the enactment of state court rules
and/or statutes granting full faith and credit or comity for tribal court judgments. There
are at least three critical resources concerning this court forum process which provide an
excellent examination of the lessons to be learned from this court forum process:
- Tribal Courts and State Courts: From Conflicts to Common Ground by H. Ted Rubin (State
Court Journal, Winter 1992, pages 17-20).
- Tribal Court-State Court Forums, A How-To-Do-It Guide to Prevent and Resolve
Jurisdictional Disputes and Improve Cooperation Between Tribal and State Courts by H.
Clifton Grandy and H. Ted Rubin (National Center for State Courts, 1993).
- Partnership: Bringing Together Tribal and State Court Jurisdictions by Hon. William
Thorne (The Tribal Court Record, Volume 9, Number 1, Spring/Summer 1996, pages 21-24).
- U. S. Department of Justice Initiatives (1990-Present)
The United States Department of Justice has implemented a series of initiatives in
recent years to improve the relationships between Indian Nations, the federal government,
and state governments, including the following:
- The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) began a series of Indian country initiatives in
1990 which have focused upon child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, and victims of
crime issues. Of particular importance here, most OVC programs have focused upon improving
the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases, especially child abuse cases, in
Indian country through improved coordination and cooperation between tribal, state, and
federal agencies. Furthermore, OVC funded the development of two important resource guides
- Resource Packet on Tribal/Federal Coordination of Child Sexual Abuse Cases and Child
Sexual Abuse Protocol Development Guide.
- In May 1994, the Departments of Justice and Interior sponsored the National American
Indian Listening Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Attorney General Janet Reno
played a critical role in the Listening Conference and in the many Justice Department
efforts to support tribal justice systems which have followed through on the
recommendations of the Listening Conference.)
- In 1994, the Justice Department established a Tribal Courts Project to assist tribes in
developing and strengthening their systems of justice - the Tribal Courts Project
spearheaded the September 1995 designation of 45 Indian Nations as Tribal Court-DOJ
- The Tribal Courts project also initiated the symposium of articles on tribal justice
systems for a special Indian Tribal Courts and Justice issue of Judicature
(November-December 1995, Volume 79, Number 3) as part of its effort to increase the
visibility of tribal courts as essential participants in the nationwide administration of
- In 1994, the Justice Department established the Office of Tribal Justice to serve as a
coordination center for all Department of Justice activities relating to Native Americans.
- In 1995, the Justice Department established an American Indian and Alaska Native Desk in
the Office of Justice programs to enhance access by Indian Nations to information
regarding criminal justice funding opportunities and technical assistance.
- In August 1997, President Clinton directed the Attorney General and the Secretary of the
Interior to work with tribal leaders to analyze law enforcement problems on Indian lands
and suggest ways for improving public safety and criminal justice in Indian country. As a
result of that process, the Clinton Administration - through the Joint Department of
Justice-Department of the Interior Indian Country Law Enforcement Initiative - has
requested an additional $182 million in fiscal year 1999 funding ($157.5 million through
the Department of Justice) for law enforcement in Indian country, including $10 million to
establish an Indian Tribal Courts Program at the Justice Department.
- The Justice Department has also implemented a series of Indian country law enforcement
programs including (1) U.S. Attorneys in Indian country have been asked to designate
Assistant U.S. Attorneys to serve as tribal liaisons and to work cooperatively with tribal
police, investigators, prosecutors, and judges; (2) the FBI created an Office of Indian
Country Investigations (OICI) in January 1997; (3) the Justice Department has tried to
enhance the degree of multi-jurisdictional cooperation through the FBIs Safe Trails
Task Force model; and (4) the Justice Department has developed an Indian Country Justice
Initiative which involves a criminal justice partnership with the Laguna Pueblo and the
Northern Cheyenne Tribe.
- Executive Order: Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal Governments (President
Clinton - May 14, 1998)
On May 14, 1998, President Bill Clinton took a significant step beyond his initial
April 1994 Executive Order. This May 14, 1998 Executive Order sets forth a series of
specific provisions designed "to establish regular and meaningful consultation and
collaboration with Indian tribal governments in the development of regulatory practices on
Federal matters tha significantly or uniquely affect their communities; to reduce the
imposition of unfunded mandates upon Indian tribal governments; and to streamline the
application process for and increase the availability of waivers to Indian tribal
governments". This Executive Order has the potential to significantly affect the
relationship between Indian Nations, the federal government, and state governments.
- Potential Use of Cooperative Agreements in Improving the
Relationship Between Indian Nations, the Federal Government, and State Governments
One of the most important lessons from the recent efforts to improve the relationship
between Indian Nations, the federal government, and state governments is the critical need
for written cooperative agreements between these governments. Productive working
relationships between governments and agencies are often based upon the personal
relationships of individual officials. When those officials leave the agency, the
productive working relationships can fall apart. A written cooperative agreement, however,
formalizes the productive relationship. It ensures that the issues will continue to be
handled in the same manner, regardless of the specific individuals involved. The written
agreement provides a common basis for addressing issues and problems. It allows for
accountability. Since the role of each agency is specifically outlined, it is clear what
the role is of each government and agency. Consequently, the government or agency can be
held accountable for their actions.
Cooperative agreements between Indian Nations, the federal government, and/or state
governments can be identified by many different terms or titles. It may be called a
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), a Protocol, a
Tribal-State Compact, a Collaboration Agreement, or any number of other titles. Some
titles may be needed for certain types of agreements due to the nature of the agreement,
the law which authorizes the agreement, or the agencies involved in it.
The agreement can be as simple or complicated as necessary to meet the needs of the
specific issue or problem and the agencies involved. It can provide only the basics or it
can be very complex, outlining every possible step of the process in dealing with the
The elements of the cooperative agreement may also vary depending upon the needs of the
specific issue or problem and the agencies involved. There are, however, certain key
elements which should be included in virtually all cooperative agreements - or Memorandums
of Understanding - between Indian Nations, the federal government, and/or state
governments. First, the agreement should clearly identify the issue or problem to be
addressed by the cooperative agreement. Second, most cooperative agreements set out a
brief history of the collaborative relationship between the parties and/or the underlying
philosophy or purpose of the agreement. Third, the agreement should provide definitions of
any terms used in the agreement which may be subject to confusion or differing
interpretations. Fourth, the agreement should clearly state the roles and responsibilities
of each of the agencies/governments involved in the agreement. Finally, and perhaps most
importantly, the agreement must be signed and dated by officials with the authority to
bind their agency/government to the agreement - It is this critical component (the binding
agreement of all parties) which makes it a Memorandum of Understanding and not just a
proposal, confirming letter, or some other form of non-binding agreement.
There are many issues or problems which could be the subject of a cooperative agreement
or a Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Nations, the federal government, and/or
state governments. There are many potential issues which could be addressed in a
cooperative agreement, including the Indian Child Welfare Act, domestic relations matters,
contracts, torts, repossessions, taxation, economic development, gaming, hunting and
fishing, water rights, repatriation, and religious practice issues. The focus here,
however, is on criminal justice issues. Possible criminal justice issues subject to
cooperative agreements or Memorandums of Understanding include the following:
- Jurisdiction agreements - especially where there is concurrent jurisdiction (such as
Public Law 280) or disputes concerning territorial jurisdiction
- Arrest and Detention agreements - or "Cross-Deputization" of Law Enforcement
- Extradition agreements
- Agreements or Protocols concerning the Investigation and Prosecution of all cases or
specific types of cases (such as child sexual abuse)
- Service of Process Agreements
- Cross Recognition of Judgments, Final Orders, and Laws (full faith and credit or comity)
- Mutual Recognition of Domestic Violence Protective Orders
- Roles and Responsibilities of Multidisciplinary Teams (such as Child Protection Teams or
- Provision of Federal Declination Reports and Case Files
- Sharing of Child Abuse Information and Records
- Sharing of other Information, Reports, and Resources
- Assessment of Child Support and Facilitation of Collection Efforts
- Access to and Sharing of Criminal Records/Histories
- Traffic Enforcement
- Inter-Jurisdiction Management of Probationers/Parolees
- Sharing of Detention Facilities
- Sharing of Treatment Resources for Criminal Cases
- Sharing of Training Resources
- Facilitation of Restitution Assessment and Collection
- Community Service in Lieu of Fines for Work Completed in Other Jurisdictions
- Tips for the Development and Implementation of Cooperative Agreements
Unfortunately, cooperative agreements or Memorandums of Understanding are not usually
created quickly or easily. They usually involve a great deal of time, effort, and
cooperation. There is no one sure way to develop and implement a cooperative agreement.
There are, however, a number of tips set forth below which can be gleaned from prior
successful efforts involving the development and implementation of cooperative agreements
between Indian Nations, the federal government, and state governments. Many of these tips
draw upon the successful efforts of the tribal/state/federal court forums, especially the
three resources on the tribal court-state court forums listed previously. Furthermore,
Exhibit #1 provides specific Dos and Donts from the Arizona Tribal/State Court
- The Primary Work is Done by a Group of "Problem Solvers"
The effort will not succeed if it simply becomes a process of finger-pointing and
blaming someone else for whatever problems are identified. As Judge William Thorne stated
in analyzing the success of the tribal-state forum process:(12)
Instead, the approach must be one of attempt to circumnavigate the obstacles, to seek
cooperative ventures. Not everything needs to be solved definitively. Sometimes it is best
to leapfrog the barriers that others have set up and continue to the goal. When viewing
the differences between tribal and state courts, the gulf may appear insurmountable. Much
like the starving man who is overwhelmed at the prospect of making a meal of an elephant,
the solution is one bite at a time. It is not necessary to create a comprehensive and
universal solution to the problems that are created from parallel systems not working well
together. Rather, the short term goal should be to create an ever expanding series of
- There is Equal Representation from the Applicable Governments
A critical component of the development process is equal representation from each
government involved in the process: Indian Nations, the federal government, and/or state
governments. This balance is important to ensure that the cooperative agreement process is
not perceived as the property of any one system (It should be noted that the tribal-state
court forum project which failed had only minimal tribal representation).
- The Work is Completed in an Atmosphere of Mutual Respect
It is also critical that the process is completed in an atmosphere of mutual respect.
The setting should be a safe environment in which to share, learn, and explore. It is
alright to acknowledge differences between systems, but not in a stereotypical or
judgmental manner. The unique sovereign status of Indian Nations must be respected. Mutual
respect is also shown by a willingness to alternate the site of the meetings - state and
federal representatives must be willing to travel to reservations for meetings.
- The Agenda is Focused upon Areas of Mutual Concern or Shared Interest
It is vital to focus upon identifying areas of commonality instead of the differences.
The process should focus upon areas where cooperation can be achieved rather than a litany
of insurmountable problems. Focusing upon areas of mutual concern or shared interest
creates confidence and trust which will smooth the path when genuine disagreements are
encountered down the road.
- The Participants are Willing to Examine not just the Way Things Have Been, but are
Willing to Explore New Ways of Improving the Working Relationships
Each system has much to learn from the other systems. The cooperative agreement must be
developed in an atmosphere which goes beyond the prior relationship between the
participants. Instead, all participants must be willing to explore new ways to improve the
- The Participants are Willing to be Creative and Persistent
For the process to succeed, the participants must be willing to be creative and
persistent. The process will undoubtedly have frustrations and difficult times. The
participants must be willing to try creative solutions such as the provision of food at
meetings, changing the location of the meetings to meet at the office of problem
participants, starting meetings with an invocation from a tribal elder, etc.
- The Participants are Willing to Share the Burden
The participants must also be willing to share the burden by sharing resources,
training, technical assistance, and the limited available funding.
- All Agencies are Allowed Input into Agreement Drafts Prior to Finalization
There are many ways to develop a cooperative agreement. It may not be necessary to have
every agency involved in all steps of the process. Some work may be more effectively
developed by task forces or working groups. However, all agencies must be allowed input
into the agreement drafts prior to finalization of the agreement.
- The Development Process Anticipates Periodic Review and Modification
The cooperative agreement will be much more difficult to develop if the final product
is viewed as written in stone. Instead, it should be viewed as a dynamic and flexible
document which will require periodic review and modification. The review and modification
process can even be formally incorporated into the document itself.
Tribal/State Court Forum Dos and Donts
(Based on the experience of the members of the Arizona Court Forum as
reported by the National Center for State
- DO select forum members from diverse perspectives who have demonstrated interest,
expertise, or experience in addressing Indian law issues.
- DONT select forum members based only on their position within the judiciary or
- DO acknowledge differences between tribal and state court systems and seek ways of
cooperating consistent with those differences.
- DONT characterize either system as better or worse or more or less sophisticated
than the other.
- DO proceed in phases with predetermined time frames, including a study phase in which
issues are identified, before implementing recommendations.
- DONT devote resources to implementation until a consensus is reached concerning
priority issues and recommendations.
- DO design a process that invites broad-based participation in identifying issues and
- DONT be discouraged by lack of participation or lack of progress.
- DO assign manageable tasks to forum members or subcommittees to be accomplished within
established time frames.
- DONT delay too long before dividing the work of the forum into tasks that can be
accomplished within the time frames established.
- DO emphasize creative solutions to jurisdictional issues that avoid litigation and are
consistent with the rights of the parties, sovereignty, and judicial independence.
- DONT emphasize jurisdictional limitations.
- DO emphasize person-to-person communication and education to address jurisdictional
- DONT seek to address jurisdictional issues solely through large-scale change in
the law or legal systems.
1. Indian Tribal
Justice Act (Public Law 103-176), 25 U.S.C. 3601.
2. See memorandum for the
heads of executive departments memorandum for the
heads of executive departments and agencies on the subject of government-to-government
relations with Native American tribal governments. Public Papers of the Presidents of the
United States, William J. Clinton. 1994, Book 1 at 800-803.
previous policy statements, see "The Forgotten American," Message
from President Lyndon B. Johnson, March 6, 1968, H.R. Doc. 90-272; "The American
Indians", Message from President Richard M. Nixon, July 8, 1970, H.R. Doc. 91-363;
"Statement on Indian Policy," January 24, 1983, Public Papers of the Presidents
of the united States, Ronald Reagan. 1984 Book 1 at 90-100; "Government-to-Government
Relationship of the United States with Indian Tribal Governments," Statement by
President George Bush, June 21, 1991, 137 Cong. Rec. S. 8388-01.
4. See The
Destruction of American Indian Families The
Destruction of American Indian Families (Association on American Indian Affairs,
1977), Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 76-24533.
5. Indian Child
Welfare Act (Public Law 95-608), 25 U.S.C. 1901 (5).
6. For example,
of Attorney General Janet Reno before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs,
June 3, 1998.
v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, 435 U.S. 191 (1978)., 435 U.S. 191 (1978).
8. See Office
for Victims of Crime (OVC) Monograph Office
for Victims of Crime (OVC) Monograph entitled "Public Law 280: Issues and
Concerns for Victims of Crime in Indian Country".
Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Monograph entitled "Improving Tribal/Federal
Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse Cases Through Agency Cooperation".
Office for Victims of Crime
(OVC) Monograph entitled "Improving Tribal/Federal
Prosecution of Child Sexual Abuse Cases Through Agency Cooperation".
Tribal Justice Act (Public Law 103-176), 25 U.S.C. 3601 (8) - Unfortunately, Congress
has yet to appropriate any of the funding promised under this 1993 Act.
For example, see Testimony of attorney General Janet Reno before the U.S. Senate
Committee on Indian Affairs, June 3, 1998.
Bringing Together Tribal and State Court Jurisdictions by Hon. William Thorne (The
Tribal Court Record, Volume 9, Number 1, Spring/Summer 1996, pages 21-22).