Lance Morgan on the decline of federal Indian law:
“What we’re not teaching in law school is the other half of the system, where tribes are aggressively using their newly educated lawyers, their economic power, and their desire to do good to really change the equation.”
“Once you make the mental leap that the entire system is ridiculous…you don’t ever go back.”
Lance Morgan and the Rise of Tribal Law and the Decline of Federal Indian Law
Lance Morgan (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) is President & CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc. He is also the managing partner of the law firm Frederick Peebles and Morgan. And if you know Lance, or have read his previous work, you know that he is always good for a big idea, or an idea that pushes boundaries, in Indian Country. Lance returned to the show to discuss one of those ideas: the Rise of Tribal Law and the Decline of Federal Indian Law and he recently published an article by the same name in the Arizona State University Law Journal.
Many NextGen Natives are practicers of, or generally interested in, federal Indian law. Lance’s article is great because it forces readers to ask themselves the question how can tribal law be on the rise and federal Indian law be on the decline? The basic point is that tribal law is an exercise of tribal sovereignty whereas federal Indian law is the enforcement of restrictions imposed upon tribes over the last few centuries. And the decline of federal Indian law may not be a bad thing necessarily, if tribes exercise and use tribal law. You should go read it (after you listen to our discussion, of course). Continue reading