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Abstract

Native American tribes enjoy immunity from suits on contracts made on or off a reservation.2 A tribe is subject to suit only if it has clearly waived its immunity or Congress has expressly authorized the suit.' Tribal immunity was given to the tribes on the principle that tribes are sovereigns or quasi sovereigns enjoying immunity from judicial attack absent their consent.4 The purpose of tribal sovereignty, according to the Supreme Court, is to promote tribal economic development and self-sufficiency.5 Though the Court has expressed its dissatisfaction with the doctrine in light of increased tribal economic self-sufficiency through successful business ventures, the Court has upheld this doctrine and has deferred to Congress any question of abrogating tribal sovereign immunity.6

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