AT A COMPLEX CROSSROADS: ANIMAL LAW IN INDIAN COUNTRY (.pdf file 69.81 KB)
By Rob Roy Smith
Animals play an especially important role in Indian history and culture. The value of animals to Indian tribes is reflected in every aspect of their culture, from song and dance to land use and treaty terms. Tribes today are still dependent on fish and wildlife for ceremonies and everyday living. Tribes have translated their value for animals into creative ways to protect domestic animals and manage animal populations, including working with state and federal governments to co-manage fish and wildlife populations.
This article begins with a discussion of criminal and civil jurisdiction within Indian Country. The article provides a brief survey of the legal issues found at the intersection between Indian law and animal law, including both domestic animal issues and fish and wildlife issues. The article presents a working understanding of animal advocacy in Indian Country today and concludes that Indian Country may provide a valuable opportunity to craft model animal protection schemes.