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Copyright (c) 2014 Arizona State Law Journal
Arizona State Law Journal

ARTICLE: Whose Sovereignty? Tribal Citizenship, Federal Indian Law, and Globalization

Spring, 2014

Arizona State Law Journal

46 Ariz. St. L.J. 89


Stacy L. Leeds* and Erin S. Shirl**


I. Introduction
As the Dean of the Law School at the University of Arkansas, I routinely meet alums, lawyers and business leaders who are very intellectually engaged in a variety of legal and political issues. Given my work and background, they genuinely want to know more about Indian law and the workings of modern tribal governments, but have seldom had meaningful access to a narrative beyond what our educational system has provided from pre-school to post-graduate work. Like many law schools, federal Indian law has been a part of the upper level elective choices in given years, and other substantive courses give some attention to the areas most likely encountered in a general practice, such as federal Indian Child Welfare legislation's applicability to family law practice in state trial courts.

It is understandable how Indian law and tribal communities are marginalized in the mainstream for the sake of practical applicability and because of the relatively small demographic impact of tribal populations. Even with that understanding, I remain dismayed at the disconnect that can exist between communities that share close geographic proximity, are well-suited for mutual economic benefit, yet have so little interaction. Case in point, our law school is located in the heart of Fayetteville, Arkansas - less than 60 miles from Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capital and government seat of the largest tribe by population in the United States.

I meet business men and women who successfully enter new markets abroad and partner with sovereigns around the globe who ...
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