On Demand

Federal Indian Law: A Brief Introduction


Created on February 27, 2017




This overview explains 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"

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