Indiana’s Indian Laws: Indigenous Erasure and Racism in the Land of the Indians

29 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2020 Last revised: 8 Jan 2021

See all articles by Aila Hoss

Aila Hoss

Indiana University McKinney School of Law

Date Written: September 3, 2020


In response to a request for funding on Tribal and Indian law research, a director level position from Indiana University stated that the author needed to “clear why a team from the middle of Indiana is positioned to conduct this research” and that it is her job “to point out the obvious.” In the author’s teaching evaluations for her first year property law class, students indicated that they wished the author spent less time on Indian law. These statements are just two examples of the active disdain for the research and study of Indian law within a major university in Indiana, “land of the Indians.” But it is also a symptom of a larger disinterest and hostility to the inclusion of Tribal and Indigenous issues, pervasive across communities and institutions in the state.

This article seeks to fill the immense gap in literature related to Indian law in Indiana. It can be a tool for educators, students, and practitioners seeking to learn more about this area of law. First, this article describes the American Indian and Alaska Native communities in Indiana. Next, describes Indiana’s Indian laws both from a state statutory and regulatory perspective as well as the implications of federal laws in Indiana. This article ends with a discussion on the importance of familiarity with Indian law in Indiana and identifies areas in which Indiana’s Indian laws could be strengthened.

Keywords: Federal Indian Law, American Indian Law, Indigenous Law

Suggested Citation

Hoss, Aila, Indiana’s Indian Laws: Indigenous Erasure and Racism in the Land of the Indians (September 3, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Aila Hoss (Contact Author)

Indiana University McKinney School of Law ( email )

530 W New York St
Indianapolis, IN Na 46202
United States

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