Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: June 02, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971928 | Print ISBN: 9781412950855 | Online ISBN: 9781412971928| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe
George E. Coroian
Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe is a 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with whether Native American tribal courts maintain criminal jurisdiction over individuals who are not Native American. The ruling has been criticized as a setback to Indian (Native American) tribal sovereignty in the United States that took power away from the tribal courts in governing matters that occur on tribal lands. The facts and opinion in the case are presented following. The offenses in this matter occurred on the Port Madison Indian Reservation in the state of Washington. The reservation consists of approximately 7,275 acres of land, with non-Indians owning 5,231 acres of the land within the reservation. The Suquamish Indians adopted a Law and Order Code in 1973 that had the effect of extending the tribe's criminal jurisdiction to both Indians and non-Indians. David Oliphant, a non-Indian resident of the Port Madison reservation, was arrested by tribal ...