VI. Conclusion

To many Americans, Indians are confined to history, at most a marginalized relic of the past, isolated on rural reservations. The reality is, Indian country survives. Indian status is central to establishing federal jurisdiction in Indian country cases under both the Major Crimes Act and the General Crimes Act. It cannot be ignored. Perhaps reflecting this tortured aspect of our history, the issue is complex, controversial, and conflicted. For the practitioner, its fact intensity demands a close working relationship with the client and record development. For the courts, this remains a perplexing issue and at least one circuit conflict must be resolved.



. Donovan has practiced law in Great Falls, Montana since 1976, including service as an Assistant Federal Defender in the District of Montana from 1993 to 2000. He represented Shane Maggi, Gentry LaBuff, and the Juvenile Male at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was named the 2009 Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year by The Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. B.A., 1971, University of California, Berkeley; J.D., 1976 University of California, Hastings College of Law.

. Rhodes has served as an Assistant Federal Defender for the District of Montana since 1998. In 2002, he served in Washington D.C. as Special Counsel to the United States Sentencing Commission. Rhodes represented Violet Bruce at the Ninth Circuit. B.A., 1987, DePauw University; J.D., 1990, Harvard Law School.