Sovereignty Blog Posts

During this year's Native American Heritage Month, Tribal leaders and high-level White House Officials constructed discourse with respect to issues important in Indian Country.  The 2021 Tribal Nations Summit (the Summit), hosted by the White House, was held on November 15th and 16th. This is the first time the Summit has taken place since 2016. The Summit presented a unique opportunity for nation-to-nation dialogue on support to Tribal communities to create opportunities, advance equity, and address new and long-standing challenges. Topics addressed included Infrastructure, Native languages, climate change and COVID-19. Several members of the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) attended the Summit.

The Summit commenced by releasing the “White House Tribal...

The American Indian Policy Institute will soon announce the inaugural cohort of the Indigenous Leadership Academy! Please join our mailing list to stay up to date here

I was jolted awake at 2 am yesterday by my phone ringing. On the other end was my sister. She was traveling to Spain by airplane, fainted on the plane, broke her nose, and was calling me from the hospital. She was sad, and mostly disappointed that her plans had shifted. Luckily, there wasn’t anything healthwise wrong with her and by that afternoon, she was sightseeing and posting on her social media. How was she able to jump back on track...

The American Indian Policy Institute has launched the Indigenous Leadership Academy (ILA) application! The application is now live and will remain open until November 15, 2021. Click here to start the application process. 

Being that we are now in November, which is recognized as Native American Heritage Month, the Labriola National American Indian Data Center (Labriola Center) student archivist, Elizabeth Quiroga, and I decided this reading list would focus on Indigenous policy, politics, and activism. This list was very hard to narrow down. We tried to stick to the same criteria that no book is more than $40 (US) and all books can be found at the Arizona...

After years of advocacy, the FCC is finally taking action to make needed improvements to the The Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries, also known as E-rate. On October 14, 2021, the FCC published a notice in the Federal Register of a proposed rule to make Tribal libraries eligible to participate in the E-rate program. The program was established under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. This program uses funding from the Universal Service Fund to increase internet access to qualifying schools and libraries by assisting with discounted telecommunication service. Internet access in schools and libraries is a crucial service offered...

This past weekend (June 5th - 7th) I went to the White Earth Nation in Northern Minnesota to witness the Treaty People Gathering on Treaty rights and Tribal sovereignty. This event brought together more than 1,000 people from across the country to learn about Tribal sovereignty, Treaty rights, and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) surrounding the Line 3 Pipeline. 

Line 3 is a pipeline that runs through North Dakota and Minnesota through to Wisconsin. It is called a replacement pipeline project because it takes an older pipeline out of commission and replaces it with a new pipeline. This replacement project, however, runs along a new route, which crosses over 200...

President Biden announced the American Jobs Plan (AJP) on March 31, 2021 to address the longstanding needs facing the U.S. in the areas of infrastructure, jobs, and the economy. These needs existed before the pandemic, but their negative impact was felt much more in the last year. The great and immediate need to solve these issues also presents a unique opportunity to usher society into the future. The ideas that come to mind when one thinks of infrastructure are roads, railways, bridges, and other steel and concrete structures. However, the Biden administration is working to change that notion and expand the idea of infrastructure to include digital connectivity, mitigating...

"This country was founded on genocide and slavery.” W. Kamau Bell got straight to the point when he offered this pointedly accurate assessment of American history during a conversation hosted at ASU to kick off the semester. The event was intended to bring discussions on racism to the forefront of students’ consciousness. It is a harsh statement, but it’s true. And if Americans don’t learn American history—warts and all—we are doomed to repeat it. Already, evidence that we are on an unfortunate trajectory was presented in a staggering story published last month, which showed that two-thirds of Millennials and GenZ are unaware that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Even...

Written by affiliate scholar Lawrence Roberts. 

Today, the Supreme Court issued a long-awaited decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, a case involving whether Oklahoma maintains criminal jurisdiction over crimes involving Indians within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s reservation boundaries. The State of Oklahoma and the Trump Administration maintained that the Tribe's reservation no longer existed and therefore the State of Oklahoma possesed criminal jurisdiction over McGirt. The Court, by a 5-4 vote, reaffirmed the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s treaty reserved reservation boundaries and held that the State did not have criminal jurisdiction over McGirt.

Writing for the majority, Justice Gorsuch framed the case in historical context:

On the far end of the Trail of Tears was

...