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 of United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund For the Record of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs Oversight Hearing, “A call to action: Native communities’ priorities in focus for the 117th Congress” - March 24, 2021
- Testimony of Chief Kirk Francis, President United South and Eastern Tribes Sovereignty Protection Fund Before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs For the Oversight Hearing, “From Languages to Homelands: Advancing Tribal Self-Governance and Cultural Sovereignty for Future Generations.” - December 9, 2020
- USET SPF Written Testimony House Interior Appropriations Tribal Witness Hearings - February 3, 2020
- USET SPF Testimony for SCIA Public Safety Hearing - June 17, 2019
- USET SPF Comments re: DOI Consultation on ARP - March 31, 2021
- USET SPF Joins Letter Indian Country Opposition to ABC Big Sky Concerns Joint Org Letter - December 11, 2020
- USET SPF Joins Letter Opposing Legislative Action to Abrogate Tribal Sovereignty Following McGirt Decision - August 13, 2020
- USET SPF Signs onto Joint Letter to Senate re: Tribal Priorities for Tribal Governance and Housing for COVID-19 Stimulus Package - March 20, 2020
- USET SPF Signs onto Joint Letter to House re: Tribal Priorities for Tribal Governance and Housing for COVID-19 Stimulus Package - March 20, 2020
- USET SPF Support for Lauren King as a Federal District Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington - June 4, 2021
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