Opinion

Gabe Galanda: Tribal nations still battling threats to sovereignty





Attorney Gabe Galanda on threats to tribal sovereignty from federal and local law enforcement:
Throughout the 19th Century the U.S. Cavalry perpetrated the genocide of Indian People. Today’s Cavalry—federal, state and local police—are no longer committed to extermination. But American cops’ flagrant disregard for tribal self-governance when carrying out law enforcement activities on Indian lands, threatens the existence of Indian People.

Thankfully Indian inherent sovereignty and treaty rights can halt non-tribal cops who encroach upon Indian country under the guise of the Major Crimes Act or Nevada v. Hicks and while doing so, threaten tribal territorial autonomy and Indian civil rights.

The linchpin to Indian defense against the modern Cavalry is this: written federal and tribal protocols for inter-governmental law enforcement communication and coordination. To be sure, written—even privately written—federal protocols require the Department of Justice and its FBI, ATF and Marshals Service to cooperate with Indian authorities; while tribally codified procedures dictate how state police, county sheriffs and municipal cops must behave in Indian Country.

Get the Story:
Gabriel S. Galanda: Indian Nations Are Still Fighting the U.S. Cavalry (Indian Country Today 9/4)