This article will examine the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma’s path from the federal dismantling of the Seminole Nation tribal court system upon the statehood of Oklahoma in 1906 to the Seminole Nation’s reestablishment of its tribal court system in 2011. This article will also explore the Seminole Nation’s methods of integrating tribal tradition and custom into the Seminole tribal court system, and will also present the many challenges that exist in developing an efficient and sustainable tribal justice system. The article will demonstrate that the Seminole Nation’s persisting determination to reestablish its judicial authority stems from the desire to maximize sovereign authority by having a government that not only makes and enforces laws, but that makes and enforces laws the Seminole way. Ultimately, this article may serve as a resource for other tribes who wish to establish their own tribal court system.



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