Volume 12: 2011-2012

Senior Editor-in-Chief

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


Barbara Creel (Pueblo of Jemez)

Managing Editors

Natasha Cuylear (Jicarilla Apache Nation)
Daniel Snyder

Professional Articles Editors

Billy Jimenez
Moses Winston

Student Articles Editors

Morgan Currey (Osage)
Consuelo Garcia

Senior Editors

JoEtta Toppah (Navajo Nation/Pawnee)
Jonathan Turner
Chelsea Van Deventer

External Project Coordinator

Preston Sanchez (Navajo Nation/Pueblo of Jemez)


Samantha Azure (Ft. Peck Sioux), Devin Delrow (Navajo Nation), Cherie Dominic (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), Ana Huerta, Evie Jilek,LeeAnne Kane, Dane Lauritzen, James Simermeyer (Coharie), Leah Stevens-Block


Ogalala Sioux Tribal Profile

By Karen Kimbro Chase
This profile by Karen Kimbro Chase offers an excellent overview of Oglala Sioux law, both traditional and modern. Like many tribes, the Indian Reorganization Act had a major impact on the contemporary law of the Oglala Sioux. While the IRA resulted in tribal constitutions that reflected the values of the U.S. Constitution, this profile examines the traditional and customary law that was subsequently incorporated into the Oglala Sioux Constitution. This profile includes a brief history of the Oglala Sioux, overview of traditional law, governmental structure, summary of contemporary law, and  history of political activism. 

Northern Cheyenne Tribe:  Traditional law and Constitutional Reform

By Sheldon C. Spotted Elk
This profile by Sheldon C. Spotted Elk examines the U.S. Government's infringement on the Northern Cheyenne's political sovereignty. Most significantly, this profile examines the relationship between the oral history of the Northern Cheyenne and its impact on traditional tribal governance and law. Following the Northern Cheyenne's adoption of a modern constitution, many members fought to continue living under a traditional constitution. Ultimately, the Northern Cheyenne a written IRA compatible constitution while maintaining an oral constitution.  The delicate balance allows the Northern Cheyenne to address modern issues while also keeping the fundamental traditional and customary law of the tribe alive.

Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal Law Profile

By Daniel B. Snyder
In this tribal profile Daniel B. Snyder provides an excellent point of reference for practitioners dealing with any legal matter within the Ho-Chunk Nation. Starting with an overview of the legal history of the tribe, including modern government and law, the author examines the traditional legal practices and responsibilities of the Ho-Chunk. Mr. Snyder then explores the modern judicial and legislative branches, and their work to preserve the tribe's traditional laws and customs. 

Judicial Selection Methods, Tribal Politics, and Strong Government: Navajo Nation at the Crossroads

By Bethany Sullivan
This article by Bethany Sullivan examines the judicial selection methods of the Navajo Nation and its impact on the Navajo Nation. After surveying the various methods of judicial selection by both the United State and Navajo Nation, the author explores potential changes to the existing selection methods of the Navajo Nation. Ultimately, however, the author argues for the maintenance of the existing selection methods and warns against future efforts to reform the Navajo appointive system.