A tribal police officer in California is fighting charges of assault and false imprisonment. It all stems from his attempt to make an arrest during a domestic dispute on reservation land. This is one example of jurisdictional clashes that result from the 1953 measure called Public Law 280. There are instances when tribal law enforcement officers can’t take action even if they see a crime because PL 280 complicates an already complex jurisdictional landscape. The Tribal Court Clearinghouse says “it has often been misunderstood and misapplied.” We hear about PL 280 and ways tribes are trying to get out from under it.
Dorothy Alther (Oglala Sioux Tribe) – executive director of Californian Indian Legal Services
Ryan Rusche (Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux) – tribal attorney for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Break music: Anasazi Sun (song) Injunuity (artist) Fight For Survival (album)