Fletcher on Anishinaabe Law and the Round House

Matthew Fletcher has published “Anishinaabe Law and the Round House” in the Albany Government Law Review.

Here is the abstract:

This paper addresses the Indian country criminal justice system’s difficulties through the context of the Great Lakes Anishinaabeg’s traditional customs, traditions, and laws, and their modern treatment of crime. Louise Erdrich’s The Round House expertly captures the reality of crime and fear of crime in Anishinaabe Indian country, and offers a bleak view of the future of criminal justice absent serious reform in the near future.

Indian Law Symposium at the Albany Government Law Review


Indian Title: Unraveling the Racial Context of Property Rights, or How to Stop Engaging in Conquest

Joseph William Singer

This article discusses the racial injustice faced by Native Americans, with whom land titles in the United States originated with. The author argues it is vital to interpret the Supreme Court cases of the 19th century that correctly defined Indian title, and to honor the property rights of Indian title just as we do the “fee simple of the whites”.

10 Alb. Govt. L. Rev. 1 (2017)

Indians, Race, and Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country

Alex Tallchief Skibine

This article argues that the classification of “Indian” for the purposes of the ICCA and the Duro fix is not “racial” even if it includes non-enrolled people of Indian ancestry. Furthermore, this article discusses the Zepeda court and how it conflicts with the first prong of the Rogers test regarding what type of blood qualifies Indian blood.

10 Alb. Govt. L. Rev. 49 (2017)

Anishinaabe law and “The Round House”

Matthew L.M. Fletcher

This article discusses the rising Indian country violent crime and novelist Lousie Eldrich’s “The Round House” which addresses modern Anishinaabe violent crime where women are violently attacked, and the failure of the federal and tribal criminal justive system to resolve the crime. This article discusses traditional and modern Anishinaabe law, how the two merge, and the problems with contemporary law enforcement mechanisms in the light of jurisidctional issues and a cultural divide.

10 Alb. Govt. L. Rev. 88 (2017)

The Doctrine of Christian Discovery: Its Fundamental Importance in United States Indian Law and the Need for its Repudiation and Removal

Joseph J. Heath, Esq.

This article discusses the doctrine of Christian discovery and how it negatively affects the rights of the Indigenous nations’ land and treaty rights. Though it is difficulty to see how the US Courts or Congress will produce favorable results given the 8-1 Sherrill decision, the author urges the continuation of work with religious and academic communities to pressure the Vatican to rescind the Papal Bulls of the 15th century and to remove the doctrine completely.

10 Alb. Govt. L. Rev. 112 (2017)

Telling Stories in Council and Court: Developing a Reflective Tribal Governance

Leah Jurss

This article discusses the incorporation of traditional story telling into tribal government and legal systems and the dichotomy of tradtional and modern systems. The author argues this approach can be implemented by tribal governments and and legal deparments to stray away from the strict American model, and head towards a new model that incorporates tribal principles yet confroms to the requirements of the Americal legal system.

10 Alb. Govt. L. Rev. 157 (2017)

Alex Skibine on “Indians, Race, and Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country”

Alexander Skibine has posted “Indians, Race, and Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country,” forthcoming in the Albany Government Law Review, on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

With the possible exception of the Indian Major Crimes Act, the classification of “Indian” for the purposes of the ICCA and the Duro Fix is not “racial” even if it includes non-enrolled people of Indian ancestry with significant connections to tribal communities. Furthermore, although the first prong of the Rogers test should be eliminated on policy grounds, the holding of the Zepeda court that the first prong could be satisfied by proof of blood quantum from any Indian tribe, recognized or not, is highly suspicious, seems to be arbitrary, and boosts the argument that the classification of “Indian” in such cases is a racial classification.

Acknowledging the problems plaguing current law enforcement on Indian reservations, this article has endorsed a position which would allow Indian tribes to determine the meaning of “Indian” for the purpose of the Duro fix. The Article also argued that the universe of “Indians” for the purpose of federal jurisdiction should be limited to enrolled tribal members and those eligible for such membership unless the relevant tribe has enacted precise standards delineating who is an Indian for the purpose of federal jurisdiction on its reservation.

Highly recommended.