Federal Indian Law: A Brief Introduction

(1073 Ratings)

Produced on: February 27, 2017

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

This overview explains what Federal Indian Law, the various legal sources – including treaties, statutes, executive orders and judicial decisions – on which it is based, and how it guides political and legal relationships between the United States and 568 federally recognized Indian tribes and nations.  

At the heart of Federal Indian Law is the concept of tribal sovereignty: the right of tribes to make their own laws and be ruled by them, subject to the ultimate control of the US government, and to deal with federal officials on a government-to-government basis.  

This presentation, led by attorney Troy Eid,  focuses on essential concepts such as the federal trust responsibility, tribes’ sovereign immunity, and civil and criminal jurisdiction.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand an overview of Federal Indian Law

  2. Identify the array of legal resources Federal Indian Law is based upon

  3. Grasp the concept of “tribal sovereignty”


Troy Eid

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Troy A. Eid is a nationally known legal expert on environmental enforcement, investigations and compliance, energy and natural resource development, and Federal Indian law and Native American and Alaska Native tribal law. A former United States Attorney who has served both Republican and Democratic Presidential administrations, and a past state cabinet officer for the State of Colorado, Troy is a trusted public figure in the Rocky Mountain West and Washington, DC, and a familiar face in many federal, state and tribal courtrooms across the country.

Troy, who first joined the firm in 2003, co-founded and co-chairs Greenberg Traurig’s American Indian Law Practice Group, one of the largest and highest-rated legal teams in the United States. A principal shareholder with Greenberg Traurig's Denver office, Troy practices at the trial and appellate level. He has successfully defended clients in some of the largest and highest-profile environmental enforcement actions ever filed by U.S. Department of Justice under the Clean Water Act and other federal laws, as well as in grand jury proceedings. Troy is also frequently sought as a mediator and arbitrator, especially in cases involving Indian tribes and tribal enterprises.

An experienced legal project manager, Troy has coordinated various inter-disciplinary legal and consulting teams in numerous large-scale energy infrastructure projects, including natural gas pipelines, transmission lines, highways and railroads. He specializes in civil and criminal investigations involving petroleum-related leaks and spills, uranium contamination, hazardous waste pollution, asbestos, and other environmental and workplace safety matters, as well as health care and hospital-related regulatory, permitting and compliance projects. Troy is also a recognized authority on Native American cultural resource protection and related government-to-government consultation between tribes and the federal government under the National Historic Preservation Act, National Environmental Policy Act, and other laws.

Troy is well-respected on both sides of the aisle for his professional knowledge and expertise, especially as it relates to energy, natural resource, criminal justice, and other legal and public policy matters concerning the American West.

He served as Colorado’s United States Attorney from 2006-09, appointed by President George W. Bush. From 2010-14, Troy was elected to chair the Indian Law and Order Commission (ILOC), an independent national advisory board created by the Tribal Law and Order Act to advise President Obama and Congress on public safety improvements for all 566 federally recognized Native American and Alaska Native tribes and nations. The ILOC’s landmark 2013 report, A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer, proposes the most sweeping criminal justice reforms in Federal Indian law and policy since the New Deal. Endorsed by the American Bar Association, the ILOC’s Roadmap helped lead to the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act Amendments recognizing tribes’ criminal jurisdiction to prosecute non-Indian perpetrators in domestic violence cases.

A recipient of the Navajo Nation Bar Association’s Member of the Year Award, Troy grew up in Colorado and graduated from Stanford University and the University of Chicago Law School. He clerked for Judge Edith H. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He has been recognized for distinguished public service by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other federal and state law enforcement agencies. He was also recognized by Law Week Colorado as Colorado Lawyer of Year for representing the seller of the HealthOne hospital system in Colorado, the largest hospital-related transaction ever in the Rocky Mountain West. 

A regular contributor to the national edition of Native American Law360 and other Law360 publications, Troy teaches energy, natural resources, environmental and Federal Indian law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Denver-Sturm College of Law. He currently serves as an At-Large Member on the Tribal Issues Advisory Board of the United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency within the Federal judiciary that is assessing the impact of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in criminal convictions involving Native Americans and Alaska Natives.


Gahan C.

I loved this program. He did a great job raising potential legal issues. As a government attorney I found this helpful. I would love a more in depth program from him.

Robert F.

Very informative.

Gary D.

The presenter gave an excellent historical summary and opened many thoughtful issues for further discussion.

Kenneth S.

Very Interesting

Natasha G.

Learned a lot about Indian law

Trudy H.

This was super interesting.

Daniel M.

Great programs by Mr. Eid!

Dina B.

The presenter communicated very well - he was enjoyable to listen to.

margaret t.

Great content and great presenter. Best deck I have seen in a while on lawline

Bradley G.

Well put together...learned some interesting info!

Mark G.

Great slides

Mark M.

Very interesting. Excellent presentation. Worth watching a second time.

laninya c.


Claire A.

My first experience with Lawline and I found the course to be informative, as well as interesting.

Amy B.

Interesting course!

Roxanne W.


John D.

The lecturer was excellent with a limited amount of time to present complex material.

kurt f.

Very informative about a complex area of law.

Dale D.

Very interesting. Great pictures and diagrams to go with the lecture.

Samantha B.

Great material

Derek W.

Enjoyed the material.

Albert A.

Troy Eid is awesome

Evan S.

One of the best CLE courses I have taken. Great subject matter and presenter.

Erik G.

Presenter is excellent. Impressed with the quality that LawLine was able to get to present the material.

Stephen N.

liked the pictures

Deborah E.

Excellent presentation on a very complex topic.

mark f.

Troy Eid was excellent.

Jeffrey H.

i liked the presenter's historical perspective

Donna W.

This was a very informative course and gave an excellent historical perspective about the subject matter. The speaker demonstrated tremendous knowledge.

Sharon A.

Interesting information

Jeri W.

Very interesting. I had no idea that Indian law was so complicated

Jeff D.

Best course yet that I have viewed on LawLine

Stephen S.

thank you

Ronald B.

I thought the commentator was very good.

Jeff D.

Great overview on a fascinating area of law

Michael B.


Randy P.

Excellent introduction to Indian law!

John P.

This was very well-done. A perfect amount of information for a relative newcomer to this area.


Very interesting

Rhonda R.

Mr. Eid is an excellent presenter. I enjoyed his photos.

Mary W.

Excellent intro!

Walter P.

I thought Mr. Eid really knew his area. I was very impressed.

Richard S.

Good introduction to new material.

Jayne W.

he is wonderful and very informative. perfect amount of information on the subject.

Richard C.

Excellent presentation. Speaker has a wonderful ability to combine the law with history, so that we understand why the laws exist as they do.

Lisa O.

Very interesting presentation on a subject are entirely new to me. I would definitely recommend this topic.

David J.

This speaker was one of the best I've ever seen.

Robert M.

Highly informative!

Allen B.

I've published on American Indian Law, and this was a good overview course.

Patricia F.

Well articulated.

Michele W.

Very interesting area of the law. Great intro to Indian law.

Martin R.

Outstanding presentation.

Kathleen C.


Brian O.

If I ever have an Indian Law question I'm calling this guy. Very sharp. He also knows how to put together an hour long introductory cle without wasting time. Well done.

Lucia C.

Excellent presenter

Ken N.

Excellent course, very good speaker, very informative

Joseph H.

Very interesting

Michael R.

Excellent content, presentation, use of time.

Julie A. B.

Speaker offers a meaty historical synopsis of federal Indian law in this dynamic, detail-packed presentation.

Jimmy M.

Very good presentation

Debra J.

Outstanding representation. Very knowledgeable!

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