NABA-AZ golf Tournament

The NABA-AZ 3rd Annual Golf Tournament will be held at the Whirlwind Golf Course at the Gila River Indian Community. It is a spectacular course and our rate of $150.00 per golfer ($560 for a foursome) is an excellent value. For those of you who did not participate in last year’s tournament, we had a great turnout and it was an exciting event. NABA-AZ plans on using profits from the tournament to provide Native American law students with scholarships and on community outreach matters.

The sponsorship levels are listed on the flyer and the sponsorship packages sheet. Sponsorships range from $200 for a hole sponsorship up to $5,000 for a title sponsor. Sponsorship at the golf tournament provides your firm/organization with recognition at the tournament. If you are interested in more details regarding the different levels of sponsorship, please contact Steve Heeley or Sheri Freemont (Steven Heeley Phone: (202) 403-4102 or E-mail: or Sheri Freemont Phone: (480) 362-5412)

Members can also assist by helping to solicit items for the raffle. If interested in donating to the raffle, please contact April Olson at This event will only be successful with the assistance of our membership – that’s why I am asking you to please consider asking your employer to purchase a foursome or a hole sponsorship. In addition, please forward the flyer to everyone you know that would be interested. This event is a great networking/client development opportunity. Last year, many of our participants were tribal leaders, tribal attorneys and those working in tribal communities.

The sponsorship deadline is March 1, 2010. We hope that you can participate in this year’s tournament!Special thanks to the NABA-AZ Golf Committee for all of their hard work in planning the NABA-AZ golf tournament!

W. Richard West, Jr. to keynote Repriations at Twenty

For Immediate Release
Contact: Stephine Poston (505) 379-6172

W. Richard West, Jr. To Keynote for Arizona State University’s Annual Conference on Native American Repatriation

Expert in cultural and graves repatriation will recount experience of the National Museum of the American Indian at 3rd annual ASU law conference

Tempe, Ariz. — January 22, 2010 — Founding Director and Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, Mr. W. Richard West, Jr. will provide a keynote presentation at the Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s annual conference — Repatriation at Twenty: A Gathering on Native Self-Determination and Human Rights.

The conference, which will be held January 28 and 29 in Tempe, Ariz., will feature experts from across the country in Native American sovereignty, repatriation and human rights. West will present a keynote lecture on January 29 about the “journey of cultural redemption” that resulted from Native American repatriation legislation passed in 1990.

“Twenty years after the watershed Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, we must remind ourselves of the tireless efforts of many at the National Museum of the American Indian to not only implement this seminal congressional act, but the impact it also had in empowering that Native cultural voice” said West, who served as the Founding Director of the National Museum of the American Indian for almost two decades. “It is an amazing story to tell, and I am especially honored to present it at this gathering.”

The two-day conference will feature other dignitaries in Native American self-determination including current director of the National Museum of the American Indian, Kevin Gover; executive director of the Arizona State University Indian Legal Program, Rebecca Tsosie; and representatives from various tribes including Gila River Indian Community, Ponca Nation, Tohono-O’odham Nation, Cherokee Nation, Oglala Lakota Nation, and San Carlos Apache, among others.

West, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma, and is an Of Counsel attorney at the Stetson Law Offices, P.C. in Washington, D.C. where he specializes in sacred sites protection, graves repatriation, and cultural, art, and museum concerns. West was educated at University of Redlands, Harvard (M.A.), and Stanford University (J.D.) and is licensed in Washington, D.C. and California. He is member of the Executive Council, International Council of Museums; and a member of the National Support Committee, Native American Rights Fund. He is also on the Board of Trustees for the Ford Foundation, the National Conservation System Foundation, and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

About Stetson Law Offices, P.C.
Stetson Law Offices, P.C. is a minority-owned professional corporation formed in 1997 by Catherine Baker Stetson, the former managing partner of Gover, Stetson, Williams, & West P.C. The firm provides general legal services to tribes and tribal entities in many states, representing them in administrative, legislative, and judicial proceedings, sacred site protection and cultural preservation and in tribal, state, and federal forums. More information is available at the Stetson Law Offices website,

Jobs at DOJ’s Civil Rights Division

Attorney Jobs in DOJ, Civil Rights Division

Attached for your distribution are several job announcements recently posted for attorneys to work in the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Please feel free to publicize. If you are not the right person or wish to be removed from this list, please let me know. Thanks.

Trial Attorney, Employment Litigation Section 10-ATT-001 Closes 3/02/10*&vw=d&re=134&FedEmp=N&FedPub=Y&caller=agency.aspx&AVSDM=2010-01-20+23%3a25%3a00

Trial Attorney, Education Section 10-ATT-002 Closes 3/18/10*&vw=d&re=134&FedEmp=N&FedPub=Y&caller=agency.aspx&AVSDM=2010-01-20+23%3a27%3a00

Deputy Chief, Criminal Section 10-ATT-003 Closes 2/11/10*&vw=d&re=134&FedEmp=N&FedPub=Y&caller=agency.aspx&AVSDM=2010-01-20+23%3a28%3a00

Trial Attorney, Criminal Section 10-ATT-004 Closes 2/18/10*&vw=d&re=134&FedEmp=N&FedPub=Y&caller=agency.aspx&AVSDM=2010-01-20+23%3a28%3a00

PLSI Golf Tournament

The Pre-Law Summer Institute for American Indians and Alaska Natives cordially invites you to participate in a fundraising golf tournament to be held on April 7, 2010, at the Towa Golf Course at the Buffalo Thunder Resort, held in conjunction with the 35th Annual Federal Bar Association Indian Law Conference. Early registration – February 17, 2009Regristration deadline – March 17, 2009

For more information and an application visit: contact Matt Campbell (’08) at or (505)-888-1335.

JOB: Attorney Position Available

Attorney Position Available
January 19, 2010

ATTORNEY POSITION Experienced litigation attorney wanted for general practice law office. Full time position with a minimum of six years experience in the areas of Indian law, Water law, Natural Resources, and Oil and Gas. Candidate must be a member of the NM State Bar. Exceptional organizational and professional skills required. Please email resume, references, salary requirements and writing samples to: Bruno.m or fax to 505-242-2236.

Professor Artman quoted in article

Lawmaker: Restrict profit from tribal ceremonies
The Associated PressTuesday, January 19, 2010

PHOENIX – An Arizona lawmaker introduced a bill Tuesday to regulate the use of traditional Native American practices after three people died last year in a northern Arizona sweat lodge ceremony.The measure from Sen. Albert Hale, D-St. Michaels, seeks to sanction the use of Native American ceremonies off tribal land for profit without permission.Self-help guru James Arthur Ray charged people more than $9,000 each to attend his five-day “Spiritual Warrior” retreat near Sedona that culminated in a sweat lodge ceremony on Oct. 8. Participants said they trusted that Ray, who touted training under a Native American shaman, knew what he was doing.Three people died and 18 others were hospitalized after becoming overwhelmed in the 415 square-foot sweat lodge that was covered with tarps and blankets. The deaths and illnesses sparked outrage among American Indians, who drew distinctions between what Ray did and what would be considered a traditional Native American sweat lodge.Hale, a member and former president of the Navajo tribe, said the bill is partly an effort to protect people from false advertising.”This process has been a perversion of our traditional ways,” he said. “The dominant society has taken all that we have: Our land, our water, our language, and now they’re trying to take our way of life.”The Yavapai County sheriff’s office has focused a homicide investigation on Ray, who has made millions of dollars by convincing people his words will lead them to spiritual and financial wealth. Ray has hired an investigative team to find out what happened, and his lawyer said the deaths were the result of a tragic accident, not criminal negligence.Hale’s proposed restrictions would not apply to ceremonies taking place on tribal land or with the authorization of a tribal government.It’s unclear exactly how the law would be enforced. The bill leaves those details up to the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs, but Hale said a violation would likely be a civil offense similar to a traffic ticket.

Carl Artman, an Indian law professor at Arizona State University, said the bill opens the door for protections similar to those for Native American arts and artifacts. Any regulations should be a balance between a tribe’s culture, spirituality and history, and an individual’s First Amendment rights, he said.”If passed, it will be how the regulations are written that we’ll see if it has staying power and benefits for the tribes,” he said. If nothing else, Artman said the bill would force a discussion on the issue.

Sweat lodges are commonly used by Native American tribes to cleanse the body and prepare for hunts, ceremonies and other events. They typically hold no more than a dozen people, compared with more than 50 people inside the one led by Ray. The ceremony involves stones heated up outside the lodge, brought inside and placed in a pit. The door is closed, and water is poured on the stones, producing heat aimed at releasing toxins in the body. In traditional ceremonies, the person who pours the water is said to have an innate sense about the conditions of others inside the sweat lodge, many times recognizing problems before they physically are presented.”We need to be respected,” Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr. said. “Our ways cannot be abused.”

Canby Lecture Press Release

Gover addresses ‘White Man’s Indian’ in Canby Lecture

Indians, since their first encounter with Europeans, have always been more defined by others than by themselves, according to Kevin Gover, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, who will deliver the Third Annual William C. Canby Jr. lecture, “Will the White Man’s Indian Ever Die?” at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

“It is the human inclination to dominate that is so troublesome,” Gover said. “And defining another, well, I can’t imagine a more complete domination, at least psychologically.”

The lecture, presented by the College of Law’s Indian Legal Program, is named in honor of Judge William C. Canby Jr. of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a founding faculty member. It will start at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Great Hall of Armstrong Hall on ASU’s Tempe campus. Free tickets are available at

The talk is the keynote for the conference, “Repatriation at 20: A Gathering on Native Self-Determination and Human Rights,” which will continue at the College from 8:30 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29.

“Kevin Gover has for many years been a distinguished faculty member in our Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, and though he is currently on leave running the most visible museum and cultural center on Indian tribes in the country, we are thrilled to welcome him back for what promises to be a provocative and fascinating lecture on how collective identities are created and perpetuated in a world of power disparities among peoples,” said Dean Paul Schiff Berman.

Gover said that, when Indians aren’t excluded from American history, they are considered as an afterthought.

“Indians are too often represented as uncivilized, and that it is either inevitable or necessary that they be removed from the path of progress,” Gover said. “The vast majority of the public has been taught that the Americas were an uncivilized wilderness in 1492. But the Americas were fully occupied in 1492. There were probably as many people here as in Europe in 1492.”

Gover said that Indians are damaged by allowing others to define them, which continues to this day.

“It puts us in a box,” Gover said. “I’m stunned by the number of people who are angry when they come to the museum and see it is about Indians who are still here, rather than Indians who used to be. They think modern Indians aren’t real Indians because we’re not like we were when Columbus set foot here.”

Gover uses artists as an example.

“Any Native artist using modern media for their work is criticized,” Gover said. “People say, ‘That’s not Indian art.’ Even though it’s an Indian making a statement about Indians. The media the artist chooses to use becomes disqualifying. It’s crazy, and it’s insulting.

“It’s like saying it isn’t legitimate unless it is the same way you were doing things in 1492,” he said. “They wouldn’t ask it of anyone else. They wouldn’t say, ‘You can’t be a White man unless you’re wearing knickers and tails. It’s unique to Indians.”

Being defined by others extends to sports mascots, where Indians are “honored” for their bravery.

“Why don’t they honor us for being smart, creative, for all kinds of different things?” Gover asks. “Why choose the one? It tells us that you’re stereotyping. You can’t be Indian unless you’re brave, whatever that means. It’s ridiculous. It’s just a tiny part of what Indians were and are.”

Redefining even extends to the repatriation of items from museums.

“When any institution considers a repatriation request, they have to investigate to see if the object is what the Indian says it is,” Gover said. “Where are they going to look? The most authoritative place is the tribe itself, but instead, museums consistently look at 19th and early-20th century written ethnography, and if it conflicts, they prefer it over the contemporary Indian information.”

The problem is that the early ethnography was written by white, misguided scholars, he said.

“Many of them were very earnest scholars, but they brought the baggage of 19th-century race science, which set out to prove that all other races are inferior to the white race, and that all models of civilization started with tribes and ended up in the modern European state, which was the ultimate end of the evolutionary process.”

Gover said the overall situation is getting better, but the stereotyping and bigotry have to be confronted every time it is seen. He pointed to the criticism leveled recently at Republic National Committee Chairman Michael Steele after he used the phrase “honest injun” in an interview on Fox News.

“In the great scheme of things, you might think, ‘So what?’ ” Gover said. “But if we let that go by without challenging it, that white noise we get exposed to gets louder and louder. We need to say, ‘I don’t think you’re a racist, but what you said is offensive and you shouldn’t say it anymore.’ ”

Gover said tribes also have to start telling their own stories.

“It is powerful to see how tribes, in their own museums, are interpreting their own stories,” he said. “Things are better, but it will be the work of generations to cleanse our minds of what we have been taught over the course of our lives. I won’t live to see it.”

Indian Legal Clinic helps Gila River prosecutors win appeal

April Olson andDerrick Beetso Derrick Beetso, a third-year law student in the Indian Legal Clinic, recently assisted April Olson (Class of 2006) in an appeal before the Court of Appeals of the Gila River Indian Community.

Olson successfully prosecuted the defendant on the charges of theft and robbery. The defendant raised three issues on appeal: (1) whether the trial court improperly precluded witnesses; (2) whether the trial court improperly admitted opinion testimony; and (3) whether the trial judge improperly relied on facts not in evidence.

Through the Indian Legal Clinic’s partnership with the Gila River Indian Community Prosecutor’s Office, Beetso was asked to argue the merits of the case before a three-judge panel of the Gila River Court of Appeals.

The case was argued on Sept. 16, and the Court of Appeals issued a decision affirming the trial court decision in favor of the Community On Dec. 28.

Environmental Associate opening

Environmental Associate Opening

SEATTLE EXCLUSIVE: Legal Ease, L.L.C. — Washington’s Attorney Placement Specialists since 1996 — has been exclusively retained to fill an Environmental Associate Attorney opening for our Seattle client law firm. This firm is one of our city’s most well respected and established boutiques. They offer large law firm compensation and highly sophisticated work in a smaller, congenial environment. The successful candidate for this position MUST possess outstanding academic credentials, superior legal writing skills and a minimum of 3 years experience in complex litigation from a highly regarded law firm or esteemed other legal environment. Environmental experience is preferred, but is not mandatory if the candidate establishes his or her sincere desire to practice in the field and meets all other criteria. Starting salary – $125,000.00 – $140,000.00. All inquiries will be handled in strict confidence and should be directed to Lynda Jonas, Esq. at