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States and Their American Indian Citizens

41 American Indian Law Review 319 (2017)

26 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2017  

Matthew L. M. Fletcher

Michigan State University - College of Law

Date Written: November 13, 2017

Abstract

This article is intended to provide a theoretical framework for tribal advocates seeking to approach state and local governments to discuss cooperation with Indian nations, with a special emphasis on Indian child welfare. While the federal government has a special trust relationship with Indians and Indian nations, Indian people are also citizens and residents of the states in which they live. Thus, states have obligations to Indians as well.

This article posits the fairly controversial and novel position that states have obligations to guarantee equal protection to all citizens, including American Indians (and non-Indians) residing in Indian country. In other words, states have an affirmative obligation to ensure that reservation residents, Indian and non-Indian, receive the same services from states that off-reservation residents receive.

Keywords: Fourteenth Amendment, equal protection, Indian Child Welfare Act, intergovernmental agreements, American Indian citizenship

Suggested Citation

Fletcher, Matthew L. M., States and Their American Indian Citizens (November 13, 2017). 41 American Indian Law Review 319 (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3070244

Matthew Fletcher (Contact Author)

Michigan State University - College of Law ( email )

648 N. Shaw
East Lansing, MI 48824-1300
United States

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