This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 (ISDEAA), a cornerstone of modern federal Indian policy. In 1988, amendments to the ISDEAA created the Tribal Self-Governance Demonstration Project. By providing a statutory basis for the broader movement of tribal self-governance, this legislation recognized and advanced the proposition that Indian tribes can provide better governmental services to their own members than can distant federal bureaucracies. Expanded and refined in subsequent legislation in 1994 and 2000, the Self-Governance Policy has proven so successful that today over 50% of all federal Indian programs are carried out by tribes rather than federal agencies. This article reviews the history of the self-governance program, identifies challenges to the continued growth of self-governance, and discusses possible directions that the program could take in the coming years.
Geoffrey D. Strommer & Stephen D. Osborne,
The History, Status, and Future of Tribal Self-Governance Under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act,
Am. Indian L. Rev.