Duluth campus

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Duluth Campus

Tribal Sovereignty and Federal Indian Law Postbaccalaureate Certificate

American Indian Studies
College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
1123 University Drive, 110 Cina Hall, Duluth, MN 55812 218-726-8771
  • Program Type: Post-baccalaureate credit certificate/licensure/endorsement
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2024
  • Length of program in credits: 12
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Tribal Sovereignty and Fed Indian Law Pbacc Cert
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The Tribal Sovereignty and Federal Indian Law Postbaccalaureate Certificate is designed to meet the professional needs of individuals interested in tribal governance and tribal relations. The courses in this program emphasize the inherent authority of tribal nations, federal Indian policy, and the legal status of tribes as contemplated within federal courts. Topics addressed include Indigenous understandings of sovereignty, treaty relations, trust obligations, jurisdiction, the past and present of relevant congressional policy, and landmark court decisions.
Program Delivery
  • completely online (all program coursework can be completed online)
Prerequisites for Admission
Bachelorís degree from a regionally-accredited institution.
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Use of 4xxx courses towards program requirements is not permitted.
A minimum GPA of 2.80 is required for students to remain in good standing.
Courses taken A-F must be completed with a minimum grade of C-.
Required Courses (12 credits)
Take the following courses:
MTAG 5110 - Principles of Tribal Sovereignty I (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5120 - Principles of Tribal Sovereignty II (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5530 - Federal Indian Law I (3.0 cr)
MTAG 5540 - Federal Indian Law II (3.0 cr)
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MTAG 5110 - Principles of Tribal Sovereignty I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course provides students with a general background of the history, development, structure, and politics associated with indigenous governments. We will examine North American indigenous governance from pre-colonial times to the present, focusing on both the evolution and alteration of these governments as well as the difficult political decisions indigenous peoples faced when confronted by the colonizing forces of European states, the U.S., and individual states, and the modifications developed by indigenous nations in their efforts to retain and exercise their sovereign powers. prereq: MTAG or MTRES student or instructor consent
MTAG 5120 - Principles of Tribal Sovereignty II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course examines the challenges facing tribal governments as they exercise their sovereignty and involves political, economic, and intergovernmental perspectives. Part one examines tribal resource management, analyzing historical use of land, land loss, and contemporary efforts to develop sustainable environmental plans for water, timber, wildlife, and subsurface resources. Part two focuses on the various means tribal governments have devised to exercise sovereignty, such as gaming, small business development, tourism, and joint ventures with partners. Part three concentrates attention at the sub-national level and pays close attention to the political, legal, and economics relationships that have developed between Native nations, state governments, county governments, and municipal entities. prereq: 5110 or instructor consent
MTAG 5530 - Federal Indian Law I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
This course examines the formulation, implementation, and evolution of Indian policy from pre-colonial times to the self-governance era. This course provides a chronological framework and theoretical context in which policies, programs, and events can be seen interacting with each other to produce the cumulative body of treaties, statutes, and court decisions. Students analyze major federal Indian policies that define indigenous/federal political relationship, examining the views and attitudes of policy-makers and gauging the reactions of indigenous nations to those policies. prereq: MTAG 5320, MTAG student or post bac or instructor consent
MTAG 5540 - Federal Indian Law II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Federal Indian law has had profound affect on the lives, liberties, and properties of indigenous peoples. At times, U.S. policy and Supreme Court rulings have worked to protect aboriginal rights; at other times, these policies and decisions have had devastating consequences. This course examines the role and practice of the U.S. Supreme Court as a policy-making institution in their dealings with Indigenous nations. This examination requires us to think historically and theoretically; to question the origins and exercise of federal judicial power; and examine the application of federal law to indigenous peoples and Indian citizens. prereq: 5530 or instructor consent