Course - Law


Recommended Courses:

Federal Indian Law, Environmental Law and or any related course in the field of indigenous law and policy; likewise, any related course in the field of environmental law and policy (i.e., Water Law).

With over 630 federally recognized Indian trives in the United States, tribal governments represent the largest single class of landowners next to the federal and state governments. It is not surprising that Native American rights have influenced some of the most significant themes in the field of natural resources development with direct regulatory implications over a broad area including development, management, and conservation. The course will examin the role of tribal governments, the EPA, and Congress and other public actors in relation to the jurisdictional and regulatory issues that define the scope of tribal natural resources management. This examination will refer to the larger regulatory framework withing a given area (i.e., natural gas extraction and mining). Close attention will be given to the underlying federal policies that reflect the historic shifts towards tribal relations on the part of Congress. Using the case book and materials, students will engage in discussion over the role of Congress in defining the scope of tribal self-determination and the remedies tribal governments can resort to in protecting and safeguarding their rights to natural resources. 

Judith V. Royster & Michael C. Blumm, Native American Natural Resources Law: Cases and Materials, (2nd edition) by Carolina Academic Press:

Course Format

Seminar style discussion that follows the casebook readings

Written Assignments

Optional mid-term take home paper

Type of Exam

Final paper

Basis for grading

Participation and discussion - 15%. Attendance is mandatory and I use a sign-in sheet along with the Socratic method for class discussion. Students can opt to do a mid-term take home paper worth 35%. A final paper is required and is worth 85% of the grade for students who do not elect the mid-term option, or 50% for those students who take the mid-term.

Additional Comments

Graded for JD and AIS MA and PhD students; Pass/Fail for IPLP LLM and SJD students.

Please contact Professor Hopkins with any questions ( / 621-7669).

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