Law of Indigenous Peoples

Law of Indigenous Peoples

This course provides a historical and a contemporary perspective on the internal law of Indigenous peoples, domestically and internationally. It is not a survey of the law; rather it provides a general introduction to the types of law by which Indigenous peoples govern themselves, as well as a format to discuss the development and effect of this law. This course is intended to familiarize students not only with traditional and contemporary aspects of the internal law of tribes, but also to consider the complex interrelationship between the two. The tremendous influence exerted by outside forces on the internal law of Indigenous peoples will also be considered in a critical manner.

Student Course Work - Tribal Profile

Students will be required to consider the internal laws of a tribe selected by the student and create a profile of the tribe's laws following the course outline. It is strongly recommended that the student choose his/her own tribe or a tribe with whom the student has a working relationship with or can develop a working relationship with, including a tribe the student may work with in the future or has worked with in the past. Students will be expected to add to the course materials as designated on the course syllabus. At the end of the semester, students will exchange the information gathered with appropriate appendices, notes and comments. The purpose of this project work is to allow students to consider the internal laws of one tribe in conjunction with the broader discussion that will take place in class. Students will be expected to share their observations based on the analysis and consideration of the internal law of their selected tribe as the semester progresses.

Paper Requirement

Students will be required to produce a research paper for the course. The paper is required to be at least 20 pages in length. The paper may be used to meet the writing requirement with my prior approval. The paper may be related to the tribal profile created by the student, but may also cover an unrelated subject.

Course Materials and Recommended Books

The course materials will be provided for you through the copy center. In addition, I will provide you with a list of the books I recommend. Many are the books from which we will be using excerpts. I recommend you obtain these books through or other such service.

Class Schedule

The syllabus covers Monday classes. Any overflow from discussions we may not have completed will continue on Thursdays. The extra hour each week will also be used to facilitate student writing of tribal profiles and profiles. I also expect to meet with each of you throughout the semester and this hour will be used for these meetings.