Education | Law

MSU News: Holding non-Indians accountable on reservations

"Domestic violence against Native American women and pollution of American Indian land - mostly at the hands of non-Native Americans - are just two of many issues that could destroy the American Indian way of life, according to a Michigan State University law professor.

Socio-economic and environmental problems are at an all-time high, says Matthew Fletcher, director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at the MSU College of Law. The answer: A change in tribal membership codes so that non-American Indians are held accountable.

His study, "Race and American Indian Tribal Nationhood," was recently published in Wyoming Law Review.

"To exclude every single person from tribal membership because they're not Indian is going to harm tribes in the long run," said Fletcher, who is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. "Tribes can actually be a domestic nation that can exercise the necessary government authority over all the people in their territory. But in order to do that, they have to liberalize their membership criteria.""

Get the Story:
Native Americans stuck in a political irony (MSU News 10/17)

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