Cross-Jurisdictional Collaboration

Cross-Jurisdictional Collaboration 

Tribes across the country are working hard to address many of the same challenges, including substance abuse, domestic violence, and juvenile delinquency. To strengthen their efforts, some tribes are reaching out to partner with neighboring tribes who are facing similar challenges. For example, intertribal courts enable a regional group of tribes to build a shared court system that spreads costs while serving all of the tribes. In the Pacific Northwest, a number of tribes work together to hold an annual canoe journey. In Alaska, Native villages are working together to develop a collaborative approach to prisoner reentry. And these efforts are not limited to intertribal partnerships.

In recent years, some tribal and state justice systems have begun the slow and difficult process of healing deep wounds and working together to face common challenges. State-tribal court forums have been created in nearly a dozen states, providing leaders from both systems the opportunity to address critical issues like compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act and the recognition of each other’s court judgments. Tribal and state law enforcement officers are cross-deputized to better protect both communities. State and tribal courts refer criminal cases back and forth under a variety of creative jurisdiction-sharing agreements meant to ensure that cases are heard in the most appropriate setting. Although much work remains, these efforts at collaboration are producing meaningful results that may encourage more intertribal and tribal-state partnerships.
 

Profiles