Gabe Galanda: Protecting tribal sovereignty from its enemies

Attorney Gabe Galanda discusses how to protect tribal sovereignty from its greatest enemy -- state government:
In 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a severe below to Indian sovereignty when it decided Nevada v. Hicks, suggesting to states and counties that when their cops are investigating off-reservation crimes, they need not obtain tribal court warrants to conduct searches or arrests on tribal land. The reach of Hicks, however, has been greatly exaggerated, most notably by state cops and prosecutors.

As the editors of the Cohen Handbook on Federal Indian Law correctly observe, “Hicks [did] not disturb the general rule that state officers have no authority to investigate crime involving Indians occurring within Indian country.” Better yet, Hicks did not disturb the common law rule that states must generally honor tribally codified procedures before conducting law enforcement activities in Indian country.

Indeed, as I explain in this Part 2 of my two-part series, codified tribal law enforcement protocols provide a forceful way to defend against encroachment by Indians’ historic deadliest enemies—states—and to cause today’s state Cavalry to respect tribal sovereignty.

Get the Story:
Gabriel S. Galanda: How to Protect Tribal Lands From Our Deadliest Enemies (Indian Country Today 9/19)

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