Coronavirus Information and Update: Spring 2021 Plans

Criminal Law in Indian Country

This course Criminal Law in Indian Country is designed to reflect upon crime and punishment in Indian Country, and the embedded story within the shared ?criminal? history of tribal nations. We will name and explore impacts on Tribal sovereignty and individual rights of Native American Indians that have occurred over time through U.S. policy, statute and case law ? including Treaties, Crow Dog and the Major Crimes Act, Public Law 280, the Indian Civil Rights Act, Oliphant and Duro, and recent Congressional efforts to address the perception of lawlessness on reservations. With historical impacts in mind, we examine contemporary issues such as Native American overrepresentation in the criminal justice system, sentencing disparity, and disturbing statistics regarding Natives as victims of crime. Students will also have an opportunity to review the unique aspects of criminal jurisdiction in the Northwest as part of the general understanding of criminal law and justice in Indian Country.

Through a problem-solving approach students will prepare a paper/presentation to expand and incorporate knowledge and contribute solutions to an emerging body of scholarship in this important and often misunderstood area of Indian law.