Tribal Justice

Tribal Justice

Tribal Nations are political, sovereign entities whose status stems from the inherent sovereignty we have as self-governing peoples, which pre-dates the founding of the Republic. The Constitution, treaties, statutes, Executive Orders, and judicial decisions all recognize that the federal government has a fundamental trust relationship to Tribal Nations, including the obligation uphold the right to self-government. A critical aspect of our inherent sovereignty is jurisdiction over our lands and people, including inherent jurisdiction over crimes. Early Supreme Court decisions recognized this broad jurisdictional authority. But the United States has slowly chipped away at Tribal Nations’ jurisdiction. A gap in criminal jurisdiction stems from this failure to recognize our inherent sovereignty. When Tribal Nations are barred from prosecuting offenders and the federal government fails in its obligations, criminals are free to offend with impunity. In order to truly improve public safety in Indian Country, Tribal Nations must have full criminal jurisdiction over our lands, as well as the people who reside on or enter our lands, and this jurisdiction must be restored through a fix to the Supreme Court decision in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe.

 

Testimony

2021

2020

2019

 

Comments

2021

 

Joint Letters

2020

 

Letters

2021

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