Rebuilding Native Nations: An Introduction (Hybrid)

Rebuilding Native Nations Introduction


8 a.m. to 12:20 p.m., Jan. 8 to 10, 2024

Meeting Days

Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday afternoon



Course Instructor(s)


This course is foundational to Native nation building & is recommended for ALL JIT participants.

Course Description: LAW 631D (1 credit)

This course examines the development challenges faced by contemporary Native nations. Utilizing numerous case studies and extensive research on what is working and what is not working to promote the social, political, cultural and economic strengthening of American Indian nations, the course emphasizes themes applicable to community development and nation rebuilding worldwide. Historical and relevant federal Indian policy and case law are used as background material, but the course emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of the “nation building revolution” underway in Indian Country. Additional emphasis is placed on how tribal initiatives can conflict with federal case law, state jurisdiction, and federal policies and politics. 



  • What is working, and what is not working, to promote the social, political, cultural and economic strengthening of Native nations and Indigenous governance?  
  • While the primary focus of the course is on the American Indian experience, what principles of nation building are applicable to Indigenous peoples worldwide? 
  • In what ways have American Indian policy and case law promoted and impeded tribal self-governance? 
  • What conflicts between federal, state, and local governments can arise from tribal assertions of self-governance? 

Course Format (Online & On Campus)

Students will meet on campus for three consecutive afternoons at the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona and online via Zoom livestream.

Readings and Syllabus

Syllabus will be posted on UArizona's online learning platform, D2L, along with required readings to all registered students. 

Attendance & Participation

This course will be delivered in person at the University of Arizona. Participants must attend all 3 classes to receive a passing grade. Exceptions will be made only at the faculty's discretion.


After registering online, participants will receive a receipt of registration. Subsequently, participants will receive class instructions 1-2 weeks before the start of the course. 





Stephen Cornell