Tribal Court News
Tribal Courts Aim to Heal
Advocates for Native American survivors of intimate violence cheered when they won the right to prosecute non-Indian assailants in tribal court. That change came with a provision in the Violence Against Women Act earlier this year. On at least one slice of California sovereign tribal land, the change also means defendants will have to engage with a very different criminal justice system – one that is based on restorative justice.
U.S. Supreme Court Oral Agruments in ICWA Case
The United States Supreme Court recently heard an Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) adoption case involving a South Carolina couple who were ordered to turn over a 27-month-old girl to her biological father, a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
Implementation of the Expanded Jurisdiction Provisions of the VAWA: Resources Posted
Resources are now available from the April 5, 2013, NCAI/TLPI webinar on implementation of the Violence Against Women Act's expanded tribal jurisdiction provision.
United States to Accept Concurrent Jurisdiction Over White Earth Reservation in Minnesota
First Assumption of Federal Jurisdiction Under Historic Tribal Law and Order Act The Department of Justice has granted a request by the White Earth Nation for the United States to assume concurrent criminal jurisdiction on the 1,300 square mile White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota.
Arizona bill eyes creating a Native American county
State lawmakers have revived a decades-old plan to turn the Navajo and Hopi reservations into a separate county so the tribes can claim a share of state revenue.
New Article Spotlight. The Commission on State Tribal Relations: Enduring Lessons in the Modern State-Tribal Relationship
This article, written by the founders of the Commission on State-Tribal Relations, traces the historical development of a new approach to state-tribal relations in the 1970’s, during a time of heightened tension between state and tribal governments.
Tribal-State Court Listserv in Development - Please Join!
The Tribal Law and Policy Institute is developing a tribal-state court listserv to create a forum for discussions about promising strategies in collaboration and to present questions to others in the field. Click "more" to join.
DOJ Publishes Final Rule on Assumption of Concurrent Federal Jurisdiction on PL280 Reservations
The final rule regarding assumption of concurrent federal criminal jurisdiction on PL-280 reservations was published today at 76 F.R. 76037 (Dec. 6, 2011). A copy of it can be found here.
Federal Court Finds Interior Violates Self-Determination Act in Denying Public Safety Funds to Tribes in P.L. 280 States
In a decision from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, the court ruled that the Bureau of Indian Affairs cannot deny law enforcement funding to tribes just because tribes are located within in a P.L. 280 state (decision only applies to tribes within the Eight Circuit).
Governor Brown Establishes Tribal Advisor to Strengthen Communication, Collaboration with California’s Native American Tribes
SACRAMENTO – In order to strengthen communication and collaboration between California state government and Native American Tribes, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued an Executive Order establishing the position of Governor’s Tribal Advisor in the Office of the Governor. This position will serve as a direct link between the Governor’s Office and tribal governments on matters including legislation, policy and regulation. Governor Brown signed the Executive Order today while attending the TASIN All California Tribes Meeting at the Sheraton Hotel in Sacramento, CA.
The Center for Court Innovation Releases Report on Tribal-State Collaboration
State and Tribal Courts: Strategies for Bridging the Divide is a 2011 publication from the Center for Court Innovation that provides a history and examples of specific initatives, experiments and collaborations between tribal and state courts. For the full report, see www.courtinnovation.org/sites/default/files/documents/StateAndTribalCourts.pdf.
Nevada SCT Holds that Tribal-State Agreement Can Trump ICWA Exclusive Tribal Jurisdiction Provision
This appeal requires us to decide whether, under section 1919 of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), 25 U.S.C. §§ 1901-1963 (2006), a tribal-state agreement respecting child custody proceedings may vest a Nevada district court with subject matter jurisdiction to take a relinquishment of parental rights under circumstances where section 1911(a) of the ICWA, 25 U.S.C. § 1911(a), would otherwise lay exclusive jurisdiction with the tribal court. We conclude that the ICWA, in keeping with fundamental principles of tribal autonomy, allows for tribal-state agreements for concurrent jurisdiction even when the tribe would have exclusive jurisdiction absent an agreement. Therefore, we affirm.