Tribal sovereignty in the United States
Tribal sovereignty in the United States is the inherent authority of indigenous tribes to govern themselves within the borders of the United States of America. The U.S. federal government recognizes tribal nations as ""domestic dependent nations"" and has established a number of laws attempting to clarify the relationship between the federal, state, and tribal governments. The reference to Indians in the Constitution is not to grant local sovereignty. The only references are: Article 1, Section 2, which states, ""Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."" This reference is for determining the number of representatives and taxes for a state. This does not allow for the exclusion of Indians from taxes and later federal laws grant local sovereignty to tribal nations, but do not grant full sovereignty equivalent to that of foreign nations, hence the term ""domestic dependent nations"". Article 1, Section 8, which states, ""[The Congress shall have Power...] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"" It may be noted that while Native American tribal sovereignty is partially limited as ""domestic dependent nations,"" so too is the sovereignty of the federal government and the individual states – each of which is limited by the other. The people's sovereignty underlies both the U.S. federal government and the States, but neither sovereignty is absolute and each operates within a system of parallel sovereignty. According to the reservation clause of the Tenth Amendment, the U.S. federal government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the states or the people, while other aspects of the people's sovereignty reside in the individual states. For example, the individual states hold full police powers. On the other hand, the individual states, like the Indian tribes, do not print currency or conduct foreign affairs; and the individual states are constrained by federal authority under the U.S. Constitution and are bound by the Bill of Rights. Viewed in this light, tribal sovereignty is yet another form of parallel sovereignty within the U.S. constitutional framework, constrained by but not subordinate to other sovereign entities.