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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Alexandra J Harmon
AIS 335
Seattle Campus

American Indians and the Law

History of laws governing American Indians: aboriginal law systems, U. S. laws, and contemporary tribal laws. Effects of laws and legal institutions on contemporary Indian identity and tribal status, self-government, land ownership and use, natural resources, religion, family life, cultural and spiritual practices, crimes and punishment, and federal responsibilities for Indians.

Class description

See the description above.

Student learning goals

An understanding of American Indians' unique legal status

Increased familiarity with/understanding of the U.S. federal system and the operation of law in American history and life

Appreciation of the ways that Indians and their legal status and history have been and remain important in American legal and political relations

Enhanced abilities to analyze legal and racial relations

Strengthened academic skills such as analytical and argumentative writing

General method of instruction

Primarily class discussion of readings supplemented by occasional lectures, guest speakers, debates, and small group work. Frequent writing exercises graded on a credit/no-credit basis.

Recommended preparation

Basic acquaintance with U.S. government, good reading skills, faithful class attendance.

Class assignments and grading

Readings in two textbooks and a coursepack include treaties, statutes, court opinions, and articles from law journals as well as historical accounts.

Two papers, a final essay exam, and a grade for effort (based on participation and the credit/no-credit exercises) each make up 25% of the course grade.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Alexandra J Harmon
Date: 09/23/2013