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Sovereignty For SurvivalAmerican Energy Development and Indian Self-Determination$
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James Robert Allison III

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300206692

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300206692.001.0001

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Recognizing Tribal Sovereignty

Recognizing Tribal Sovereignty

Chapter:
(p.152) 7 Recognizing Tribal Sovereignty
Source:
Sovereignty For Survival
Author(s):

James Robert Allison

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300206692.003.0007

After spending the 1970s developing the institutional capacity to effectively govern their resources, energy tribes now demanded that federal law recognize their authority to make development decisions. This final chapter documents, once again, the pivotal role the Northern Cheyenne tribe played in this process. With Ronald Reagan’s massive budget cuts forcing tribes to look increasingly to private-tribal partnerships to extract their minerals and secure revenue, the Northern Cheyenne executed a 1982 agreement with the Atlantic Richfield Company. Federal officials, however, were reluctant to approve the deal because it did not conform to the 1938 Indian Mineral Leasing Act, exposing how embedded notions of Indian inferiority continued to hinder tribal development. In response, the Northern Cheyenne, the Council of Energy Resource Tribes, and their allies within the federal government and the energy industry, pushed to change the law. The result was the 1982 Indian Mineral Development Act that authorized tribes to enter into whatever type of resource development agreement they desired, subject only to final federal approval. This new law reversed the historic roles of federal and tribal governments, giving energy tribes primary authority to determine the fate of their resources.

Keywords:   Northern Cheyenne, Atlantic Richfield Company, Council of Energy Resource Tribes, Clyde Martz, Colstrip, Ronald Reagan, John Melcher, Indian Mineral Leasing Act, Indian Mineral Development Act

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