Diane Humetewa article (’93)

Diane Humetewa (Class of 1993), the first Native American to serve as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, was one of a handful of Native students in her law-school class, only half of whom graduated despite tremendous support from the Indian Legal Program.

“It made me realize the importance of helping other Native students succeed,” said Humetewa, who has stayed connected to the program and has served as a mentor.

“These students come from Indian communities, smaller towns, and don’t have the huge university experience,” she said. “Often they wonder, ‘How will this education matter to the community I’m going to go back to?’ “The program has helped fill in the gaps with mentors, and engaged students in the local community through clinics and summer programs.”

Law school was not something Humetewa had planned on. She worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1986 as one of the first victim-witness advocates in the federal criminal Justice system and helped develop a victim advocacy model that was replicated nationally. “Several of my colleagues encouraged me to go to law school,” she said.

Both Humetewa’s parents went to Indian boarding schools, her father in Santa Fe and her mother at Phoenix Indian High School. They expected their children to go to college, but were surprised and pleased when Humetewa decided on law school. “They saw the passion I had for working with crime victims, making sure their needs were addressed, and for handling what can be emotionally draining cases, and they appreciated that,” she said.

Judge Stephen M. McNamee of the U.S. District Court of Arizona, told her to choose a local law school. “He said, ‘You’re most familiar with the legal environment in Arizona, your primary focus is to come back and be a prosecutor here in Arizona, and you’ll have more localized opportunities for mentoring and summer work that will matter for your long-term goal,’ ” Humetewa said.

The Indian Legal Program at Arizona State University was welcoming and supportive, said Humetewa, who met Siera Russell, then-director, and Paul Bender, who taught Indian law. “I literally had no knowledge of Indian law as it is known today,” Humetewa said. “But it felt like a nurturing place. The individuals there were just as interested in my success as I was.” Support included study groups and tips on how to survive the first year. “They also assigned us mentors,” Humetewa explained. “One of mine was Diane Enos, who is now president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, dealing with some of the most sophisticated issues in Arizona.”

And she learned of an internship on Arizona Sen. John McCain’s staff. “Taking that internship, spending a semester in Washington, D.C., helped me put a practical background to the federal Indian law I was learning,” Humetewa said. “It all jelled.”

Humetewa said the Indian Legal Program had a profound impact on her. “The concentration of faculty and their foresight that federal Indian law touched on so many aspects of society, economically and politically, provided me a great opportunity to understand,” Humetewa said. “What made the program so successful was the leadership of the law school and their recognition that there is a unique opportunity to expand the educational horizon that traditional law schools weren’t providing for. “They were able to find, and tap into, Indian experience in water law, gaming law, federal Indian law. What has made the program stand out is that they really paid attention to the quality of the subject matter and the quality of the individuals they brought in to explain that subject matter. “I’m grateful to be a very small part of it.”

Humetewa served as counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice office of Tribal Justice, and as counsel for McCain before rejoining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1996 as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, then Assistant U.S. Attorney. She prosecuted violent crime cases including child sex crimes, homicides, assaults, bank robberies, and theft of cultural patrimony cases. She also worked in the civil section defending lawsuits brought against the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act, and represented the United States’ interests in Bankruptcy Court.

In 2001, she was promoted to Senior Litigation Counsel/Tribal liaison and was responsible for relationships between the 21 Indian tribal governments and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and for oversight of the Victim/Witness Program. She is considered a national expert in Indian Country issues and has instructed law enforcement and prosecutors in federal criminal procedure, jurisdiction, child abuse, federal victims’ rights, and laws protecting Native American patrimony, artifacts and grave sites.

She said she never thought about becoming a U.S. Attorney. “In my view, I had accomplished what I set out to do, to become a prosecutor who could advocate for victims of crime and enforcement of laws. I was very content.

“Being a prosecutor is the best job in this office, because you deal with so many issues: archaeology, geography, and the variety of populations we have in Arizona that have different and distinct needs. “You’re constantly learning not just about law enforcement in the area, but the application of that law and helping to shape that law, with convictions that are challenged and go up to the Ninth Circuit. It was the best job I ever had because I was constantly growing with each case.”

Humetewa has interns in her office who learn the variety of cases a federal prosecutor can take on. “Some have gone on to be law clerks for tribal nations or trial attorneys in a tribe’s general counsel office,” she said. “In reverse, tribal leaders look to ASU for development and sharing information, like writing tribal codes and legal research.”

Humetewa said there has been a sea change for Native law. “The doors have swung open,” she said. “Universities have developed Indian law programs because of the recognition that tribes are economic players, and tribes are encouraging their young people to get law degrees because they believe that will help them receive fair representation.”

Clinton on panel at Appellate Judges Educational Institute

Clinton on panel at Appellate Judges Educational Institute

Robert N. Clinton Professor Robert N. Clinton of the Indian Legal Program will speak on a panel, “One Country, Separate Sovereigns: Emerging Issues in Indian Law,” at the Appellate Judges Education Institute this weekend. The conference, which brings together federal and state appellate judges, appellate staff attorneys and appellate lawyers, will be held at the Doubletree Paradise Valley Resort in Scottsdale on Nov. 13-16. Also on the panel with Clinton will be Judge William Canby Jr. of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a founding faculty member of the College of Law, Judge Joseph Thomas Flies-Away of the Hualapai Tribal Court, and Elizabeth Rosenbaum, an Indian law practitioner. The panel will be moderated by Charles G. Cole of Steptoe & Johnson. Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will speak at the annual dinner on Nov. 15. Clinton teaches and writes about federal Indian law, tribal law, and Native American history, constitutional law, federal courts, civil procedure and copyrights. He also serves as Chief Justice of the Winnebago Supreme Court, as Associate Justice of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court of Appeals, as Associate Justice for the Colorado River Indian Tribes Court of Appeals, and the Hualapai Nation Court of Appeals, and as a temporary judge for other tribes.

Lance Morgan to teach Economic Development In Indian Country

Lance Morgan, CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc, is scheduled to teach an Economic Development in Indian Country Seminar at the College of Law in January. This one week winter intersession class is open to all law students and graduate students. (If you are not a law student, please check with your College to see how you can register.) I have listed the course information and an article about Lance Morgan below. Please share with anyone you think might be interested.

Economic Development in Indian Country Seminar

SLN #: 90175 Course Prefix: LAW-691 Course Section: 004 Credit Hours: 2Course

Description:This seminar will focus on a wide range of contemporary tribal economic development issues. Historical and relevant federal Indian case law will be used as background material, but the primary purpose of the seminar will be to describe the practical political, legal, economic, structural, and cultural issues faced by tribes when trying to develop their economies. Additional emphasis will be placed on how these tribal initiatives can conflict with federal case law, state jurisdiction, and federal policies towards tribal economic development. The seminar’s focus will be on helping identify and implement creative tribal-based solutions. Although the relevant federal Indian case law will be discussed when necessary, having taken a course in Federal Indian law will be helpful.

Class will meet Monday, January 5, – Friday, January 9 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. The Final Exam will be held at 9:00 am on Monday the 12th.

Additional Information:Credit Hours: 2 Graduation Writing Requirement: No Seminar Writing Requirement: No Skills Requirement: No Final Exam Given: YesFinal Exam Type: In-Class Blackboard Course Site: Yes

Building Homes on the Range
Lance Morgan ’93 helps the Winnebago Tribe shape its future
by Margie Kelley (printed in Harvard Law Bulletin, Fall 2005)

When Lance Morgan ’93 looks out his office window, he sees a collision between the past and the future: A herd of buffalo passes on a hilly expanse nearby, while just beyond it an entire town is beginning to take shape.

“We really are walking in a couple of different worlds–trying to figure out how to be a modern entity and still be Indian,” said Morgan, the founder and CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., an economic development corporation that is reshaping the future of the Winnebago Tribe of northeastern Nebraska.

A decade ago, this 134,000-acre reservation nestled in the hills along the Missouri River was quickly becoming a ghost town. There was no town center–just scattered rows of government housing, a gas station and a grocery store. Winnebago families had been leaving the impoverished reservation for years in search of work, and the community was suffering.

Morgan was raised in Omaha, though he and his family spent summers and holidays on the reservation. Growing up poor, he dreamed of becoming financially independent. He joined the military to pay for college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and then attended Harvard Law School.

After HLS, Morgan went to work at a Minneapolis law firm that represented Indian tribes. When his own tribe’s casino venture was threatened by new competition, the tribal council approached him for help diversifying its revenue stream. “I basically couldn’t let it go,” said Morgan, who’d written his third-year law paper on economic development. “I left my job to come do this.”
Using revenue from the WinneVegas operation, the tribe’s lone casino, Morgan founded Ho-Chunk Inc., a startup that has invested in businesses on the reservation that provide the community with goods and services and, more important, jobs and job training.

Since its launch in 1994, Ho-Chunk (loosely meaning “the people”) has gone from $400,000 in annual revenue to a projected $115 million this year. It employs 499 people in 11 companies focused on everything from housing construction and banking to hotels, tobacco sales and the Internet. One of its Web sites, Indianz.com, is, according to Morgan, the most popular Native American destination online.

But perhaps most critical to the tribe’s future has been another HCI venture, the nonprofit Ho-Chunk Community Development Corp., which is building a town from scratch on a 28,000-acre stretch of the reservation bought from the federal government.

Ho-Chunk Village will include the reservation’s first-ever town center, with commercial and government buildings surrounded by single-family homes and townhouses that Morgan says will be sold to tribal members at affordable prices.

“Right now about 70 percent of housing on the reservation is government-owned,” said Morgan. Under this system, he explains, even those who are doing well can’t own their homes, and the lack of tax revenue makes it hard for the community to thrive.

HCI’s impact on the Winnebago Tribe can’t be overstated. Already, it has given more than $30 million back to the community in jobs, scholarships, expansion of the tribal college, and job training programs. It has also had a major role in building a new high school and a hospital.

Ho-Chunk Inc.’s success has been noticed by other tribes. Morgan has already consulted with 74 tribes seeking to replicate his model for economic development. He is also a consultant to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and lectures around the country on the state of reservations.
Morgan envisions an end to the archaic reservation system that is rooted in long-outdated assumptions about the inability of tribes to manage their own affairs.

“We’ve been living under this system for so long we’ve forgotten the underlying reasons for it,” he said. “Every other person in this country can control his own land, but we can’t. Now, we’re taking control of our destiny, and it makes me proud.”

New Federal Regs – Info from Institute of Indian Estate Planning and Probate

Good Morning –

The final federal regulations for 25 CFR Parts 15, 18, 179 and 43 CFR Parts 4, 30 were published this morning. You will find them on our front page – www.indianwills.org

Also on our front page is an Adobe combined text comparison document of the August 6, 2006 published draft and the final regulations dated November 13, 2008.

Best to you. Cecelia

Cecelia E. Burke
Deputy Director
Institute of Indian Estate Planning and Probate
Seattle University School of Law
901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA 98122
(206)398-4277 phone
(206)398-4036 fax
(206) 786-1012 Mobile

Save the Date: ILP Alumni and Friends Reception

Title: ILP Alumni & Friends Reception
Date: Thursday Apr-02, 2009
Time: 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Location: Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, Santa Fe, NM

NEW TIME! NEW LOCATION! Please RSVP to Sunny Larson: Sunny.Larson@asu.edu (480) 965-6413

Event Description:The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Indian Legal Program invites you to a reception, being held in conjunction with the Federal Bar Association’s Indian Law Conference on Thursday, April 2, 2009. The reception will be held at the Hilton Santa Fe Golf Resort and Spa at Buffalo Thunder from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel Room. For more information, please contact Kate Rosier at 480-965-6204. For more info on the Resort, click on this link: http://www.buffalothunderresort.com/index.html

Clinic helps Navajo grandmother restore right to vote

Agnes Laughter holdsher new ID card.

As people around the globe reflect on the historic presidential election in America Nov. 4, one elderly Navajo grandmother in northern Arizona celebrated her re-established right to cast her ballot, an act made possible with the help of Patty Ferguson Bohnee, director of the Indian Legal Clinic. Agnes Laughter, 77, who speaks only Navajo, had voted all her adult life using her thumbprint as her identification. But she was turned away from the polls in 2006, when new voter identification laws went into effect in Arizona. “I started voting early,” Laughter explained through an interpreter. “When I voted, I always used my thumbprint. That represents me.

“When I was told it was not valid, I went through much sorrow, much heartbreak,” Laughter said, her eyes filling with tears. “Many times I was not able to sleep because I was so concerned about people discrediting who I am.” Laughter was born in a hogan and has no birth certificate. She doesn’t drive and has no driver’s license. She doesn’t own a car, or have utility bills or any of the other items that most people use to prove their citizenship.

Her case became part of a lawsuit that was settled in May 2008 when the Department of Justice pre-cleared an expanded list of the types of identification that Native Americans can use to satisfy the new identification requirements at the polls. This was especially important for Navajo Nation members who do not have tribal identification cards. Native Americans were recognized as citizens under the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 but faced significant legal barriers to voting.

The right to vote was secured in 1948 for some Arizona Native Americans, but it was not until literacy requirements were banned in 1970 under the Voting Rights Act that most Arizona Native Americans secured voting rights in federal and state elections. Even since 1970, voter intimidation, redistricting, lack of language assistance, and ID measures have challenged the Native American right to vote.

By coordinating Election Protection efforts and by taking other proactive measures, the Indian Legal Clinic hopes to ensure that Native Americans have an equal opportunity to participate in the electoral process. “Ms. Laughter is a strong, inspiring woman,” Ferguson-Bohnee said. “She faced ridicule and embarrassment after she was denied a ballot in 2006, but she was determined to continue the fight on behalf of Navajo people.”

After the lawsuit, Laughter was determined to receive a State Identification card, but failed in several visits to tribal and state offices. So just days before the 2008 election, Laughter left her home in the windswept mesas of the Navajo Nation, to travel through the maze of government regulation that would allow her to once again express her electoral opinion. Her work-worn hands rubbed the crook of her cane as she patiently waited … at the Tuba City office of the Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles which did not have a machine to immediately issue the ID, at the Navajo Area Office where she had to obtain an Affidavit of Birth, on the drive to the DMV office in Flagstaff, in the plastic chairs beneath the lighted sign that would eventually display her number … waiting for the elusive identification card that would allow her to vote.

When the moment finally arrived, she stood proudly in front of a purple wall, drawing her 5-foot frame up straight, adorned in her family’s turquoise jewelry, and smiled as the industrial camera recorded her image. And when she held the shiny, laminated Arizona identification card, staring at herself staring back, she cried. “All of my heartache has changed as of this day,” she said. “I have an identity now. My thumbprint will stand. I feel fulfilled.”

Laughter said she feels that she made a difference through her involvement in the lawsuit. “I believe I’ve made a difference, not only for myself, but for many people,” she said. “Not only Native Americans, but for all the five-fingered people, people of different colors. I have stood for their voting rights. I have made that difference. I’ve made a difference for all.”

The Indian Legal Clinic also organized observers to monitor polling places on and near reservations around the state where, in the past, there had been complaints about intimidation or people having trouble voting, and organized a phone line where Native American voters across the State could call in with any questions regarding voting problems on Election Day.

Derek Beetso, a Navajo second-year law student, sat in a folding lawn chair outside the polling place in Sacaton, near the Gila River Indian Community. “We’re here to give information in case people are told they’re not allowed to vote,” Beetso said. “I believe people have a right to vote and that shouldn’t be obstructed by misinformation or intimidation.”

Laughter, reflecting on the efforts of the clinic, expressed her thanks. “My grandchildren, those of you studying to become attorneys, I am filled with so much happiness,” she said. “Today, you’ve made me feel as if I am standing up high on the mountaintop, to feel that I am somebody, that I am able to vote, that I can have an identification. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. “I want you to know, all of you studying to be attorneys, that it is for the defenseless individuals like myself, the elderly, that you are studying to make a difference in their lives. This is your destiny. A difference has been made in my life.”

Genomics, Governance and Indigenous Peoples Workshop

Scholars participating in the Genomics, Governance and Indigenous Peoples workshop at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University included, seated from left, Nadja Kanellopoulou, Jenny Reardon, Pilar N. Ossorio, Rebecca Tsosie, Brian Wynne, Laura Arbour, and, standing from left, Phillip S. “Sam” Deloria, Brett Lee Shelton, Nanibaa Garrison, Terry Powell, Paul Oldham and Kim TallBear.

Scholars use discussion to explore governance of indigenous genomics

A dozen scholars from across the globe met recently at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law to discuss the promise and perils of current efforts to transform indigenous people’s governance of genomic research.

“This is a select group capable of drawing on their past experiences to envision the future,” said Rebecca Tsosie, Executive Director of the Indian Legal Program at the College of Law, who is principal investigator of the National Science Foundation grant funding the workshop, “Genomics, Governance, and Indigenous Peoples.”
“Many people are writing about this issue, but you are actually doing things, putting things into practice,” Tsosie told the group as the two-day workshop began on Thursday, Nov. 6.
Tsosie and her two fellow organizers — Kim TallBear, assistant professor of Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and Jenny Reardon, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Faculty Affiliate in the Center for Biomolecular Science and Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz — said they invited participants who were not afraid to seriously engage the issues.
The “no-powerpoint” format of the workshop had participants share written responses to several questions before convening, and then participate in several recorded dialogues that will be used to produce a written document.
TallBear said the format was inspired by work she did on a book, This Stretch of the River, in response to the celebration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In that book, several Lakota and Dakota writers taped their discussions of the subject.
“The conversations produced knowledge and experience that was not present in our written work,” TallBear said.
And the work to edit and compile the project meant the learning continued beyond the conversations, she added.
Discussion topics at the genomics workshop included: cultural harm and transforming the legal system; charitable trusts, biobanks and partnership governance of genetic research; and tribal-genetic research agreements, indigenous research, and governance implications.
Participants included experts in human genetics and the social, legal, and ethical aspects of genomics in different national and cultural contexts. They have experience working within existing regimes of governance and see a need for policy innovation and change in relation to genomic research. Some participants are already engaged in experimental efforts to create change. The workshop, first conceived as being focused on the United States and “tribal” governance of genomics, was broadened to include scholar practitioners working in other parts of the world in recognition that strategies for governing genomic research cannot be contained by national borders.
In addition to Tsosie, TallBear and Reardon, participants included:
Laura Arbour, Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Genetics and the Island Medical Program at the University of British Columbia based in Victoria BC;
Philip S. (Sam) Deloria, Director of the American Indian Graduate Center and former director of the American Indian Law Center, Inc., for more than 35 years;
Nanibaa’ Garrison, a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Genetics at Stanford University working on the genetics of human pigmentary variation;
Nadja Kanellopoulou, an academic lawyer who specializes in medical law, intellectual property and bioethics based at the Arts & Humanities Research Council Research Centre for Intellectual Property and Technology Law at the University of Edingurgh in Scotland;
Paul Oldham, a social anthropologist and researcher at CESAGen a research center based at Lancaster University in England;
Pilar N. Ossario, Associate Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who also serves on the Director’s Advisory Council for the National Human Genome Research Institute and as an advisor for the 1000 Genomes Project, the Human Microbiome Project, and for NHGRI-related tissue banking activities at Coriell;
Terry Powell, a member of the Alaska Area Institutional Review Board, whose interests include research ethics, health care research, and bioethics;
Brett Lee Shelton, a partner in the law firm Shelton and Ragona, LLC, of Louisville, Colo., and who sits on the Oglala Sioux Tribal Research Review Board in Pine Ridge, S.D.;
Brian Wynne, Associate Director of the Centre for Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Professor of Science Studies and Research Director of the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change at Lancaster University in England.

Alumni News – Katosha Nakai (’03)

Nakai of Lewis and Roca Appointed by Napolitano to Oil and Gas Commission

November 6, 2008

Lewis and Roca is pleased to announce that Governor Janet Napolitano has appointed Katosha Nakai to the Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission. Nakai is an attorney in the firm’s Phoenix office and her term with the Commission will run until 2010.

Nakai’s practice focuses on government regulation, infrastructure and resource development. She regularly represents corporate, small business, tribal and non-profit interests, focusing primarily on matters relating to water, environmental, natural resources, mining, utility and gaming issues. With a breadth of experience in various specialty practices of the firm, Nakai counsels clients, assists with licensure and permitting issues, conducts and advises on environmental due diligence and related liability issues, leads and participates in negotiations, and researches, analyzes and drafts statutes, amendments rules and/or regulations.

The Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission works to regulate the drilling for and production of oil, gas, helium, carbon dioxide, and geothermal resources. The Commission’s responsibilities include reviewing applications for permits to drill, inspecting wells for compliance during drilling and after completion, monitoring oil, gas, geothermal, and helium drilling activities, compiling oil, gas, geothermal, and helium production statistics and providing information to the exploration and development communities and the public. The Commission consists of five members appointed by the Governor and one ex-officio member, the State Land Commissioner.

Job: Crow Tribe Legislative Branch General Counsel


General Counsel position

The Legislative Branch of the Crow Tribe of Indians is currently accepting applications for a full-time in-house General Counsel position.

Description: The successful applicant will be responsible for performing legal services for the Crow Tribal Legislature, including working with legislative members, committees and sub-committees to draft and review tribal laws, resolutions, and amendments; representing the Legislature in court proceedings; attending legislative sessions and other meetings involving tribal legislative matters; providing legal advice and assistance to the Legislature; and managing and supervising the Legislature’s Office of Legal Counsel.

A Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an accredited law school;
Admitted to practice in the State of Montana and a member in good standing of the Montana Bar or willing to sit for next available administration of the Montana Bar Exam
Admitted to practice in the Crow Tribal Court or willing to sit for the next available administration of the Crow Tribal Bar Exam;
Understanding of and inherent respect for Crow Tribal history and culture;
Demonstrated knowledge of Federal Indian Law;
Commitment to tribal sovereignty and self determination;
Experience working with Indian communities preferred.

Salary: DOE

Preference in filling the position is given to qualified Crow Tribal members, and to qualified members of federally recognized Indian tribes.

Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest, resume, three (3) references, and a writing sample to: Beverly Shane, Secretary of the House, Crow Tribe Legislative Branch, P.O. Box 309, Crow Agency, MT 59022. For more information, visit www.crowlegislature.org/employment.

Position is open until filled.