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46 U. Mich. J.L. Reform 417 (2012-2013)
Toward Genuine Tribal Consultation in the 21st Century

handle is hein.journals/umijlr46 and id is 437 raw text is: TOWARD GENUINE TRIBAL CONSULTATION IN THE 21ST
Colette Routel* and Jeffrey Holth**
The federal government's duty to consult with Indian tribes has been the subject of
numerous executive orders and directives from past and current U.S. Presidents,
which have, in turn, resulted in the proliferation of agency-specific consultation
policies. However, there is still no agreement regarding the fundamental compo-
nents of the consultation duty. When does the consultation duty arise? And what
does it require of the federal government ?
The answers to these questions lie in the realization that the tribal consultation
duty arises from the common law trust responsibility to Indian tribes, which com-
pels the United States to protect tribal sovereignty and tribal resources, as well as to
provide certain services to tribal members. In that respect, the federal government's
duty to consult with Indian tribes has a unique foundation that distinguishes it
from decisions to consult with State governments or encourage public participation
through the Administrative Procedures Act.
This Article argues that the duty to consult with Indian tribes is properly viewed as
a procedural component of the trust responsibility. It further argues that a more
robust, judicially enforceable consultation requirement would be the most effective
way to ensure that the federal government fulfills the substantive components of its
trust responsibility to Indian tribes, while avoiding the difficult line-drawing that
would be inherent in direct enforcement of those components. In this way, the con-
sultation duty could become a powerful tool to ensure that federal agencies know
and consider the impacts their actions will have on Indian people, before those
actions are taken.
INTRODUCTION ................................................. 418
I. THE FEDERAL TRUST RESPONSIBILITY .................... 420
A. The Cherokee Cases: A Sovereign-Protectorate
Relationship   ......................................           421
B.   Kagama and Lone Wolf: The Guardian-Ward
Relationship   ......................................           426
C.   The Modern Trust Responsibility ....................            429
*     Associate Professor of Law, William Mitchell College of Law. J.D., 2001, magna cum
laude, Order of the Coif University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; B.M., 1998,
magna cum laude, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York. The authors would like to thank
Professors Sarah Deer, Matthew Fletcher, Eve Brensike Primus, and Kevin Washburn for
their comments on earlier drafts of this article.
**    Law Clerk to Justice Alan C. Page of the Minnesota Supreme Court. J.D., 2012,
summa cum laude, William Mitchell College of Law, Saint Paul, Minnesota; B.A., 2006, Phi Beta
Kappa, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

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