Alexandra J Harmon
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.
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.
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.