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The raving thoughts of a misanthropic academic

Research & Teaching

Introductory Courses 
  • Foundations in American Indian Studies 
  • American Indians in Contemporary Society 
  • Federal Indian Law 
  • Tribal Governments 
  • Constitutional Law 

Upper Level Courses 
  • Indigenous Peoples and the Environment 
  • Native American Natural Resources Law 
  • Tribal Courts and Tribal Law 
  • Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act 
  • Comparative Indigenous Human Rights 
  • International Indigenous Human Rights 
  • Critical Race Theory 
  • Gaming & Gambling 
  • Globalization and Cultural Preservation 
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Libertarianism and the Problem of Indian Rights (Seminar Proposal)

Current Research
The matter of blood quantum has long been a contentious issue among tribal nations in the United States. From questions about identity, to the delivery of services to tribal citizens, the very use of blood quantum as a determining factor of indigeneity has sparked controversy on both sides of the issue. My latest research project titled Blood Quantum, Colonization, and the Struggle for Tribal Sovereignty is a co-authored piece that seeks to address some of the questions surrounding the use of blood quantum as a mechanism for undermining tribal sovereignty.

In this work, my colleagues and I analyze the legal history of tribal blood quantum and the resulting challenges that it creates in Indian Country – including the problems presented to tribal citizens through gaming, disenrollment, and criminal prosecutions. Having identified some of the problems, the work then explores potential alternatives to blood quantum that utilize different governance mechanisms for defining tribal identity. Some of these include the development of tribal citizenship criteria (as opposed to membership), and the use of tribal naturalization processes. We follow this framework to undertake critical race theory analyses of blood quantum itself, before highlighting how some of these problems are made manifest through the American education system.

This project is squarely situated amid my broader research interests in comparative Indigenous governance. During my time at the University of Waikato, I was able to witness first hand some of the challenges of governance faced by Indigenous peoples in a different part of the world. My work allowed me to interact with a bevy of Māori communities in addition to fellow scholars interested in the situation of Canadian First Nations, and the situation of the Orang Asli people of Malaysia. My interests in these communities has led me to begin a research agenda focused on comparative Indigenous governance best practices in hopes of providing a broader, global perspective on governance that I can share with the field and interested stakeholders.

Future Work
Over the next two to five years, I hope to learn more about the situation of other Indigenous communities in hopes of distilling the principles and challenges of Indigenous governance that can provide insight into further best practices for American Indian communities. To do this, I intend to edit my dissertation A Libertarian Framework for Indian Rights for publication as a book.

Some of this research will focus on tribal nations within the United States. One potential project involves an analysis of the tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation here in Wyoming. The tribes recently dissolved a joint business council creating pressing questions about land ownership, unemployment, and the utilization of jointly held assets, and natural resources.

Other projects will focus on the challenges of governance presented in the context of international Indigenous human rights, and the implications of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

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Organic, free-range thought courtesy of your average, coffee-addicted, American Indian, academic. Program Manager @IGPatUA.


The thoughts here are mine alone and should not be attributed to my employers, colleagues, or any other sentient being.

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