As needed, additional
positions may be filled using this announcement

About the Office: The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New
Mexico has approximately 165 employees and contractors. The main office is
located in Albuquerque. The branch office in Las Cruces is located
approximately 225 miles south of Albuquerque, is 50 miles from the Mexican
border, and includes approximately 45 of the District employees and
contractors. The District also has an unstaffed office in Santa Fe.

Responsibilities and
Opportunity Offered
: The attorney
selected will handle prosecutions of a wide variety of federal offenses.

Qualifications: Applicants must possess a J.D. degree, be an active
member, in good standing, of the bar (any jurisdiction), and have at least one
(1) year of post-J.D. experience.

Applicants must demonstrate a
quick analytical ability and the facility to accurately and precisely
articulate the critical issues in a case and demonstrate superior oral and
writing skills as well as strong research and interpersonal skills, and good
judgment. Applicants must possess excellent communication and courtroom skills
and exhibit the ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other
attorneys, support staff and client agencies. Applicants must have a
demonstrated capacity to function, with minimal guidance, in a highly demanding
office and courtroom environment.

Applicants will be expected
to conduct their own legal research and writing and must be substantially
self-sufficient in preparing day to day correspondence and pleadings.
Applicants also must possess computer literacy skills to include experience
with automated research, electronic court filing, electronic e-mail and word processing

Travel: Moderate travel may be required.

Salary Information: Assistant United States Attorneys’ pay is
administratively determined based, in part, on the number years of professional
attorney experience. The range of pay for this position is $50,894 – $150,159,
including locality pay, depending on experience. Pay may be set based on
highest previous rate received in civilian government service.

Location: Possible locations for this position are Albuquerque

The State of New Mexico, also
known as the “Land of Enchantment,” is a unique mix of Native
cultures, blended with Hispanic and European traditions. Ranked the 5th largest
state, it totals 121,593 square miles. New Mexico shares 180 miles of
international border with the Country of Mexico.

Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico, located
approximately 60 miles from the state capital of Santa Fe. As the Hot Air
Balloon capital of the world, Albuquerque hosts the annual International
Balloon Fiesta, one of the most photographed events in the world! Albuquerque
and the surrounding areas offer an array of activities from hiking and skiing
to cultural activities such as the opera, arts, celebrated museums, legendary
historic sites, and majestic monuments. The metro area with approximately
860,000 residents sprawls over 100 square miles at elevations ranging from
4,500 feet above sea level in the Rio Grande Valley to 6,500 feet at the foot
of the Sandia Mountains. Albuquerque enjoys blue skies and sunshine 310 days of
the year, with low humidity and mild winters.

Las Cruces, the second largest city in New Mexico, is nestled in
the fertile Mesilla Valley between the majestic Organ Mountains and the meandering
Rio Grande, near the border of Mexico. Las Cruces blends a unique variety of
attractions, culture, historical sites, and superb year-round weather with 350
days of sunshine per year.

Relocation Expenses: Payment of relocation expenses will not be

Application Process and
Deadline Date
: Please send your
cover letter and resume to (Please refer to vacancy announcement number 13-AUSA-NM-1
on your application/resume.)

Kenneth J. Gonzales

United States Attorney

ATTN: Human Resources

201 Third Street NW, Suite 900

Albuquerque, NM 87102

No telephone calls please.
Applications must be postmarked by February 20, 2013.

Internet Sites: District of New Mexico Website:

This and other attorney
vacancy announcements can be found at:

Department Policies: Assistant United States Attorneys generally must
reside in the district to which he or she is appointed. See 28 U.S.C. § 545 for
district-specific information.

All initial attorney
appointments to the Department of Justice are made on a time-limited
(temporary) basis. Temporary appointments may, or may not, be extended or made
permanent without further competition.

The U.S. Department of
Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Except where
otherwise provided by law, there will be no discrimination because of color,
race, religion, national origin, political affiliation, marital status,
disability (physical or mental), age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation,
genetic information, status as a parent, membership or non-membership in an
employee organization, on the basis of personal favoritism, or any non merit
factor. The Department of Justice welcomes and encourages applications from
persons with physical and mental disabilities. The Department is firmly
committed to satisfying its affirmative obligations under the Rehabilitation
Act of 1973, to ensure that persons with disabilities have every opportunity to
be hired and advanced on the basis of merit within the Department of Justice.
This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities
where appropriate. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the
application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Determinations on
requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

It is the policy of the
Department to achieve a drug-free workplace and persons selected for employment
will be required to pass a drug test which screens for illegal drug use prior
to final appointment. Employment is also contingent upon the completion and
satisfactory adjudication of a background investigation. Only U.S. citizens are
eligible for employment with the Executive Office for Immigration Review and
the United States Attorneys’ Offices. Unless otherwise indicated in a
particular job advertisement, non-U.S. Citizens may apply for employment with
other organizations, but should be advised that appointments of non-U.S.
Citizens are extremely rare; such appointments would be possible only if
necessary to accomplish the Department’s mission and would be subject to strict
security requirements. Applicants who hold dual citizenship in the U.S. and
another country will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

There is no formal rating
system for applying veterans’ preference to attorney appointments in the
excepted service; however, the Department of Justice considers veterans’
preference eligibility as a positive factor in attorney hiring. Applicants
eligible for veterans’ preference must include that information in their cover
letter or resume and attach supporting documentation (e.g., the DD 214,
Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty and other supporting
documentation) to their submissions. Although the “point” system is
not used, per se, applicants eligible to claim 10-point preference must submit
Standard Form (SF) 15, Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference, and submit
the supporting documentation required for the specific type of preference
claimed (visit the OPM website,
for a copy of SF 15, which lists the types of 10-point preferences and the
required supporting document(s). Applicants should note that SF 15 requires
supporting documentation associated with service-connected disabilities or
receipt of nonservice-connected disability pensions to be dated 1991 or later
except in the case of service members submitting official statements or
retirement orders from a branch of the Armed Forces showing that his or her
retirement was due to a permanent service-connected disability or that he/she
was transferred to the permanent disability retired list (the statement or
retirement orders must indicate that the disability is 10% or more).

* * *

The Department of Justice
cannot control further dissemination and/or posting of information contained in
this vacancy announcement. Such posting and/or dissemination is not an
endorsement by the Department of the organization or group disseminating and/or
posting the information.



966 Hungerford Drive, Suite 12B
Rockville,  MD  20850
(240) 314-7155


POSITION  TITLE:              Legal Fellowship

TERM:                         Position is available
through end of 2013 – continuation beyond 2013 is dependent upon funding

SALARY:      $50,000/year (health insurance also provided)

SUPERVISOR:                     Executive Director

LOCATION:                         Rockville,




  • Work with the Executive Director, and
    our partners at Annie E. Casey Foundation and the National Indian Child Welfare
    Association, to implement our juvenile justice initiative; the initiative is
    focused upon promoting
    alternatives to incarceration for Native American youth, with a particular
    emphasis upon the potential application of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives
    Initiative (JDAI) in tribal communities, including implementing tribal JDAI at
    one tribal site, increasing the number of tribes that are aware of JDAI and its
    potential use in Indian country, and increasing the number of tribal leaders
    that are interested in juvenile justice reforms that would reduce the
    incarceration of Native American youth.
  • Work
    with the Executive Director and outside counsel to prepare an analysis of
    tribal-state agreements pertaining to Title IV-E of the Social Security Act
    dealing with foster care and adoption.
  • Perform
    such other duties, as may be assigned by the Executive Director, in other AAIA
    program areas which include child welfare, international repatriation and
    federal acknowledgement.




  • Knowledge of and/or experience working
    with Indian tribes and cultures is essential.
  • Experience working in the juvenile
    justice or child welfare systems is preferred.
  • J.D. degree is preferred; individuals
    with a master’s degree or substantial experience in the field of juvenile
    justice will also be considered.
  • Individual must have strong ability to
    communicate orally, including in the area of public speaking.
  • Applicant must have ability to write
    clearly and present ideas, concepts, and principles that are consistent and
  • Applicant must be able to work in a
    collaborative team environment.


If you
wish to apply, send a cover letter and resume to



The Advisory Council on Indian Health Care (ACOIHC) is recruiting for an Executive Director.


Job ID: 1000072995


Location: Phoenix

Type: Management and Supervision

Shift: First

Department AZ Health Care Cost Cont. System

Salary Grade: 23

Salary Range: $46,932-$80,150

Total openings: 1

Apply by:





Do you want to be a part of an innovative and passionate
organization that is committed to providing comprehensive health care for
Native American Arizonans who are in need? If so, please submit your interest
for the advertised position of Executive Director, Arizona Advisory Council on
Indian Health Care.



The Advisory Council on Indian Health Care (ACOIHC) is
recruiting for an Executive Director. Some of the duties and responsibilities
of this position include but are not limited to:

  • Collaboration with 22 tribes within the State to
    improve the delivery and level of quality of  health care, through needs
    assessment progress in health planning;
  • Provides ACOIHC orientation, awareness and
    collaborates with designated stakeholders regarding the improvement of the
    Indian healthcare system and the delivery of state health and behavioral health
    programs to the tribes in the State;
  • Serves as the key ACOIHC representative with
    regard to Indian healthcare policy development through participation at the
    local, county, state and federal levels as required;
  • Advocates for Indian healthcare at the local,
    county, state and federal levels as well as with various Native American boards
    and commissions such as the National Indian Health Board, CMS Tribal Technical
    Advisory Group, Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, other tribal health committees
    and other entities such as the Arizona Dental Association;
  • Effectively and efficiently manages the ACOIHC
    Office to serve as point of contact for any tribe or tribal health related
    organization that requires technical assistance, guidance or referrals;
  • Assesses Medicaid/Medicare/Children’s Health
    Insurance Program (CHIP) policy and financial system improvements to enhance
    the delivery of health care to all Indian Tribes of Arizona;
  • Develops policy and regulatory amendments to
    improve the Indian health care system based on tribal recommendations and the
    approval and guidance of the ACOIHC members;
  • Monitors and implements the ACOIHC Strategic
  • Monitors and implements the ACOIHC statutory
    responsibilities with the approval and guidance of the ACOIHC members;
  • Makes available publications, reports and
    reference manuals for Indian Tribes on health care issues; and
  • Provides direction with regard to changes to
    policies and procedures which may affect the ACOIHC, Indian Tribes or other
    State agencies.


Minimum Qualifications and/or Experience:

  • Knowledge of the principles and practices of
    Indian health programs including budget development and administration in a
    health care environment;
  • Knowledge of Medicare/Medicaid and various
    healthcare systems that exist and have relationship or have an impact on the
    delivery of healthcare for Arizona Indian Tribes;
  • Knowledge of tribal government procedural
    requirements for presentation to Tribal Council and/or Leadership as well as
    tribal cultural practices and traditions;
  • Understanding of State and Federal Policies and
    Procedures related to Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance
    Programs, the Indian Health Service and other public health services;
  • Experience with grant writing and State and
    Federal program compliance; and
  • Computer technology experience with various
    software programs including but not limited to, Microsoft Word, Microsoft
    Excel, Power Point and applicable computer based programs.


Preferred Qualifications and/or Experience:

  • American Indian or Alaskan Indian (Any Tribe);
  • Master degree in Public Health, Business/ Public
    Administration, Education or equivalent; or,
  • 8 to 10 years’ experience working in an American
    Indian health care environment.


**Please note: Status updates on positions in recruitment
are not provided. The notification received via email is confirmation that your
resume was successfully submitted. Applicants selected to move forward in the
interview process will be contacted.


To apply for this position, please visit to create a user

Job Posting: Chief Judge

Chief Judge – Ak-Chin Indian Community

Announcement #ACIC-12-76Job Title:  Chief Judge
Salary:  $94,502 – $118,128 per annum
Reports to:  Community Council and Community Operations Manager
Supervises:  Court Administrator, Bailiff, Probation Officers, Court Programs Coordinator, Deputy Clerk(s)

Summary: Under general direction and supervision of the Community Operations Manager, presides over the Ak-Chin Indian Community Court and administers its overall functions. This position is exempt from overtime.

Minimum Qualifications: Prior experience as a Judge preferred. Adult and juvenile experience equivalent to seven years full-time criminal justice, law enforcement, or closely related work, at least two years of which included supervisory/managerial responsibilities. Juris Doctorate degree from an ABA accredited university. Must be licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona, or acquire Arizona Bar Certification within one (1) year from date of hire. Must possess a valid Arizona driver’s license and be able to meet the Community’s insurance carrier requirements. Must successfully complete and pass a background check.

Hiring Preference: The Community affords Indian Preference and Veterans’ preference. In applying Indian Preference, preference will be given to qualified Community members, then to qualified Native Americans, and then other qualified candidates. Except as otherwise stated herein, all candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, national origin, or other non-merit factor. Applicants wishing to claim Indian Preference must submit a Certificate of Indian Blood or proof of tribal enrollment at the time of application. All applicants wishing to claim Veterans’ Preference must submit a copy of a certified Department of Defense DD Form 214 “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.”

Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Presides over adult and juvenile trials, arraignments, and sentencings at the Ak-Chin Indian Community Court, including informing defendants of their rights, charges, and penalties, hearing pleas/motions, setting trial dates, hearing testimony, evaluating the facts of the case to determine guilt/innocence, determining the legal disposition of the case, and imposing the appropriate sentence.
  2. Reviews/approves pre-trial settlements/agreements.
  3. Promulgates and recommends for the Council’s approval local rules of practice that are consistent with applicable law and which are recommended to facilitate the orderly operation of the Court.
  4. Creates, reviews, and issues a variety of Court orders/documents, including bench warrants, subpoenas, orders to show cause, and formal decisions.
  5. Identifies, develops, and recommends for the Council’s approval programs that provide alternative methods for the resolution of civil disputes, including promulgating and recommending for the Council’s approval rules to govern the alternative dispute resolution programs so developed.
  6. Identifies, develops, and recommends for the Council’s approval diversion programs for adult and juvenile offenders for purposes of rehabilitation, including promulgating and recommending for the Council’s approval rules to govern any diversion programs approved.
  7. Manages the Juvenile Court procedures in accordance to the Community’s Children’s Code.
  8. Trains/coordinates professional development of subordinate staff.
  9. Reviews/evaluates staff annually.
  10. Develops/administers the Judicial Tribal Court Services Department budget.
  11. Reviews Court policies/procedures and recommends to the Council any amendments necessary to ensure the efficient operation of the Court.
  12. Ensures all individuals, attorneys, and advocates or legal practitioners practicing within the Ak-Chin Indian Community meet the Qualifications to Practice Law of the Community.
  13. Makes regular and special assignments of the Associate Judge, pro tem judges, including the assignments of cases.
  14. Exercises general supervision over all Court personnel.
  15. Collaborates with the Human Resources Department to prescribe the powers and duties of the Clerk of the Court, in addition to those as may be prescribed by law.
  16. Other job related duties as assigned.

Other Requirements:

  • Must adhere to the Ak-Chin Indian Community Law & Order Code.
  • Knowledge of the Arizona Revised Statutes and other State, County, and Federal laws/ordinances, and Indian case law.
  • Knowledge of legal reference resource materials.
  • Ability to quickly acquire knowledge of the culture, customs, and traditions of the Ak-Chin Indian Community.
  • Knowledge of general adult and juvenile judicial proceedings and processes, including arraignment, conducting trials, deciding points of law, and determining appropriate sentences.
  • Knowledge of general Court operations, policies, and procedures.
  • Knowledge of general criminal justice system operations.
  • Knowledge of general office administration/management principles and practices, including budgeting and employee supervision and training.
  • Knowledge of the information/documents to be contained in Court records/case files.
  • Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with other criminal justice system staff, Community officials, offenders from all socio-economic backgrounds, other Court staff, attorneys, and the public.
  • Skill in evaluating the facts of a case and determining the appropriate actions to be taken.
  • Skill in preparing a variety of narrative and statistical reports, including summaries of Court activities.
  • Skill in interpreting and applying complex laws, statutes, ordinances of the Ak-Chin Indian Community, State, County, and Federal governments and agencies.
  • Skill in listening to a variety of court cases with impartiality.
  • Skill in planning, coordinating, and reviewing the work of subordinate staff.
  • Skill in preparing a variety of narrative and statistical reports, including budgets and summaries of Court activities.

Closing Date: Friday, February 15, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.

To be considered for this position, please submit a completed and signed Ak-Chin Indian Community job application (additional resume optional), a 39-month driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles, proof of tribal enrollment, if claiming Indian Preference, and copy of DD214, if claiming Veteran’s Preference to:

Ak-Chin Indian Community
Attn: Human Resources Department 12-76
42507 W. Peters and Nall Road
Maricopa, AZ 85138

Fax: 520-568-1051

Late and incomplete applications will not be considered.
The Ak-Chin Indian Community is a smoke-free and drug-free workplace

Job Posting: Senior Assistant General Counsel (DOE) Gila River Indian Community

Job Title: Senior Assistant General Counsel (DOE)
Closing Date: 02/12/2013

Job Number: 12-1272
Job Type: Regular Full Time
Department: Office of the General Counsel
City: Sacaton
Location: Gov Center, Exec Wing
Area of Interest: Legal
Salary Type: Depending on Experience
Salary / Hourly Rate: $105,776 Salary
Tribal Driving Permit Required: No

Click here for more details!

Tsosie joins ranks of ASU’s most prestigious scholars

     Rebecca Tsosie

Rebecca Tsosie was a young girl growing up in Los Angeles in the 1970s, an average student going through the motions of school with no plans to be the first person in her family to go to college. Then, an international incident centering on longstanding injustices toward American Indians boiled over 1,400 miles from her home, fueling in her a passion that would change the trajectory of her life forever.

The American Indian Movement’s seizure and 71-day occupation of the town of Wounded Knee, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, one of the poorest in the country, had recently ended. The movement had alleged corruption on the part of a tribal chairman, and protested the U.S. government’s failure to fulfill treaties with Indian peoples. During the dramatic armed conflict, which drew the presence of the FBI and federal marshals, as well as the rapt attention and sympathy of the American people, shootings were frequent and some died.

Tsosie knew nothing of the Wounded Knee incident until four AIM leaders came to a community Indian center near her home to talk about it.

“I had never been to South Dakota, and this was not something I’d learned about in school,” said Tsosie, who is of Yaqui descent. “But I was listening to their stories, and it was very powerful. I wanted to read more. I was really caught up in it, and I wanted to do all my school papers on it. I started to do better in school.”

So much better, in fact, that she eventually enrolled in and excelled at UCLA and UCLA School of Law, clerked for an Arizona Supreme Court Justice, became a litigator, and then joined the faculty of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Since, her arrival at ASU in 1993, Tsosie has built an international reputation in Indian law, and amassed myriad accolades for her research, scholarship and teaching.

And now, she has been named an ASU Regents’ Professor, the top faculty award at the university. Tsosie will join two other new Regents’ Professors at a ceremony hosted by ASU President Michael M. Crow on Feb. 7. She is the fifth ASU law professor to be so recognized, along with David Kaye (1990), Jeffrie Murphy (1994), Michael Saks (2009) and Gary Marchant (2011).

    Douglas Sylvester

In her 20 years at ASU, Tsosie has been a rock for hundreds of Native and other students entering the College of Law, said Dean Douglas Sylvester.

“Rebecca takes her role as mentor and teacher very seriously, never turning away a student who may be homesick or struggling with a concept or a course,” Sylvester said. “She was instrumental in transforming our Indian Legal Program (ILP) into one of the nation’s best, and she helped create our excellent Master of Laws degree in Tribal Law, Policy and Government, as well as our award-winning Indian Legal Clinic. And she’s done all this while continuing to be one of the world’s foremost scholars on Indian law and numerous other disciplines.”

“Rebecca is the consummate Regents’ Professor, and we couldn’t be happier that she has received this well-deserved recognition,” he added.

In ASU’s announcement of the Regents’ award, Tsosie was described as one of the world’s most prolific and highly regarded scholars of Indian law, the author of more than 40 law review articles and book chapters. Her work is widely cited, and she has contributed chapters to almost every leading volume on American Indian law published since 2001.

“It’s been my dream to be a Regents’ Professor,” said Tsosie, a Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar and former Executive Director of the ILP. “I am incredibly honored.”

Tsosie credits others for enabling her to thrive, starting at the top. “I treasure President Crow’s visionary leadership and his commitment to open access to higher education,” she said. “It helps undergraduates to know that you don’t have to come from a private school background, that you can make it. Maybe when you came into this world, the world didn’t have an expectation for you. But you can find and fulfill that expectation here.”

Tsosie was an undergraduate at UCLA when her American Indian Studies professors noticed her considerable critical thinking and writing skills. They asked Carole Goldberg, Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, to admit her into her Federal Indian Law course. Goldberg said yes.

“This was completely unprecedented, and has never happened since,” Goldberg said. “It was clear from the beginning that Rebecca could hold her own with law students. She was walking into advanced courses without any prior training in the legal case method, and she was capable of developing and advancing analyses and arguments in the cases that students who have been through one to two years of law school were struggling with.

“Rebecca was not somebody who insisted on dominating classes as some students do, but she commanded the attention and respect whenever she spoke,” she said. “She was generating original critiques of the cases, drawing on studies she’d done in history and literature. People were taking note of the fact that she was offering fresh perspectives on issues, and I was taking note as well.”

With Goldberg’s encouragement, Tsosie applied to UCLA Law. There, she gravitated toward constitutional law, Indian law and property law, crediting her own dynamic professors. She honed her writing skills and, upon graduation, landed a clerkship with former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Stanley Feldman. That led to an associate’s job at Brown and Bain, where Tsosie was assigned to work on the firm’s case on behalf of the Navajo Nation regarding disputed land claims with the Hopi Tribe. Although Tsosie appreciated the opportunity to represent the Navajo Nation and work with the experienced litigators at Brown and Bain, she did not feel that private practice would be a good fit for her in the long term.

She recalled, “It broke my heart how family relations were often impacted and severed, and the examination and cross-examination seemed to me inhumane. I could see the environmental issues – coal extraction, lease and water issues – and I felt the Native people were a pawn in a bigger economic gain that would not achieve justice for either nation.”

Tsosie decided to apply for a post-doctoral project on environmental treatment of tribes, which gave her the wherewithal to stretch her research wings. She had found her niche, and soon was offered a visiting professorship at the ASU law school. A faculty office had just become vacant in Armstrong Hall, a space Tsosie still calls her own 20 years later.

“I hit the jackpot when I came here, and I got the best neighbor on the entire faculty,” she said, referring to Jeffrie Murphy. “Jeff was an incredible academic mentor, and he was so generous with his time, reading and commenting on my work, even though the issues I was exploring at the time (environmental law and Indian gaming) were quite far afield from his own research. Jeff’s work was fascinating to me, and our conversations about moral and political theory opened an entirely new field of study for me.”

In his letter supporting Sylvester’s nomination of Tsosie for the Regents’ Professorship, Murphy said he has watched her transformation from “a young scholar of great promise into a mature scholar of international distinction” whose work is intellectually serious and brilliant.

“She is now truly a ‘star’ in the field of Indian (Native American) law,” Murphy wrote. “Although she is a master of the relevant legal doctrines (both statutory and constitutional) in her area of expertise, her work is not merely doctrinal but is also informed by a rich and wide perspective – a perspective that draws on her own personal experiences as an active member of her tribe and on her knowledge of religion, the arts and the sciences bearing on her fields of research.”

Murphy said Tsosie was a quick study in his own field of expertise – moral, political and legal philosophy – and her ability to grasp and make use of philosophical material relevant to her areas of research impressed him. “Indeed, our discussions were so rich that I believe I learned just as much from her as she learned from me,” he wrote.

Interdisciplinary research has been a core commitment of Tsosie’s scholarly career. In 2011, Tsosie branched out at ASU, joining both the Global Institute of Sustainability as a Senior Sustainability Scientist, and the philosophy faculty in the ASU School of Historical, Philosophical & Religious Studies. This semester, she is teaching a philosophy course, Indigenous Peoples and Intercultural Justice, which she says has been both exciting and illuminating, and is a likely path in the next stage of her career.

Also in 2011, Tsosie chose to step down as ILP’s Executive Director of the Indian Legal Program, which she wisely and lovingly shaped for 16 years. Judge William C. Canby Jr., a founding faculty member at the College of Law and member of the ILP Advisory Board, said she is an unusual combination of fearless academic and tenderhearted advisor.

“All you have to do is go to one of the ILP blanket ceremonies before graduation, and Rebecca makes it so clear how deep her feelings are for the students, how much she appreciates them, how well she knows them,” said Canby, a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. “You can see it goes both ways, too. The students respond to her.”

Tsosie is an earth mother of sorts to students, many who are far from home and feel hopelessly out of place at a large university law school, Canby said. She has received outstanding faculty awards from law students and alumni.

“If you take somebody who comes from a reservation background, it’s hard to imagine what a wrench that is for them, coming to a totally different environment and pursuing goals that are so unlike anything they’ve done before,” Canby said. “It’s easy to feel hopelessly alone, but when you have somebody like Rebecca, you’re not alone.”

Naomi White is one of those students. A 2010 law alumna who was raised in Window Rock, Ariz., on the Navajo Reservation, White met Tsosie in 2006 at the Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) at the American Indian Law Center in Albuquerque, N.M. White already knew she wanted to go to law school; meeting Tsosie convinced her ASU was the place to go.

“Rebecca made every student on the first day feel that they weren’t in the wrong place, that they had a purpose for being there, that they were knowledgeable enough to be there,” said White, a prosecutor for the Gila River Indian Community. “Although the students were awestruck by her, she made us feel as if she was the one who was privileged to be able to teach us.”

At the same time, both at PLSI and in law school, Tsosie was a demanding professor who had high expectations for her students and never doubted they were attainable, White said. She was the model for the ILP.

“She made a point of helping students feel like a family, being a community, being there for each other, rather than being competitive with each other,” White said. “She wanted the students to excel, but remain friendly, to work together toward a uniform goal, and to serve our communities. She wanted us to be exceptional Indian law practitioners, and she created an environment for us to thrive in.”

White considers Tsosie a close friend, someone to shop and take cooking classes with (Tsosie’s specialty: rib-eye steak with rosemary butter), and to lean on during tough times. Doreen McPaul (Class of 2001) said Tsosie has a sixth sense about making the most of students’ strengths and is tenacious about helping them overcome weaknesses.

“I would never have thought to try out for the (Arizona State) Law Journal at the law school, if not for Rebecca,” said McPaul, Assistant Attorney General for the Tohono O’odham Nation. “She tells you you’re good enough to do it, you’re a good writer and researcher, and you start to believe it at some point. She also encouraged us to give back. We had opportunities to go to the big firms, but she encouraged us to go back to the PLSI and give back to the program that gave us so much.”

Tsosie practices what she preaches, serving as both an Associate Justice on the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Supreme Court, and as a Judge on the San Carlos Apache Court of Appeals. In addition to teaching courses in constitutional law, critical race theory, federal Indian law and property, she is a Faculty Fellow in the College of Law’s Center for Law and Global Affairs and an Affiliate Professor in the ASU American Indian Studies Program.

Diane Humetewa graduated from the College of Law the spring before Tsosie arrived at ASU. But Humetewa, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, has watched Tsosie open doors for Native women in the law, and has worked with her on the ILP Advisory Board.

“Under her direction, the law school began taking this evolutionary approach to federal Indian law issues and developing their relationship with and relevancy to tribal governments,” said Humetewa, ASU’s Special Advisor to the President for American Indian Affairs.

As a federal attorney, Humetewa forayed into legal issues relative to the protection of cultural resources, and sought Tsosie’s expertise on the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act. Enacted in 1990, it addresses the rights of lineal descendants, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations to Native American cultural items, such as human remains, burial objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony.

“Rebecca was a trailblazer to begin looking at these issues from a legal perspective, a theoretical perspective, a human-rights perspective,” Humetewa said. “There are generally a handful of people whom I have called in various stages of my career, and she was one. She has a way of looking at a situation that is different coming from the role of a native person, the role of a female and the role of lawyer. She knows the academic side of the law, and she knows the national and international law of the land on these issues.”

Tsosie is a pioneer in bringing international and comparative perspectives to thinking about domestic Indian law. She has traveled the world lecturing about climate change, forest management and environmental stewardship, governance of genomic research, American Indian political poetry, indigenous peace-making, cultural conflict and judicial reasoning, indigenous women and human-rights law, and cultural sovereignty.

“She is very well known for taking established areas of law and investigating how you can think about them from the perspective of tribal or indigenous experiences,” said UCLA’s Goldberg. “Nobody does that more effectively than she, in my estimation.”

Tsosie and Goldberg are co-authors of the casebook, “American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System,” along with ASU Foundation Professor of Law Robert Clinton and others. Goldberg said Tsosie’s collaborative skills are stellar.

“In her gentle, but insistent way, Rebecca challenges and she shakes up conventional thinking in important ways, and that’s really valuable in a casebook for students,” she said. “We try to cultivate in students the capacity to develop original arguments and critical perspectives, and she has been effective there. She does the same for her co-authors.”

Goldberg can’t think of anyone more deserving of the Regents’ award, a sentiment echoed by others.

“At ASU, Rebecca is the face of Indian law and indigenous rights because of her prominence in the field,” Humetewa said. “Thousands of Native American students see her in this light, ‘If she can succeed, surely I can.’ Students and young professionals see her as that beacon of possibility.”

McPaul said Tsosie is simply the most important professor many law students will ever have. “She’s an Indian law superhero,” McPaul said. “She just needs a cape.”

ILP Alum, Robert Rosette selected by Global Gaming Business as one of the “25 People to Watch in the Gaming Industry”

ILP alum, Robert Rosette, has been selected by Global Gaming Business in its annual “25 People to Watch in the Gaming Industry,” which will be featured in the January 2013 edition.  Please see the link below.

Leeds discusses sovereignty in Canby Lecture

Leeds discusses sovereignty in Canby Lecture

Stacy L. Leeds

Stacy L. Leeds, Dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law, explored how foundational principles of tribal sovereignty have developed domestically and how those principles may evolve in the future, in the Sixth Annual William C. Canby Jr. Lecture, “Whose Sovereignty? Tribal Citizenship, Federal Indian Law, and Globalization.”

The Lecture, named for Canby, a founding faculty member and judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was held on Jan. 24 in the Great Hall of Armstrong Hall.

Leeds said that in many historical cases, international law played a role in redefining tribal sovereign status in the United States, including issues of internal and external government accountability, interaction with other nations, and enforcement of tribal rights.

“Indian law relied on international customary law for its origin and involves the interpretation of treaties between two sovereigns,” Leeds said. “But it is still considered a matter of domestic federal law only.”
For a period of about 175 years, beginning in the early 1830s, the domestic Indian law discussion was silent, according to Leeds. Then in 2010, President Obama announced support for the United Nations’ Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“We were told Indian law was somehow different because the United States would never bind itself or even make reference to international law or norms,” Leeds said.

For years, the U.S. government has refused to recognize tribal sovereign powers while simultaneously endorsing and supporting similar powers in newly created sovereigns around the globe, Leeds said. However, she noted, we are starting to see positive change as international law plays a greater role within the United States.

“Tribes were always considered pre-constitutional or extra-constitutional, yet Congress is somehow allowed to exercise preliminary authority to legislate limitations on internal tribal government powers,” Leeds said.

According to Leeds, there are potential allies and advocates all over the world who want to see tribal sovereignty and, in particular, tribal courts recognized on par with other sovereigns. However, she said, the biggest obstacle might be whether tribes are willing to play by the same international rules if granted international statue.

“Enhanced global recognition of tribal government stature is finally being realized to some extent,” Leeds said in an earlier interview. “But it will necessarily open tribes up to more internal and external scrutiny, and communities have to be ready for that.”

Professor Myles Lynk, Faculty Fellow for the Center for Law, Science and Innovation, in introducing Leeds, said that the subject of her lecture could not be more timely or important.
“The subject of tribal citizenship was a deciding issue in a recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit,” Lynk said.

Robert Clinton, Foundation Professor of Law, said Leeds has been a pioneer as a Native American scholar and author, and her contributions to the field of Indian law are widely respected.

“Stacy has long been a leader in education and tribal government,” Clinton said. “At a time when the Cherokee Freedman controversy was heating up at the Cherokee Nation, her courageous opinion for the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court was widely heralded, although controversial.”

Before arriving at the University of Arkansas, Leeds was Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Kansas School of Law and director of the Northern Plains Indian Law Center at the University of North Dakota School of Law. She has taught law at the University of Kansas, the University of North Dakota and the University of Wisconsin School of Law.

Leeds was the first woman and youngest person to serve as a justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. She teaches, writes and consults in the areas of American Indian law, property, energy and natural resources, economic development, judicial administration and higher education.

As part of the larger discussion, Leeds touched briefly on the Cherokee Freedman Controversy, a political and tribal dispute between the Cherokee Nation and descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen regarding tribal citizenship.

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