Sovereignty of tribes in relationship to state and federal government

Professor Breaks Down Sovereignty and Explains its Significance -

sovereignty of tribes in relationship to state and federal government

Tribal governments are on equal footing with state government and have a government-to-government relationship with federal government. The sovereignty of. as sovereign governments, which is the basis for the federal status and relationship between Indian tribes and Federal and state governments and provides a. The State governments derive much of their sovereign power from the US Federal The relationship between many tribes and the US Federal government is.

Lands in Trust Since the United States lays claim to the entirety of the physical land within its borders, it must establish a specific sort of relationship with the indigenous peoples who still occupy that land. These lands — the reservations of the native tribes — are held in trust by the United States, and the tribes that occupy these lands receive special privileges thereon: However, the downside of this independence is that basic services and critical infrastructure prevalent elsewhere within a state may not be as readily available upon a reservation.

As a result, many natives must seek housing and employment off their lands.

sovereignty of tribes in relationship to state and federal government

The Rise of Economic Independence However, tribes have found ways to flourish, most notably following the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ofwhich allowed tribes to create gambling establishments on their reservations. The revenues from these casinos directly benefit the tribe as well as create a productive economic relationship with the state in which the reservation is located.

Since these revenues are generated on Indian lands by Indians, they are exempt from taxation by states where these casinos are located.

sovereignty of tribes in relationship to state and federal government

Of course, the casino is operating on land that is within the state boundaries, and the employees — while members of the tribe — are also citizens of the state. The US Constitution explicitly grants States residual powers—those powers that are not explicitly given to the Federal government.

sovereignty of tribes in relationship to state and federal government

Tribes had their own form of government, and many had legal codes written into their own documents, their own stories, their own practices, and their own memories. Tribal sovereignty is derived from the people, the land, and their relationships; tribal sovereignty was not a gift from any external government.

  • Professor Breaks Down Sovereignty and Explains its Significance
  • Importance of Sovereignty to Tribal Nations
  • Separation of Powers--State-Tribal Relations and Interstate Compacts

Tribal sovereignty is not defined in the US Constitution. But anyone at all familiar with the history of US Indian Policy knows that many limitations—as well as possibilities—for tribal sovereignty have been defined over time.

Tribal sovereignty is recognized in the US Constitution. Treaties are agreements made between sovereign entities—usually called nations.

Separation of Powers - Tribal and Interstate Relations

The US has signed several hundred treaties with Indigenous nations and other nations around the world. International relations occur through, and are often defined by, international treaties. Therefore, by signing a treaty, both sides are showing that they recognize the sovereignty of the other, and the treaty spells out how each nation will relate to the other as nations.

The relationship between many tribes and the US Federal government is based on treaties. The US Federal government did not have treaties with the individual States. The supremacy clause recognizes that tribal nations and other international laws are just as powerful as the US Constitution itself. This also means that the sovereignty of tribal nations is different—and in many ways higher—than the sovereignty enjoyed by individual States Tribal sovereignty was immediately if inconsistently recognized by Europeans as they explored the hemisphere.

An Issue of Sovereignty

We all should know by now that Columbus was genocidal. Despite being a violently domineering slave trader, usurper, and land thiefthe fact that he used the language of nationhood gives us a clue that sovereignty does not need to be absolute for it to be real, or legal, or recognized by other nations.

In fact, we can look to the Roman philosopher Cicero to explain how national sovereignty may be recognized despite a very unequal power relationship. Nations or states are body politic, societies of men united together for the purpose of promoting their mutual safety and advantage by joint efforts of their combined strength.

There also is an increasing desire to ensure that services provided to tribal members through state programs are culturally-competent in order to increase effectiveness.

Tribal sovereignty in the United States

Finally, tribal citizens are also citizens of the state in which they reside. State legislators have a responsibility to provide for the well-being of all state citizens, tribal and non-tribal alike.

The health and well-being of tribal citizens and tribal communities enhance the overall health of a state.

Tribal Sovereignty: The Right to Self-Rule

In short, strong tribes contribute to strong states. Intergovernmental agreements and state-tribal compacts are one tool in promoting positive state-tribal relationships and fostering collaborative policy development.

sovereignty of tribes in relationship to state and federal government

There are many policy issues and aspects of Indian law that require a high degree of state-tribal cooperation. The Indian Child Welfare Act ICWAtaxation, public safety, emergency response and criminal jurisdiction and law enforcement are some of the key areas that can benefit from formalized agreements. Much as interstate agreements allow for government-to-government cooperation, state-tribal agreements accomplish the same end.