Indian Sovereign Rights

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The Doctrine of Tribal Sovereignty states that…

Indian government powers, with some exceptions, are not delegated powers, but are inherent powers of a limited sovereignty that have never been extinguished. This doctrine was first articulated in this country by the US Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Marshall in Worcester v. Georgia in 1832.

The Northwest Ordinance Signed July 13, 1787

Excerpt from the Northwest Ordinance:

“The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity shall from time to time be made from preventing wrongs done to them, and preserving peace and friendship with them”

The United States Constitution Signed September 17, 1787

Article I, Section 8, clause 3, is commonly referred to as the Indian commerce clause. This clause states:

“The Congress shall have power…to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states and with Indian Tribes.”

Article VI, Section 2, states:

“This constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof and all treaties made, or shall be made under the authority of the United States shall be the Supreme Law of the land, and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or Laws of the state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

Oregon Senate Bill 770

Oregon was the first state in the US to adopt a formal legal government to government relationship with regional tribes through both executive action and legislation. The bill mandates a government to government relationship between the state and tribes.

Oregon Senate Bill 770, along with related state policies and laws, illustrates excellent Tribal/State relations in Oregon.