In this module we dealt with the Native American population. One of the largest complexities of Indian Reservations/Tribal lands is the fact that it is Federal Land. These Tribal areas are in various states and counties, which leads to significant issues when it comes to enforcement of laws.
I want you to conduct research on Native American/Indian sovereignty – Just enough so you understand the concept.
Then go to the website for one of the local Tribes (San Manuel Mission Band of Indians, Morongo Tribe or Soboba Tribe –not the casino one, but their government site). Determine:
- Do they have their own public safety department
- Do they have an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with another Law enforcement agency
- If you can, what types of offenses do they handle- remember there are two issues Tribal lands and normally a Casino area
The importance/Significance of the MOU (if they have one) is that the Tribal police will handle certain crimes and incidents, however, for others, they will ask the County agency to step in and assist. An example of this:
There is a homicide on Tribal Lands. While there are Tribal police available, they do not have the expertise and/or resources needed to complete this investigation on their own. Crime lab access, forensic technicians, homicide detectives, computer programs/records and manpower. Now, the tribal police know the folks on the reservation better, obviously, and can add to the investigation, but they do not normally take the lead.
Then answer these also:
- Tell me in your own words what Indian sovereignty is.
- Which tribal website you went to and your impression of their site.
- Did they have an MOU with a county law enforcement agency? If so, name the agency.
- Did they have any sort of information on what crimes they handle? If so, what did it say?