April 24, 2009

New Legislation Bulletin

On April 24, 2009, the Library launched a new Bulletin as part of its Indian Law Bulletin service. The U.S. Legislation Bulletin tracks selected federal Native American-related legislation from Congress. To read more about the Bulletin, visit http://narf.org/nill/bulletins/legislation/aboutlegislation.htm

To access the Bulletin, go to http://narf.org/nill/bulletins/legislation/new_uslegislation.htm

The purpose of the Indian Law Bulletins, a current awareness service, is to provide succinct and timely information about new developments in Indian Law. Access the Bulletins at http://narf.org/nill/bulletins/ilb.htm . You can also contact us to receive E-mail notification when new updates are published. Please specify if you wish to be notified when all or only selected bulletins have been published. (dselden@narf.org or by phone at (303) 447-8760).

April 13, 2009

New Tribal Supreme Court Project update available

The Tribal Supreme Court Project April 9, 2009 Memorandum is now available.

"The Tribal Supreme Court Project is part of the Tribal Sovereignty Protection Initiative and is staffed by the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). The Project was formed in 2001 in response to a series of U.S. Supreme Court cases that negatively affected tribal sovereignty. The purpose of the Project is to promote greater coordination and to improve strategy on litigation that may affect the rights of all Indian tribes. We encourage Indian tribes and their attorneys to contact the Project in our effort to coordinate resources, develop strategy and prepare briefs, especially at the time of the petition for a writ of certiorari, prior to the Supreme Court accepting a case for review. You can find copies of briefs and opinions on the major cases we track on the NARF website."

April 7, 2009

Teacher Training Guides in Support of Land Based Curriculum Released

The Tribal Education Departments National Assembly (TEDNA) and the Indian Land Tenure Foundation (ILTF) are pleased to announce the ILTF's land base curriculum, Lessons of Our Land and the supporting teacher implementation guides recently developed by TEDNA and Reinhardt & Associates. Grants are available from ILTF to implement the curriculum in your community, school or organization.

The ILTF curriculum, Lessons of Our Land was developed to offer quality Indian land tenure educational opportunities for Head Start, K-12, college, adult and community education, tribal leaders and Indian landowners. While this curriculum positions Native American tribal issues and values at the forefront, the curriculum framework places emphasis on the fundamental relationship between land and people in general, not just Native Americans. Whether you teach on an Indian reservation or in an urban school with students from many ethnic backgrounds, you will find lessons that are both timely and adaptable for each and every one of these students.

However, the primary goal of this curriculum is for all Indian students to become intellectually reconnected to the land and to internalize its significance to their past, present and future as sovereign and land based peoples. Through this curriculum, Indian allottees, their children and other family members who will inherit their land, and landless tribal members will acquire the knowledge necessary to achieve self-determination through informed and responsible decision making concerning land assets. The ILTF and TEDNA believe that successful implementation of this curriculum is one of the best ways to strengthen Native communities and prevent further loss of Indian lands.

With the assistance of Reinhardt & Associates, TEDNA has developed teacher implementation guides to support the ILTF curriculum in Head Start, K-12, college, adult and community education programs. Grant money is available to communities interested in utilizing the curriculum. For more information simply, send an email to info@tedna.org indicating your interest in learning more about the curriculum. TEDNA will send you the curriculum and the teacher training guides free of charge!

TEDNA is a nonprofit organization that supports Tribal Education Departments; it strives to increase tribal sovereignty over education by improving law and policy and sharing information with our membership. For more information about TEDNA, see www.tedna.org. The ILTF strives to return land within original reservation boundaries or of cultural significance back to tribal ownership. For more information about ILTF, see www.indianlandtenure.org.

April 6, 2009

Supreme Court Bulletin updates

United States v. Navajo Nation (breach of trust, minerals) was decided.

Petitions were denied in: Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana v. Meyer , and Associates (sovereign immunity) and Catskill Development v. Harrah's Operating Company (gaming).

View the Bulletin at http://narf.org/nill/bulletins/sct/2008-2009update.htm

April 2, 2009

Indian Child Welfare

The 30th anniversary of The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 was recently marked. For more information about the ICWA, see the following:

Recent law journal articles online:

The Native American Rights Fund and the Library continue to update our Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare Act at http://www.narf.org/icwa. The Guide is intended to answer questions about the ICWA by people of all levels of familiarity with this important law, and to provide a comprehensive resource of information on the ICWA.

And the National Indian Child Welfare Association has recently posted materials about its upcoming conference: "Access to Prevention, Protection, and Treatment: A Matter of Fairness, Justice, and Action."

From http://www.nicwa.org/conference/:

"The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) serves as a promising practice for serving Indian children and families and its role in strengthening tribal communities. The intent of Congress under ICWA was to ''protect the best interests of Indian children and to promote the stability and security of Indian tribes and families'' (25 U.S.C. § 1902). Tribal communities are strengthening and sustaining their traditional methods of protecting and nurturing Indian children."