NAS 364. Federal Indian Law I

Unique federal/tribal legal and historical relationship. Scope and authority of tribal governments as modified through contact with the federal government. Federal legislation and Supreme Court decisions regarding Indians and tribes.

This course is aimed at a comprehensive understanding of Federal Indian Law and its development of federal Indian law from the late 19th century to the present. Emphasis is given to unique principles of law concerning tribal sovereignty, the federal trust relationship, and the interplay between tribal, state, and federal criminal and civil jurisdiction. Special attention to federal statutes that pertain specifically to American Indians. This course will explore the divisions and contentions among Indian, federal and state governments by moving in a chronological fashion from the early colonial era to the most recent decisions of the Supreme Court. Students should gain a critical understanding of the basic tenets of Indian law, the bases of tribal sovereignty, the structure of the federal-tribal relationship and its history, and a sense of  the future directions the courts, tribes, and Congress may take in addressing current legal issues in Indian country.


American Indian Law in a Nutshell; William C. Canby; West/Thomason.

Black’s Law Dictionary: Pocket Edition: 4; West/Thomason Reuters.