The judicially created doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity was recognized as part of the unique relationship between the United States and these domestic dependent sovereigns. 2 As tribes and tribal organizations enter into more commercial transactions in an effort to promote their self-determination and economic development, they have used sovereign immunity as a "trap for the unsuspecting", leaving the business they enter into an agreement with, without a judicially enforceable remedy for breach of contract.' To remedy this inequity, courts have chipped away at the doctrine of tribal sovereign immunity, finding waivers in commercial contexts where none existed before. In one area involving the inclusion of an arbitration clause in a contract, courts are split on what is required to find a waiver of sovereign immunity. This case represents a synthesis of competing views and an articulation of a workable standard for determining to what extent an arbitration clause represents a waiver of sovereign immunity.



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