Cayusewarrior is on the right track. A major flaw in the education of Indian lawyers is the lack of a critical perspective on federal Indian law. (I call it federal anti-Indian law.) To start with, the supposedly 'good' parts of FIL all involve a subjugation of indigenous peoples to the federal 'state' (i.e., 'trust relationship,' 'plenary power,' etc.). Secondly, the US Supreme Court has been making very serious inroads on even these aspects of FIL (Navajo coal case, Carcieri, Oneida, etc.). The UN Declaration provides one platform from which to build a critique; Steve Newcomb's work (Pagans in the Promised Land) provides another. Any Indian law student needs to be prepared to examine the curriculum with these thoughts in mind, and to question any teacher who ignores the deep problems of FIL as a vehicle for indigenous self-determination.
Monday, March 14, 2011 - 15:34