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Volume 19: 2018/2019

Faculty Advisor/Editor-In-Chief

Spring 2019: Professor Barbara Creel

Fall 2018: Christine Zuni-Cruz

Student Editor-In-Chief/Managing Editor

Co-Editor-in-Chief: Anne Bruno

Co-Editor-in-Chief: Roshanna Toya

Spring 2019 Managing Editor: Verenice Peregrino Pompa

Fall 2018 Co-Editor-in-Chief: Ernestine Chaco

Editorial Board

Citations Editor: Dominique Oliver

Multimedia Editor: Kaythee Hlaing

Submissions Editor: Savannah Duran

Spring 2019 Symposium Editor: Israel Chavez


Yarrow Allaire
Carmen Borja
Paige Diem
Jordan Oglesby
Beth Wright


Republication and Translation: Hon. Robert Yazzie, Introduction and Welcome, Tribal Law Journal, 1998.

Audio and Translation by Hon. Robert Yazzie

In 1998, for the first volume of the Tribal Law Journal, Former Chief Justice Robert Yazzie, Navajo Nation, was asked to submit an introduction and welcome for the Tribal Law Journal. In his Introduction and Welcome, he details how the Tribal Law Journal will further the understanding of the internal laws of Indian nations, along with those of indigenous nations throughout the world. He emphasizes that this Journal will be a place for native voices to be heard and will allow others to speak with the tribes.

In effort to integrate native languages into the Tribal Law Journal, the Tribal Law Journal asked Hon. Robert Yazzie to interpret his original introduction and welcome from English into Diné for republication in the 20th Anniversary Edition. It is very important for us to begin including the languages of tribes in the Tribal Law Journal as it is their very voices for which the Tribal Law Journal was created. In order to further integrate Navajo culture into this project, we are honored to showcase the work of Navajo artist Jonathan Curley as the background in this presentation.

You can find the original written introduction here.

Speech at the 50 Years Of The Indian Civil Rights Act Symposium: Battling For Human Rights in Indian Country

Presented by David Wilkins

Professor David Wilkins presented this speech at the 50 Years of the Indian Civil Rights Act Symposium on March 9, 2018 at the Isleta Resort and Casino in Albuquerque, NM. This Symposium was co-sponsored by the University of New Mexico School of Law, Law of Indigenous Peoples Program and the Tribal Law Journal. This is an edited transcript of Prof. Wilkins’ speech. The speech discusses the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) and its implications on citizenship, specifically disenrollment. Prof. Wilkins discusses his view of “‘dismemberment’ as the act of cutting off a part of the tribal body—doing harm to both the politically discarded individual and the Nation itself—taking place behind the cloak of native sovereignty.” The speech first provides a brief history of banishment within tribal communities followed by a discussion of federal Indian law and its impact on tribal banishment through a review of important federal Supreme Court cases as well as significant tribal court cases. Second, the speech provides a cultural view of the impact of banishment on the individual as well as the tribal nation. Finally, the paper concludes with a critical analysis of why there has been an increase in disenrollments, the potential solution to this problem, and a discussion of the forward momentum some tribes have taken towards fixing the issue of disenrollment within their nations.

Views from A Tribal Court: How the Indian Civil Rights Act Led to Civil Rights Violations

Anne Bruno

This article examines the implications of the Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA), and its impact on one tribe in New Mexico. The article first discusses the development of the ICRA and its subsequent effect on individual rights and tribal nation’s responsibilities when handling criminal offenses in tribal courts. Second, the article provides some historical context and background of pueblo Indian communities in New Mexico as a prelude to providing observations that were made of one specific Pueblo’s Contemporary Tribal Court. Third, the article provides a detailed glimpse into the procedures that were followed during six criminal arraignments; focusing on the tribal court’s application of the ICRA during the proceedings. Fourth, the article provides commentary on the Tribal Court’s application of the ICRA; highlighting three critical issues within this Tribal Court: (1) the lack of a public defender or public defense system, (2) the unclear role of the judge, and (3) the adopted western-style court proceeding. Finally, the article concludes by encouraging tribal leaders to examine their tribal court structures and inquire whether violations of civil rights could be occurring, and to look within the tribal values to help find ways to resolve or prevent violations.