Course - Law


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 This course examines the development challenges faced by contemporary Native nations. Utilizing numerous case studies and extensive research on what is working and what is not working to promote the social, political, cultural and economic strengthening of American Indian nations, the course emphasizes themes applicable to community development worldwide. Historical and relevant federal Indian policy and case law are used as background material, but the course emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of the “nation building” revolution underway in Indian Country. Additional emphasis is placed on how tribal initiatives can conflict with federal case law, state jurisdiction, and federal policies and politics.


Coursepack prepared by professor and readings from The State of the Native Nations (Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Oxford University Press, 2007) and Rebuilding Native Nations (Miriam Jorgensen, ed., University of Arizona Press, 2007)

Course Format

Class will be taught using a combination of lecture and case discussions

Written Assignments  
Type of Exam

Take-home exam   

Basis for grading

Successful work in this course consists of attendance and participation; as well as a take-home final examination. Grading is distributed as follows: Class participation will be given 20% weight and the take-home final examination will be weighted 80%.

Additional Comments

This class is taught as a 1 credit “mini unit” over a three-day period in January. The course is open to law students, as well as other graduate students at The University of Arizona (including but not limited to, American Indian Studies and Government and Public Policy). This course is required for all students pursuing the Continuing Education Certificate in Indigenous Governance (Continuing Ed students, please note this course is called “Introduction to Nation Building” for purposes of the Continuing Education Certificate.)   

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