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Key Takeaways

Chief Joseph Freedom Index
  • Freedom rankings help develop solutions to the most pressing problems faced by indigenous economies.
  • Institutions under tribal control include the rule of law, secure property rights, and institutions like tribal courts.
  • Economic freedom is a combination of the protection of private property rights and the freedom to exercise those rights, so long as they do not interfere with other people’s rights.
  • Tribal law refers to laws made by American Indian tribes to govern themselves.
  • Tribal law consists of constitutions, referenda, and legislation made by tribal councils, rulings by tribal courts, and customary laws upheld by traditional authorities.
  • There is a great deal of variation in tribal law across tribes.
  • State and federal governments can pass legislation that preempts tribal law.
  • Economic areas under control of tribes includes land, many aspects of the environment, tribal courts, traffic, some minor crimes, business, and casinos.
  • Tribal governments are not able to levy property taxes on trust or fee-simple land.
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