Volume 15: 2014-2015

Faculty Advisor

Professor Scott Taylor

Managing Editor

Eric Abeita

Professional Article Editors

Sophie Asher
Heidi Todacheene

Citation Editors

Sarah Armstrong
Paul Onuska

Social Media Editor

Sarah Armstrong

Student Staff

Javier Amaya, Monique Chavez, Christopher Dodd, Rachel Felix, Michael Gay, Christopher Jaramillo, EJ John, Christine Jordan, Kathryn Lash, Jeremy Martin, Concetta Tsosie, Diego Urbina, Erica Valdez, April Wilkinson


The Seminole Way: The Path to the 2011 Reestablishment of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma Tribal Court System

John Haney

This article will examine the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma’s path from the federal dismantling of the Seminole Nation tribal court system upon the statehood of Oklahoma in 1906 to the Seminole Nation’s reestablishment of its tribal court system in 2011. This article will also explore the Seminole Nation’s methods of integrating tribal tradition and custom into the Seminole tribal court system, and will also present the many challenges that exist in developing an efficient and sustainable tribal justice system. The article will demonstrate that the Seminole Nation’s persisting determination to reestablish its judicial authority stems from the desire to maximize sovereign authority by having a government that not only makes and enforces laws, but that makes and enforces laws the Seminole way. Ultimately, this article may serve as a resource for other tribes who wish to establish their own tribal court system.

She Saves Us from Monsters: The Navajo Creation Story and Modern Tribal Justice

Heidi J. Todacheene

The goal of this paper is to attempt to provide a general social and political framework of the Navajo tribe using the creation story and journey narrative. This will provide a comprehensive insight into the history and modern functioning of the tribe for someone who may not understand traditional Navajo thought. Modern legal cases have been integrated into this paper to demonstrate how Navajo courts use and preserve traditional concepts in current legal analysis. This paper will try to convey a traditional Navajo perspective whose ideology is deeply rooted in the creation story and illustrated through the Holy Beings, especially Changing Woman. This will provide context and background to modern issues disfavoring Navajo women within the tribal system that we see today.