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.

Louise Erdrich and TLOA in Poets & Writers Magazine

Unfortunately the article isn’t available online, but it includes snippets of an interview with Louise Erdrich, a discussion of The Round House, and some comments by both Erdrich and Professor Bruce Duthu on the problems with the current criminal jurisdiction framework on reservations. Here’s further information about where to find it.

NYTS Q&A with Louise Erdrich on “The Round House”


An excerpt:

President Obama signed the Tribal Law and Order Act into law in 2010 — it was an important moment of recognition. More recently the Senate Judiciary Committee crafted a helpful piece of legislation. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 would have given tribal nations limited jurisdiction over sexual predators regardless of race. Right now tribal courts can only prosecute tribal members. The problem is that over 80% of the perpetrators of rapes on reservations are non-Native. Most are not prosecuted. The bill went forward only to stall in the House, blocked by Republican votes. Hate to say it, but that one’s on them.

Louise Erdrich on NPR’s All Things Considered

A particularly timely interview of Louise Erdich on her new book, The Round House, given Prof. Carlson’s talk at our symposium this afternoon.


On the difficulties of finding justice on Native American reservations

“There are several kinds of land on reservations. And all of these pieces of land have different entities who are in charge of enforcing laws on this land. So in this case, Geraldine Coutts does not know where her attacker raped her. She didn’t see, she doesn’t know. So in her case, it is very, very difficult to find justice because there’s no clear entity who is in charge of seeking justice for her …

“So in writing the book, the question was: If a tribal judge — someone who has spent his life in the law — cannot find justice for the woman he loves, where is justice? And the book is also about the legacy of generations of injustice, and what comes of that. Because, of course, what comes of that is an individual needs to seek justice in their own way when they can’t find justice through the system. And that brings chaos.”