A Human Rights–Based Environmental Remedy for the Legacy of the Allotment Era in Indian Country

Vol. 29 No. 1

Mr. Suagee is of counsel with Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker LLP in Washington, DC, and an editorial board member of Natural Resources & Environment.

In the American constitutional democracy, Indian tribes have long been recognized as having governmental authority over their members and their territory as a matter of federal law. With respect to persons who are not tribal members, however, there is a body of case law holding that such persons are often not subject to tribal authority, especially if their conduct occurs on land that is not held in federal Indian trust or restricted status. Some of the cases in that body of law arose in matters involving disputes between a tribe and a state over which sovereign had the power to regulate certain conduct. See generally Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law Ch. §§ 6.01, 6.03 (2012).

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