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Name of Article:
A Wolf in Sheep^s Clothing: Is New York State^s Move to Cleanup the Akwesasne Reservation an Endeavor to Assert Authority Over Indian Tribes? 
Title of Book/Journal:
Albany Law Environmental Outlook Journal 
English Translation:
Publication Date:
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This article will explore the historical underpinnings of the federal-tribal relationship. Historically, the federal government's relationship with Indian tribes has been to the exclusion of the states. The intent of this article is to explore the evolving nature of federal-tribal relations. Modern political, social, and legal conditions have transformed the nature of federal-tribal and tribal-state relationships. The St. Regis Mohawk's confrontation with modern industrial America's dumping of toxic chemicals epitomizes both the classical, as well as the modern, nature of tribal governments' struggle to assert authority over non-Indians to protect tribal members' health and safety. This article will put into context the unique facts of this case in conjunction with the history of state regulatory authority over American Indian tribal lands in general and specifically, the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation. This article contends that the federal government continues to play a significant historical and political role in assisting tribes with regulating their environment to the exclusion of the states. New York's assertion of good neighborly legal assistance to the St. Regis Mohawk is either serendipitous, or like a wolf in sheep's clothing, it is calculated to slowly chip away at federal trust responsibilities and the tribes' inherent sovereignty.

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Last updated on Monday, December 2nd, 2002