- By Jenna Kunze
Beginning today, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear two oral arguments in cases both calling into question tribal sovereignty.
In one, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas, the court will rule on whether two federally recognized tribes in Texas have the authority to regulate gaming on their lands.
In 1987, one year before the U.S. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was approved by Congress, the Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas and the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo were granted federal recognition through the Indian Tribes of Texas Restoration Act. At that time, the Tribes agreed to a prohibition on gamibling.
For decades, the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, a reservation near El Paso, has tried to introduce certain types of gaming prohibited under the act, including electronic bingo, to its casino. Other tribes in Texas under the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act are able to offer bingo at their tribal casinos, such as the Kickapoo Tribe of Texas.
In oral arguments, the Supreme Court will hear if the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas should be governed by Indian Gaming Regulatory Act or the Texas Restoration Act.
In the second case, the court will hear Denezpi v. United States and assess whether or not a conviction in tribal court bars a tribal member from prosecution in U.S. district court for the same crime.
In this case, a citizen of the Navajo Nation was accused of a sexual offense against another Navajo Nation citizen on the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation in Colorado in 2017.
The offender was arrested and charged by a federal law enforcement officer and sentenced to140 days of jail time by the Court of Indian Offenses. Six months later, the offender was indicted by a federal grand jury for aggravated sexual abuse. He was tried and convicted by a jury in federal district court and sentenced to 360 months in prison.
Justices will rule on whether or not that “double jeopardy” conviction and punishment was a violation of tribal sovereignty.
More Stories Like ThisHouse Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples Hears from Native American Church Leaders on Protecting Peyote Habitat
Tribal Language Summit Convenes in Oklahoma City
Native American Church to Host Historic Field Meeting with House Natural Resources Committee
Q&A: Heather Miller, Illinois State Museum Director of Tribal Relations
Senate Introduces Legislation to Support Tribal Economic Development
Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news?
For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.