Skip to main content

Volume 7: 2006-2007


Christine Zuni-Cruz (Pueblos of Isleta & Ohkay Owingeh)

Managing Editors

Philip A. Morin
Dana Cleveland (Colville Confederated Tribes)

Web Editors

David Adams (Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
Edward Kelley

Professional Articles Editor

Casey Douma (Pueblo of Laguna/Hopi-Tewa)

Student Articles Editors

Rae Ann Red Owl (Oglala Lakota)
Tina Tsinigine (Navajo Nation)

Tribal Court Handbook Editors

David Adams (Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians)
Edward Kelley


Laura Oropeza (Navajo Nation), Rebecca Parish (Pueblo of Ohkay Owingeh), Jerry Sedillo (Fall 2006), Dana Cleveland (Fall 2006, Spring 2007)

Law School Support Staff

Barbara Jacques


A Restatement Of The Common Law Of The Grand Traverse Band Of Ottawa And Chippewa Indians

By Matthew L.M. Fletcher and Zeke Fletcher, this article sets forth the case law propounded by the Grand Traverse Band Tribal Court. The Grand Traverse Band, with whom the United States concluded two treaties in the 19th Century, only to be denied sovereign status wrongly for over one hundred years, was "re-recognized" by the United States in 1980. The 1988 Grand Traverse Band Constitution established a politically independent Tribal Judiciary that has ruled on a wide spectrum of issues ranging from administrative and constitutional law to fishing and gaming, and from sovereign immunity and tribal economic development to tribal membership. The Restatement distills the principles of the common law of the Grand Traverse Band from well over 75 published opinions, drawing on, interpreting, and complementing the 1988 Constitution and the Grand Traverse Band Code. The authors' efforts to compile the common law of the Tribal Judiciary will greatly assist members and counsel appearing before the Tribal Court, and in addition will provide helpful guidance and inspiration to the judiciaries of other tribes.

Case Note: Navajo Nation v. Rodriguez and the Traditional Navajo Principle of Hazhó'ógo

In Case Note:Navajo Nation v. Rodriguezand the Traditional Navajo Principle of Hazhó'ógo, Philip Morin examines in detail the adoption, and adaptation, of the United States Supreme Court's Miranda decision by the Supreme Court of the Navajo Nation. In carrying out the directive of the Fundamental Laws of the Diné, to make Diné bi beehaz'áanii, or Navajo Common Law, the fundamental basis for its decisions, the Supreme Court of the Navajo Nation defined uniquely Navajo rights and procedures governing the custodial interview, holding that the traditional Navajo principle of hazhó'ógo requires truthful, transparent explanations to, and respectful treatment of, persons in police custody. Mr. Morin's case note goes on to put the Rodriguez opinion into context, demonstrating that the Court's approach fits squarely into both the Court's well-established practice of applying traditional Navajo principles to the resolution of legal disputes and the Court's more recent practice of implementing, wherever appropriate, the directive of the Fundamental Laws of the Diné passed by the Navajo Nation Council in November of 2002.