Publication Date



40 p. ; An outstanding student paper selected as a Honors Paper.


The federal government has an elaborate and comprehensive set of regulations to recognize Indian groups as tribes. This administrative process requires exhaustive documentation and considerable scientific analysis to prove that the group can meet seven mandatory criteria. In addition to the administrative process, Congress continues to exercise its authority to legislatively recognize tribes. The author reviews four recognition cases — two legislative and two administrative -to understand the use of historical information and to evaluate differences in results between these two processes. Based on this review, recommendations for changes include incorporation of international law concepts, previously suggested policies, and traditional tribal knowledge and practices


University of New Mexico School of Law

Document Type

Student Paper



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