Montana State University

NASX 530-801: Federal Indian Law and Policy

Jan 08-May 02, 2014
Credit: 3 graduate
Cost: $835.20
Instructor(s): William Harjo

Register Online

Course Description:

Earn an on-line NAS Graduate Certificate

Indian law comprises of a collection of Supreme Court decisions, federal laws and policies which are completely separate and distinguishable from non-Indian Federal/ state laws and policies. Indian laws and policies evolved out of legal fictions, reactions to historical events, fear, discrimination, the impact of Manifest Destiny, greed and power politics. Treaties, termination, assimilation, self determination, criminal prosecution, water rights, health services, development of natural resources and tribal businesses continue to be hot topics for contemporary Indians, tribes and non-Indian supporters and competitors. This course traces the history of Indian law from the Constitution to present day. What are the legal rights of the modern day Indian? What are the legal rights of “domestic dependent nations (tribes)”? This is a course with answers to those questions and more.

Meeting Place and Times:



William Harjo.
William Harjo is President and Principal of American Native Services a consulting firm in Billings MT specializing in cultural effective training, community development and research in Native American communities. Dr. Harjo is a trainer, evaluator, expert consultant and has taught multi-cultural education, leadership and a wide array of Native American studies courses at colleges and universities across the country including Stanford University, Cameron University, Oklahoma City University and Montana State University. A prolific writer and speaker, he is an alumnus of Dartmouth College, Oklahoma City University and Stanford University. . An enrolled citizen of the Creek Nation of Oklahoma and raised in a traditional Muscogee (Creek) Indian community in Oklahoma, Dr. Harjo understands the difficulties of integrating Western and traditional tribal learning. He has devoted his career to pursuing new methods to meld tribal educational practices with Western educational systems to enrich the learning experience. Among his many innovative accomplishments, Dr. Harjo authored a teaching tool, Achieving the Healing Community: A Guide to Traditional Knowledge of Substance Abuse Prevention (1999), to help social workers develop new, culturally empowering approaches to substance abuse prevention. As a traditional War Chief of the Natchez Nation of Okahoma Dr. Harjo brings a strong background in tribal law, traditional law, international indigenous law, jurisdiction, enrollment, Native citizenship, educational legislation, federal recognition and legislation pertaining to the protection of Native American languages and cultures


Bachelor’s degree

Time Commitment:

10-12 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

 Program Fee $25.50
 Computer Fee$10.20

The cost of the course assumes that you are taking only MSU Extended University courses during the semester that the course is offered. If you also registered for courses through the MSU Registrar, other costs may apply.


  • a $3.35 per credit hour computer fee
  • a $30 registration fee per student per semester

A $40 late fee will be assessed if payment is not posted to your account by 3 pm (Mountain Time) of the course start date (or the business day before if the course starts on a weekend or a holiday).

To learn more about costs, please see the University Business Services' Student Accounts Web page.

Required Books/Materials:

  • 1. The material for this course will be multimedia. It will include readings, videos, case studies, newspapers, blogs and other sources. There is no requirement to purchase books. This is deliberate in an effort to keep the cost of the course low. In exchange, my expectation is that you will read/view/review all assigned materials. Links will be posted on the course D2L site. These works will provide theoretical depth and understanding to the topics covered in the course and are drawn from the important writings/commentaries on American Indian policy and law.

    2. You must keep up to date with what is happening in government and politics. There are many quality resources online. These include major papers, Google news, Indian Country Today and other resources.

Computer Requirements:

  • Computer running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or newer or Mac OS X.5 (Leopard) or higher
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Internet access

For More Information:

For course information: William Harjo, Registration Questions: Extended University, Office of Continuing Education, (406) 994-6683, toll free (866)540-5660,

There is a minimum enrollment for this course and if not met, the course may be cancelled and fees fully refunded. For complete information on administrative polices

Registration will open on Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

How to Register:

Register Online

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