Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1994


Published in Great Plains Research 4:2 (August 1994). Copyright © 1994 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


The historical conflict of interest between states and American Indian nations has encompassed jurisdictional disputes ranging from land rights, water rights. and taxation to civil and criminal issues. Many of these political. legal and economic disputes currently center on Indian gaming on reservations within state boundaries. The tribes have been put in the position. yet again. of fighting to define and articulate the exercise of their perceived sovereignty rights vis-a-vis the rights of the states. The federal role, as designated trustee of the tribes, has been and continues to be. an ambiguous. dynamic one. This paper explores the history, current disputes and economic development potential generated by the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988), with particular emphasis on tribes resident in the Great Plains.