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Law Courses Catalog

Protection of Native American and Indigenous Rights

This course explores the need to reform and strengthen federal Indian law in the twenty-first century to consolidate gains made by Indian tribes during the modern era of federal Indian law (circa 1944-1985) and to repair damage done to indigenous rights by the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts in the post-modern era. To explore the complex questions involved, the course will survey the “dark side” of federal Indian law to identify structural weaknesses in the foundational principles, highlight nefarious legal fictions and doctrines, and probe factors that make indigenous rights vulnerable. Finally, the course will explore substantive law changes and reform strategies to make federal law comport with minimum standards in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) (“UNDRIP”). Readings will be based on Professor Echo-Hawk’s book, IN THE COURTS OF THE CONQUEROR.

Grades in this class will be based on a scheduled final exam; class participation, including student presentations of selected cases; and attendance.

There are no pre-requisite courses, however students should have prior knowledge of the fundamental principles of federal Indian law.