Tribal Nations hold an unparalleled position relating to their status as domestic-dependent sovereigns, possessing the ability to self-govern their nation within another nation. This legal-political identity creates a distinctiveness regarding jurisdiction and authority around tribal citizens and non-citizens within the reservation. Based on scholar Eve Tuck’s Suspending Damage article, featured in the Harvard Educational Review, I will seek to locate desire-centered traits in the current literature regarding the relationship between law enforcement and Indian Country; Tuck’s methodology is a subsequent shift from the more frequently utilized damage-centered perspective. Over the last five years, movements such as Standing Rock and Black Lives Matter have created a national calling for social justice reform and action by defunding the police, halting oil pipeline operations within Tribal lands, and sweeping policy change. These actions against the forced installation of the Dakota Access Pipeline on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation and attention to racially motivated violence and police brutality faced by African-American individuals have begun to cause society to become more aware of the presence and impacts that oppressive and authoritative structures harbor. Historical moments and scholarly works such as these prompt a broader series of questions regarding the relationship between Indian country and law enforcement and the structures of authority within those entities.

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Criminal Justice

Faculty Advisor

April Lindala

Faculty Advisor Email