Question: A Native American tribe entered into a construction contract with
A Native American tribe entered into a construction contract with C & L Enterprises ( C & L) to install a roof on a tribe- owned commercial building in Oklahoma. The property lies outside the tribe’s reservation. The contract contained three key positions: (1) all disputes arising from the contract would be settled by arbitration; (2) the award rendered by the arbitrator would be final; and (3) judgment must be entered in any federal or state court having jurisdiction. After the execution of the contract, but before C & L commenced performance, the tribe changed the roofing material in the contract and hired another company to install the roof. C & L, claiming breach of contract, requested arbitration. The tribe claimed sovereign immunity and declined to participate in any arbitration proceeding. The arbitrator received evidence and rendered an award in favor of C & L. The contractor then filed suit to enforce the award in the district court of Oklahoma County. Again, the tribe claimed immunity. The district court denied the motion and affirmed the award set by the arbitrator. Is the tribe liable for breach of contract?
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