Letter Re: Indian Reservation Boundaries a Determining Factor for Retreat Locales?

In your posted list of ‘Recommended Retreat Areas‘ you address Indian tribal government as a ‘minus’ because of an extra layer of bureaucracy only for Oklahoma. Doesn’t this apply to each and every state which contains reservations? Your top 12 recommended states all have reservations on them. Might not that Indian Nation independence be a benefit? Or, since my knowledge on Indian Tribal Lands and their political position being quite slim, might I just be missing some very basic information which would lend one to see the true position? I have been doing some research but haven’t uncovered anything which I would call reliable. But I never give up! 🙂 Thanks, – Ken

JWR Replies: I have mixed feelings about owning land inside the boundaries of a tribal reservation. I generally recommend against it unless you are of American Indian descent. If nothing else, living “on the res” means an extra layer of bureaucracy and certainly an extra jurisdictional layer, including Tribal Police law enforcement and a tribal court system with its own sovereignty. There is no way to predict in which ways the tribes might assert their sovereignty in the future. At present, this is relatively unobtrusive. For example, inside some reservations non-Indians have to buy a one day tribal fishing license in addition to an annual state fishing license. Indian tribal courts generally have a good reputation, but why subject yourself to an additional jurisdiction, with its own peculiar set of laws, when it can be avoided by simply buying land that is outside of the reservation boundary?