The topics covered will concentrate on the distinctive nature of Native American land and the problems that come up within the realm of leasing land on Native American reservations for commercial use and development. Issues arise easily when dealing with this topic because of the necessary sensitivity used in working with different cultures, their values, their innate connection to the land, and more. It is important to further the economic premise of the United States while still respecting the needs of our native people, which is why this issue needs to be discussed.
In Cherokee Nation v. Georgia, 30 U.S. 1, 16 (1831), Chief John Marshall made a decision that established a precedent. He stated that “the condition of the Indians in relation to the United States is perhaps unlike that of any other two people in existence… marked by peculiar and cardinal distinctions which exist nowhere else.” I. ANALYZING THE ISSUE
This statement is a good gauge for analyzing the many problems that arise with development and leasing on Native American lands. For example, unlike the common law property system, which deduces individual ownership interests and alienability of property, tribal land is collectively owned and unalienable; while the regulation of real property is typically the property of the state, the field of the regulation of native property is almost solely engaged by the federal government. Also, the principal of tribal self-governing exemption and the handling of this principal in agreements with tribes considerably affect the solutions, enforcements, and obligations on Native American lands. The following principles are central to all aspects of Native American Law 1.
An Indian nation possesses the powers of a self-governing state and enjoys a government-to-government relationship with the United States. 2.
The federal government has extensive authority to regulate Indian matters, subject to constitutional limitations. 3.
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