IPLP Courses

What makes IPLP unique is its approach to education. Students are educated both in the classroom and the real world, by faculty who are leaders both in their academic field and in the community. Each year, IPLP offers more than 50 credit hours of courses specialized courses, including courses in Tribal Law, Federal Indian Law, and International Indigenous Peoples Law. Students may also choose between a wide variety of related law courses, as well as graduate courses in other campus departments.

Federal Indian Law (3 credits)

Explore the foundational principles and doctrines governing the legal and political relationship between the United States and Indian tribes. The history of federal Indian law and policy, tribal property rights, congressional plenary power, the trust doctrine, tribal sovereignty, jurisdiction in Indian Country, and tribal government are the major topics covered in the this course.

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Tribal Courts and Tribal Law (3 credits)

Focuses on American Indian tribal governments, tribal courts, tribal peacemaking, tribal laws, and American Indian customary law, with a special focus on Navajo common law as a case study model.

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Jurisdiction in Indian Country (1 credits)

A combination of federal statutes and court decisions have created different set of rules for civil and criminal jurisdiction in Indian country than exists for the rest of the United States. This course will explore those rules, primarily through a series of hypothetical problems.

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International Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples (2-3 credits)

International Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples

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Indigenous People in the Inter-American Human Rights System (1 credits)

Indigenous people are increasingly turning to international law and the international human rights system as a means of protecting their lands and property. While much attention is given to the United Nations and the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People, this course will focus on the role played by the Organization of American States, and in particular the Inter-American Court and Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in protecting indigenous peoples¿ rights to property in their traditional lands and cultural integrity, identity and survival.

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Comparative Indigenous Governance (1 credits)

Examines different Indigenous systems around the world.

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Constitutions of Indigenous Nations (1 credits)

Considers the question "what is a constitution?" and explores different types of Indigenous nation constitutions, important concepts for constitutions to address, and the process for developing one appropriate for each community.

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Putting International Law to Work (1 credits)

Provides students with an exposure to the theory and practice of the international law of indigenous peoples, as well as an understanding of the manner in which domestic legal systems are incorporating the issues that have been taken up at the international level.

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Law, Policy, and Economics of Contemporary Tribal Governments (1-3 credits)

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.

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Gaming and Gambling (2-3 credits)

Addresses the fundamental legal question of how gambling is defined and regulated in the United States.

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Making Change Happen (1 credits)

Explores ways to assess and prioritize community needs with respect to nation building and uses case studies to explore how governments work within legal constraints to serve their communities and assert their rights.

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Evidence for Indigenous Governance Principles (1 credits)

Explores the key research concerning Indigenous Nation Building and how to understand what it means for your community.

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Native American Natural Resources (3 credits)

Examines several themes: conflicts over which government has sovereign control over which resources; the role that tribal governments play in natural resource allocation and management; questions relating to ownership of natural resources; the changing federal policies relating to natural resources allocation; the role of federal courts, Congress, and Executive branches in relation to the trust responsibilities to protect tribal lands and resources; environmental protection, including EPA policy in relation to Indian Reservations; and natural resource development and management.

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Intergovernmental Agreements (1 credits)

Addresses the relationship between Indigenous nations and other governments.

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Native Economic Development (3 credits)

Examines the issues surrounding economic development as indigenous peoples and their respective organizations enter the 21st Century. Covers a broad range of issues including sovereignty, constitutional reform and by-law development, cultural preservation, securitization of resources, intellectual property, religious freedom, health, social welfare and education.

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Nation Building I (3 credits)

Explores critical nation-building issues confronting Indigenous peoples in North America, with a primary focus on Native peoples in the United States. The issues to be analyzed include: economic development, politics, culture and identity; and leadership and institution-building. Issues, concepts, and theories examined in the course will provide a basis for examining current Indigenous institutions of self-government; assessing policies of federal, First Nation/tribal, and state/provincial governments; analyzing how to enhance the foundational capacities for effective governance and for strategic attacks on education, economic, and community development problems of Native nations; and augmenting leadership skills, knowledge, and abilities for nation-building.

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Nation Building II (3 credits)

Experiential component of Nation Building; Nation Building I is a prerequisite

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Indigenous Economic Theory (1 credits)

Indigenous peoples continue to struggle with the contradictions between economies organized in ways they desire and the choices presented in contemporary economies. This course addresses five principles that are key to organizing an economy based upon an indigenous world view: 1.) Because everything is connected, externalities, common pool goods and public goods must be recognized. 2.) Among the most important connections for indigenous peoples is that with their land. 3.) Reciprocity, both between people and their land, and among people, is a fundamental organizational principle for exchange. 4.) Because peoples¿ connections to land are permanent, the sustainability of that connection is important, which leads to concern about the far future. 5) Leaders have to be accountable for their actions, based upon implementation of the first four principles.

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Cultural Property of Indigenous People (1-3 credits)

Covers tangible and intellectual cultural property, its identity, ownership, appropriation and repatriation and will begin with the history of the appropriation of cultural materials and the development of national and international laws.

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Who Owns Native Culture (2 credits)

Examines cultural heritage protection and the redefinition of indigenous peoples' heritage as a proprietary resource. Discussion will include select case law, the ethical and economic issues raised by the worldwide circulation of indigenous art, music, and biological knowledge, and the fundamental dichotomy of heritage as a protected resource within a multicultural society.

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Globalization and the Transformation of Culture (3 credits)

Explores the economic, social, cultural, religious and political consequences of globalization, the Building of Empires, the Poetics of Culture, the Logic of Global Capitalism, consequences of Technologies, New Measurements of Progress, Economic Development, Land Use, Agriculture, and the Environment.

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Addressing Domestic Violence (1 credits)

Domestic Violence present many challenges to the legal system, both because of its sociological dynamics and because it is one of the rare situations where civil court orders (in the form of protection orders) are enforced through the filing of criminal charges. These already difficult challenges are further complicated when issues of tribal jurisdiction are layered in. This course will explore those challenges and methods of addressing them.

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Native Governance in Action (1 credits)

One of the striking features of the last four decades in North America has been the growing assertion and exercise by Indigenous peoples of rights of self-determination and self-government. What does self-government mean in the Indigenous context? How does it differ from self-management or self-administration? How do self-governing nations actually govern? What governance strategies are they using? What tools and capacities do self-governing nations need if they are to be effective at achieving their goals and carrying out the tasks of self-determination? This five day course attempts to answer these and related questions.

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Critical Race Theory (2 credits)

This course, limited to twenty students, will explore the legal history of racism in the post-colonial and post-modern West from critical race and post-colonial theoretical and practice-oriented clinical perspectives. This seminar will focus on the difficulties in defining and understanding the meanings of the term “race,” the nature of racism and racial oppression; theories of racial formation; the differing implications of colonization and immigration; the formation of stereotypes; unconscious racism; the gendered and sexualized nature of race and theories of racial identity.

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Tribal Courts Clinic (2 credits)

Students provide research support to tribes and tribal courts in Arizona and the Southwest, including serving as law clerks, drafting rules and procedures, drafting training materials, drafting statutes and other projects as identified. Topics concerning tribal courts and tribal law will be discussed during class.

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AIPRA Will Drafting Clinic (2 credits)

An introduction to basic federal Indian law policies and basic will writing. Emphasis will be on the American Indian Probate Reform Act. Students will travel to the San Xavier District of the Tohono O’odham Reservation as well as to Sells to meet with clients who own allotted lands. Students will interview individual clients and prepare their wills along with any related estate documents.

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Indigenous Peoples Law Clinic (2-6 credits)

Provides domestic and international legal assistance to the Indigenous peoples of the southwest and the world.

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International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop (2 credits)

IPLP represents Indigenous communities and other groups before a variety of international human rights bodies, including the Organization of American States and United Nations. Students will have the opportunity to work on these cases.

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NALSA Moot Court (1-2 credits)

Students who represent the University of Arizona at the National NALSA Moot Court Competition may be eligible to receive course credit for doing so. Each student must consult the law school policies to determine whether the student meets the requirements.

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IPLP Colloquium Speaker Series (1 credits)

The Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program (IPLP) Colloquium Speaker Series is designed as a graduate level seminar open to all IPLP LL.M and S.J.D. students, as well as students in the Indigenous Governance programs, which include the MPS, Continuing Education Certificate, and Graduate Certificate.

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Independent Study (1-3 credits)

Students work under the supervision of a faculty member to write a publishable paper or complete a comparable project. Arrangements with the supervising faculty member must be made prior to registration.

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Thesis (1-3 credits)

For masters degree students who are working on their thesis. Meeting times are arranged individually between the student and the chair of the dissertation committee.

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Dissertation (1-9 credits)

For SJD students who are working on their dissertation. Meeting times are arranged individually between the student and the chair of the dissertation committee.

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Internship (1-5 credits)

With prior approval, students may also spend up to 5 credits in an internship.

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