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The capacity of Indian tribal sovereignty to protect tribes from outside encroachment and interference has steadily diminished from when the concept was first enunciated in the nineteenth century in the Marshall Indian Law Trilogy. This article assumes as a working premise that only bringing tribes into the Constitution as co-equal sovereigns will end the attrition. The article examines how this might happen, either through creative interpretation of existing constitutional text or by amending the Constitution. Each of these proposals is examined to see if it empowers tribes to manage their futures more effectively, is capacious enough to include the vast majority of tribes, maintains the union’s security and stability, and has political salience. The article concludes that only the creation of a virtual nationwide election district for all members of a tribe to elect tribal representatives to Congress will meet these criteria. The author concedes that the approach is novel, but hopes it is sufficiently viable to warrant further consideration by others.

Publication Citation

90 N.D. L. Rev. 13-86 (2014)