New Paper Focuses on Double Taxation in Indian Country

Link to article here.

Citation and abstract:

Croman, K. S., & Taylor, J. B. (2016). Why beggar thy Indian neighbor? The case for tribal primacy in taxation in Indian country. Joint Occasional Papers on Native Affairs (JOPNA 2016-1). Tucson, AZ and Cambridge, MA: Native Nations Institute and Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

The law governing taxation in Indian country is a mess. The accretion of common law precedents and the general tendency of states to assert primacy over the taxation of non-Indians create absurd outcomes. This article makes the case three ways. The argument based on the law shows that particularized, fact-specific precedents create a thicket of rulings that impede business development. The argument based on facts shows that these impediments to economic development harm not only tribal economies, but state and local economies, too. And the argument based on just claims testifies to the fact that the current arrangement could hardly have emerged from the actions of willing and informed governments operating in good faith. To borrow from Adam Smith, states beggar their Indian neighbors, seeking fiscal gain to the tribes’ detriment and, ultimately, their own. We conclude by recommending actions to bring fairness and certainty to the law governing taxation in Indian country.

Native Nations Institute Announces Online Courses: “Rebuilding Native Nations”

August 8, 2013


Native Nations Institute Launches Groundbreaking “Rebuilding Native Nations” Online Course Series

TUCSON, Arizona – Culminating a six-year development process, the Native Nations Institute (NNI) today announced the launch of its groundbreaking “Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development” distance-learning course series. Designed primarily for use by Native nations and tribal colleges and universities, the curriculum examines the critical governance and development challenges facing Native nations and surveys the breadth and diversity of Native nation-building efforts across Indian Country. Sharing lessons learned through 25 years of community-based research by NNI and its sister organization the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, it explores what is working, what isn’t, and why as Native nations move aggressively to reclaim control over their own affairs and create vibrant futures of their own design.

“Rebuilding Native Nations presents and celebrates the great strides Native nations are making as they work to fully exercise their sovereignty and engage in true self-governance,” says Joan Timeche, NNI executive director. “It offers Native nations a chance to learn from one another, and for society at large to learn about the many positive things taking place across Indian Country.”

Featuring eight different course options, Rebuilding Native Nations provides a dynamic individual or group learning experience, weaving together video lectures by course instructors, video assignments featuring the perspectives of more than 125 Native leaders and scholars, curricular materials from NNI’s “Native Nation Building” and “Emerging Leaders” executive education seminars, in-depth case studies, illustrative graphics, the landmark Rebuilding Native Nations course textbook (Univ. of Arizona Press, 2007), and original readings drawn from the NNI-Harvard Project research.

“This curriculum provides Native nation leaders, employees, citizens and others a unique opportunity to learn about Native nation building directly from the horse’s mouth,” says Ian Record, the curriculum’s director. “It puts an exclamation point on what the NNI-Harvard Project research has found – that self-determination is the only policy that has ever worked for Native nations. The many governance success stories chronicled in the curriculum attest to that fact.”

Offered online, Rebuilding Native Nations also is available on DVD for those who live in rural areas with poor internet connectivity. Volume discounts are available to Native nations, organizations, and tribal colleges and universities that wish to enroll groups of participants in the courses. To learn more about Rebuilding Native Nations, please visit or call 520-626-9839.

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Native Nations Institute Goverance Database Announcement

NNI Launches Indigenous Governance Database Online Resource Center

TUCSON, Arizona – The Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy (NNI) at The University of Arizona (UA) is pleased to announce the launch of the Indigenous Governance Database ( The Database is an online resource center for Native nation leaders, key decision-makers, employees, citizens, and others who are in search of educational and informational resources about Native nation governance, sovereignty, leadership, and sustainable economic and community development.

“The Indigenous Governance Database serves as a ‘one-stop shop’ for learning about Native nation building,” says Joan Timeche, executive director of the Native Nations Institute. “NNI’s mission is to help Native nations shorten their learning curve about what they need to do to create effective governance systems capable of building healthy societies that work, and this site represents a major advancement of that mission.”

Developed with support from the Bush Foundation and the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation, the Database features a comprehensive catalogue of text, video and audio resources accessible through a custom-built search engine, enabling site visitors to find a variety of resources tailored to their specific topics of interest. For example, a search for “leadership” returns an array of resources organized by format type, from a video interview with the late Cherokee Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller to a written case study of the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School.

“The Indigenous Governance Database is an invaluable hub for Native nations to access governance and leadership resources,” says Jaime A. Pinkham, Vice President for Native Nations for the Bush Foundation and former treasurer of the Nez Perce Tribe. “NNI’s ability to keep the database fresh will put at our fingertips the latest studies, analysis and proven solutions to support Native nations in real-time and long-term strategies to strengthen their governing institutions.”

Each month, NNI will add new resources to the Database, from new research publications to special video features focused on critical governance and nation-building topics. To access the Indigenous Governance Database, go to

Native Nations Institute Paper on Tribal Per-Capita Revenue Distributions

The Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona has just posted a new paper analyzing tribal per-caps.

from Arizona Native Net:

The paper examines policy considerations relevant to per capita distribution of tribal revenues. It offers Native nation leaders and citizens food for thought as they consider whether or not to issue per capita payments and, if they choose to do so, how to structure the distribution of funds and make that distribution serve tribal goals.

New Book: “Rebuilding Native Nations”

From ArizonaNativeNet:

New Book Provides a Guide for Understanding Native Nation Building Date Posted: Wed, 02 Jan 2008

By University Communications
December 21, 2007

Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development” explores the quiet revolution that is underway among the indigenous nations in North America. Native peoples are reclaiming their right to govern themselves and shape their future according to their own diverse and innovative designs.

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