Economic Development in Indian Country

Economic Development in Indian Country

Economic development is more important than ever has tribes work to maintain prosperous communities. This course will be project-based and explore economic and business development with its tribal, federal and state laws, cases, policies and practices in the context of one or more specific real world projects in tribal communities. Projects may include the areas of natural and cultural resources, intellectual property rights, leasing, rights-of-way, taxation, gaming, and other business ventures. It will include working on inter-disciplinary teams, particularly with professional planners, and engaging community stakeholders.

In addition to learning substantive law relevant to a specific project, the course will require students to research, structure and draft relevant documents and materials which may include corporation documents, transaction documents, contracts, and rights-of-way agreements as well as community guides, plain English explanations, and presentations for use in community engagement processes required for tribal economic development. Other forms of drafting such as codes and regulations will be addressed when required by the project. Accordingly, the class will emphasize writing assignments and discussion about the documents as well as the case law that is developing.

The fall 2016 iteration of the course will be taught as a multi-disciplinary, project-based course in collaboration with the Indigenous Planning Institute of the School of Architecture and Planning. Specifically, it will be a collaboration with Prof. Ted Jojola's Indigenous Planning Studio. The two classes will work with the Pueblo of Zuni on issues arising from its Main Street Development Project, the only indigenous project of its kind in the country.

The class will consist of a three credit drafting course and one credit independent study to account for the multi-disciplinary collaboration with Indigenous Planning and community engagement with the Pueblo of Zuni. The additional hour credit will support both multi-disciplinary and community engagement work including additional joint class time, project planning, and collaboration with Indigenous Planning students and community interaction.with Zuni stakeholders. Successful students will embrace the project-based, multi-disciplinary collaboration with a tribal community in lieu of more traditional statute and caselaw driven approaches.