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Jurisdiction

Last updated February 16, 2010

Mandatory Public Law 280 State Jurisdiction

In Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie, 522 U.S. 520 (1998), the United States Supreme Court removed the Indian country status of most lands held by Alaskan Natives.  Since Public Law 280 applies within “Indian country,” that decision left Public Law 280 irrelevant to much of Alaska.  However, there are still Native allotments and Native townsites that likely qualify as Indian country, leaving some room for the continued operation of Public Law 280.  See Geoffrey D. Strommer & Stephen D. Osborne, “Indian Country” and the Nature and Scope of Tribal Self-Government in Alaska, 22 Alaska L. Rev. 1 (2005).

For more information, see Tribal Jurisdiction in Alaska: Chila Protection, Adoption, Juvenile Justice, Family Violence and Community Safety, Alaska Legal Services Corporation, 2012. Also available at www.aktribaljudges.com

Legislation

Alas. Const., art. XII, § 12

P.L. 85-615 § 1, 72 Stat. 545 (Aug. 8, 1958)

Public Law 280 -- 18 U.S.C. § 1162; 25 U.S.C. 1360, as amended; 25 U.S.C. §§ 1321-22

P.L. 91-523 § 1, Nov. 25, 1970; 84 Stat. 1358; 18 U.S.C. § 1162(a) (excepting Metlakatla Indian Tribe from state criminal jurisdiction).

25 U.S.C. § 1918 (Two Native villages, Barrow and Chevak, have successfully petitioned for reassumption of exclusive jurisdiction over Indian Child Welfare Act matters. 64 Fed. Reg. 36,391 (July 6, 1999).   The Metlakatla Indian Community has successfully petitioned for reassumption of concurrent jurisdiction over such matters.  58 Fed. Reg. 11,766 (February 26, 1993), as corrected at 58 Fed. Reg. 16,448 (March 26, 1993).

Case Law

2004 Op. Alas. Att’y Gen. No. 1

In the Matter of C.R.H., 29 P.3d 849 (Alas. 2001)

John v. Baker, 982 P.2d 738 (Alas. 1999)

Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie, 522 U.S. 520 (1998)

Jones v. State, 936 P.2d 1263 (Alask. Ct. App. 1997)

Hydaburg Coop. Ass’n v. Hydaburg Fisheries, 925 P.2d 246 (Alas. 1996)

Booth v. Alaska, 903 P.2d 1079 (Alas. Ct. App. 1995)

Nenana Fuel Co. Inc. v. Native Village of Venetie, 834 P.2d 1229 (Alas. 1992)

Native Village of Venetie I.R.A. Council v. Alaska, 944 F.2d 548 (9th Cir. 1991), rev’d on other grounds, Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie, 522 U.S. 520 (1998)

Harrison v. State, 784 P.2d 681 (Alas. Ct. App. 1989)

Fawcett v. Fawcett, 13 Indian L. Rep. 5063 (Alas. Super. Ct. 1986)

Heffner v. State, 633 P.2d 264 (Alas. 1981)

State of Alaska, Dep’t Pub. Works v. Agli, 472 F. Supp. 70 (D.C. Alas. 1979)

Calista Corp. v. Mann, 564 P.2d 53 (Alas. 1977)

Ollestead v. Native Village of Tyonek, 560 P.2d 31 (Alas. 1977)

State v. Lewis, 559 P.2d 630 (Alas. 1977)

Organized Village of Kake v. Egan, 369 U.S. 60 (1962)

Metlakatla Indian Community v. Egan, 369 U.S. 45 (1962)

United States v. Booth, 161 F. Supp. 269 (D. Alas. 1958)

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