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Tribal-State Relations

Elective Course

This course focuses on how the State of Montana and the seven tribal governments within this state may choose to resolve future and present disputes that involve jurisdictional, regulatory and natural resource issues that are of statewide and regional concern. Particular emphasis is given to the unique Montana constitutional, legislative and judicial factors governing tribal-state relations that set it apart from other large Indian Country states. Particular topics for analysis and discussion include: (1) Indian reserved water rights claims to Montana's water resources; (2) tribal power to develop and enforce environmental standards within Indian Country; (3) Indian gaming and tribal-state compacting process under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act; (4) Indian educational status under Montana law; (5) the impact on tribal-state relations of the Indian Child Welfare Act; and (6) the recent state legislative re-districting to potentially improve Indian representation within the Montana legislature.