Additional Findings from NNI/NICWA on Tribal Child Welfare Codes


Researchers reviewed 107 publicly available, tribal child welfare codes for U.S.-based tribes with populations ranging from 50 to 18,000 citizens. Researchers sought out the most up-to-date tribal child welfare codes available for each tribe, reporting that approximately 45% of the 107 codes were amended after 2000. The research team analyzed over 100 variables on the topics of culture, jurisdiction, tribal-state relationships, child abuse reporting, paternity, foster care, termination of parental rights, and adoption. A more detailed report on this study will be released later this fall. For more information about this project and its findings please contact the Native Nations Institute: Mary Beth Jäger (Citizen Potawatomi)

Cool poster here. First cool poster here.

Seattle Times Coverage of Nooksack Disenrollments



The federal government has been hesitant to get involved in tribal internal affairs, according to Robert Anderson, director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington and an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. A group of Snoqualmie members experienced a rare legal victory in 2009 when a federal court judge overturned their banishment and disenrollment.

Disenrollment decisions are not only about membership, but also about belonging, Raquel Montoya-Lewis, chief judge of the Nooksack Tribal Court, wrote in a court decision.

“Cultural and tribal identity lay at the heart of how we know ourselves. … Belonging to a tribe gives tribal members a sense of home, of connection to a community, whether one lives there or not,” Montoya-Lewis wrote.

NILL Blog Posting on Model Tribal Secured Transactions Act

From NILL:

The conference proceedings for “Sovereignty symposium 2007 : making medicine” (2007) provide a wealth of information on the Model Tribal Secured Transactions Act. The Act itself is provided, along with analysis, sample tribal codes/regulations and sample tribal compacts (or intergovernmental agreements). Much of the information is reprinted with permission from the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and can be accessed at the NCCUSL’s web site.

For more information, go to the National Indian Law Library’s online catalog at Then type “security law” into the Subject Terms field.

Training on Model Tribal Secured Transactions Act

From the Houston Chronicle:

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — American Indians who had trouble getting loans because of a disparity between tribal and state laws are learning about new legislation that could make the process easier.

Representatives from about a dozen tribes around the country are expected to attend a meeting in this Denver suburb Friday and Saturday to discuss a model tribal law first adopted by Montana’s Crow Tribe last month.

Banks have previously been reluctant to loan money to people on reservations because of the difficulty of going through tribal courts if the borrower defaults. Under the “Model Tribal Secured Transaction Act,” tribal laws would conform to state laws if a default case ends up in tribal court.

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Call for Proposals: Model Tribal Code Drafting at the Uniform Law Commission

The Uniform Law Commission has a special committee that drafts model codes for tribal enactment. Most recently, they’ve drafted a model tribal secured transactions act that is largely based on the UCC’s Article 9 with key changes intended to address unique tribal concerns. The committee is in the process of selecting another model code drafting project, and it’s soliciting input on which codes might be tackled next. If you’d like to suggest a model code drafting project for the committee, contact Tim Berg, the Committee’s chair.

Call for Drafting Proposals

Drafting proposals must be submitted by February 28, 2008, and can be sent to Tim Berg at