In the 1970s Washington State lost a series of legal cases related to Native Americans. These cases exemplify the need for knowledge of federal Indian law-but such knowledge, out of context, is insufficient. Key aspects of federal Indian law are hard to accept because of conflicting stories that Americans already believe. The authors discuss the importance of stories and review commonly believed stories that block acceptance of federal Indian law. They then discuss basic principles of Indian law and distill four questions to help determine tribal jurisdiction. The authors review the Marshal trilogy—three Supreme Court cases that set the foundations of modern Native American law—and show how the legal principles play out in an analysis of three contemporary court cases.