Welcome: Meet People of the ILP

Kate Rosier (Comanche) 
Executive Director, Indian Legal Program
Assistant Dean of Institutional Progress
She completed her undergrad at Capital University with a concentration in Business Management. Kate is responsible for recruitment, student retention, fundraising, alumni development, jobs, grant writing, CLEs and programs. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I am an Ironman! In 2010 in honor of my 40th birthday I swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and ran 26.22 miles. 2) I was voted Homecoming Queen in high school. 3) My husband, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law all are ASU Law grads and participated in ILP. I am the only one who didn’t. (sad face) 

Patty Ferguson-Bohnee (Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe) 
Faculty Director, Indian Legal Program
Director, Indian Legal Clinic.
She completed her undergrad at Stanford University with a concentration in Native American Studies with an Emphasis in Policy and Law.
Patty directs and teaches the Indian Legal Clinic and advanced research seminars on Native Vote – Election Protection and Climate Impacts affecting Tribal Cultural Heritage.

Fun facts about me: 1) I spent time in France as an undergrad, law student, and spent an academic year doing research.  I love France!  2) I help to organize a culture camp for Pointe-au-Chien youth every summer. 

Robert J. Miller (Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma) 
Professor of Law 
He attended Eastern Oregon University and received his B.S. in 1988. Professor Miller teaches Federal Indian Law I and II, and Economic Development in Indian Country.  

Fun facts about me: 1) I was born and raised in Portland Oregon which is a LOT cooler than Phoenix. 2) I worked in my dad’s used car business for 19 years before I went to college [I know how to repossess cars, so I must be really tough!] 3) I played soccer for 30 years and we won the Portland city championship three times! 

Trevor Reed (Hopi) 
Associate Professor of Law 
He completed his undergrad at Brigham Young University with a concentration in Music composition. Professor Reed teaches Federal Indian Law II, Property, and Intellectual Property

Fun facts about me: 1) I love hiking and mountain climbing and once summited Mt. Rainier. 2) I’m a bass player and music nerd who loves everything from classic rock to symphony. 3) My favorite foods right now are Noqwivi (Hopi stew) and Harumi Sushi. 

Larry Roberts (Oneida Nation (WI)) 
Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs 
Professor Roberts teaches Indian Gaming Law and Administrative Law. He completed his undergrad at the University of Wisconsin – Madison concentrating in Political Science and Sociology. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I’ve run 8 marathons, including NYC, DC and Chicago. 2) I briefed President Obama in the Roosevelt Room. 3) the first concert I ever saw was the Police during their Synchronicity tour – the ticket was $17.50.     

Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) 
Professor of Practice and Director, Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs 
She attended Wayne State College with a concentration in Social Sciences Education. Professor Bledsoe Downes works on development of curriculum for the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs, oversight and administration of the programs, as well as recruitment and retention of students in the MLS and LL.M. Degrees.  

Fun facts about me: 1) I love to run and do yoga. 2) I always use pencils instead of pens.  3) My husband Brad and I were the first ILP marriage. 

Helen Burtis 
Faculty Associate  
Professor Burtis completed her undergrad at Kansas State University with dual majors in Business Management and General Humanities. She teaches Advanced Legal Writing in Indian Law and the online master’s American Indian Law. Professor Burtis also helps with the Indian Legal Clinic, including the Indian Wills Clinics, the Tribal Court Trial Skills College, and supervising students working on business formation cases.  

Fun facts about me: 1) I am a grateful grandmother of two really fun grandsons. 2) I am an avid hiker and hill climber, venturing out several times each week. 3) After a lifetime of eating meat, I became a vegan in early 2020.  

Tamara Herrera 
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs  
Professor Herrera completed her undergrad at Grinnell College with a concentration in English. She co-teaches the Indian Legal Research course with Beth DiFelice. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I was the first person in my family to go to college (and, obviously, law school). 2) I love amusement parks and rollercoasters. 3) I worked on a soap opera after college as an apprentice production assistant. 

Beth DiFelice 
Assistant Dean and Director, Ross-Blakley Law Library 
Professor DiFelice completed her B.A. in English at Centenary College of Louisiana. She co-teaches the Indian Legal Research course with Tamara Herrera. She oversees the law library and has created the Indian Legal Research Guide, which is very useful.

Fun facts about me: 1) I have a cat who we call Puppy. 2) My hobby is Olympic Weightlifting. 3) I am a former yoga teacher. 

Danielle Williams (Navajo) 
Program Coordinator 
She completed her undergrad at Arizona State University with concentration in Photography and minors in Justice Studies and Anthropology.  She plans and coordinates events, processes business claims, manages ILP social media and monthly newsletter, and all things marketing. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I love dancing and led a virtual powwow fitness session. Balancing health and wellness are super important! 2) I’m a photographer and love documenting—Nell’s Photography. 3) I don’t really like chocolate, but I love (and make a great) tiramisu.  

Theresa Beaulieu (Stockbridge-Munsee) 
Program Coordinator 
She graduated from ASU and UA. She works on ILP events, marketing and processing information for the program. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I lived in Arizona off and on since 1963. 2) I’ve visited all 50 of the United States. 3) And I have webbed toes. We are playing two truths and a lie, aren’t we? 

Bari Barnes 
Program Coordinator 
She completed her undergrad at Phoenix College with concentration in Fashion Merchandising and the Paralegal Certificate Program. Bari works closely with Professor Ferguson-Bohnee in the ILC providing support and assisting Clinic students. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I’ve tandem skydive. 2) I once participated in an Inipi ceremony 3) I am a huge fan of the Jason Bourne series. 

Torey Dolan (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), JD ’19 
Native Vote Fellow 
She completed her undergrad at the University of California, Davis in 2016 with concentration in History and Political Science – Public Service. Torey also works closely with Professor Ferguson-Bohnee in the ILC and handles all things Native American Election Protection Vote. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I graduated from ASU and ILP in 2019. 2) My favorite hike in metro-Phoenix is the Javelina Trail at South Mountain. 3) I grew up in Bakersfield, California.   

Ben Zinke, JD ’18 
Law Fellow 
He graduated from Grand Canyon University with concentration in Justice Studies. Ben assists the ILP and faculty with research projects and providing content for reports. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I love Basketball 2) I love Star Wars 3) I have four dogs 

Ah’sha Notah (Navajo)
Office Aide
She is currently working on her undergraduate degree with the ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences concentration in American Indian Studies. Ah’sha processes business claims, tracks expenses and assists with events.  

Fun facts about me: 1) I make jewelry. 2) I dance (powwow) in my free time. 3) I usually travel to Canada during the summers.

Pipeline to Law Online Sessions – First Ever

The Indian Legal Program (“ILP”) and our partner schools University of California, Berkeley School of Law’s Admissions Office, and Michigan State University College of Law’s Indigenous Law and Policy Center joined with the Pre-Law Summer Institute, and Testmasters to put on the 7th Annual Native American Pathway to law program.

The Native American Pathway to Law Initiative Pre-Law Workshops was created in response to the National Native American Bar Association’s 2015 survey, “The Pursuit of Inclusion: An In-Depth Exploration of the Experiences and Perspectives of Native American Attorneys in the Legal Profession.” The survey identified several obstacles Native students face when applying to law school and the Pathway program helps to try solve some of those problems through pre-law advising, testing assistance and mentorship. NNABA help us secure the original funding for the Pathway program and funds to support students with LSAT prep courses. 

The Pathway to Law program is very unique because the staff from three law schools work together, in a non-recruitment environment, to help students create stronger applications and select the best schools for them. The national team of admissions professionals lead the participants through sessions on the admissions timeline, personal statements, school selection, LSAT preparation, and financial aid. The students experienced a mock class taught by Professor Matthew Fletcher from MSU Law, and students were were provided the opportunity to interact with several law school deans. The team also facilitated a student panel and an attorney panel so pipeline participants could ask questions learn about different areas of the profession. 

This year’s program was held virtually over the course of 6 weeks via Zoom and supported by the Slack application. 37 students from 23 tribes and 17 states participated in our virtual program. These students’ age range from 21 to 59 and there were 29 women and 11 men. 

When asked why ASU ILP would help students get admitted to law schools other than ASU, Kate Rosier stated, “The ILP wants to support ALL Native students no matter where they decide to go to law school. The legal profession needs more Native American attorneys and the ILP wants to help make that happen. Some students may need to be close to home or have different dream schools. We are just happy to support them on their journey and hope they do great things for Indian Country.” 

If you would like to support this program, please consider a gift to the ILP c/o the Pipeline to Law program. Your gifts help purchase LSAT prep courses for students that range from $500 – $1,500 and allow us to put on more programs. Make your gift here.

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First Annual Trends in Indian Gaming Conference a Virtual Success

The Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs hosted its first annual “Trends in Indian Gaming” webinar on July 15-16.  Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Executive Director Larry Roberts welcomed a national audience of nearly 300 attorneys, students, professionals and thought leaders convening to discuss evolving Indian gaming issues.  Dean Douglas Sylvester opened the virtual conference acknowledging that ASU sits on the traditional homelands of tribal Nations. He shared ASU Law’s longstanding and enduring commitment to tribal nations and how the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs are the latest reflection of that commitment. Special Guest Ernie Stevens, Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), shared NIGA’s enthusiastic support of ASU’s new Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance focused degree programs and provided an overview of how tribes are again leaders in gaming during these difficult times.

The virtual conference opened with a panel focused on how tribes across the country were balancing covid-19 and reopening, which was moderated by Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Director of ASU’s Indian Legal Clinic and Clinical Professor of Law. Mohegan Tribe Vice Chairwoman Sarah Harris shared details of the Tribe’s reopening as well as its work with Federal and State officials to address the pandemic and reopening. Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s General Counsel William Hardacker provided an overview of how the Midwest Tribe navigated legal issues brought about by the pandemic and how the facility was operating in this changed environment. Providing a west coast perspective, Dan Little, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ Chief Intergovernmental Affairs and Tribal Affairs representative, shared the Tribe’s forward-leaning efforts to provide a safe entertainment environment and how the Tribe’s leadership in this area was acknowledged as the gold standard for reopening gaming facilities.

Day 1 of the virtual conference closed with a spirited overview of the latest developments concerning Indian gaming compacts.  Moderated by Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ General Counsel Kimberly Cluff, ASU Law alumni Brad Bledsoe Downes (’94) and Scott Crowell (’84) provided their views on the current state of play in Arizona and California regarding tribal gaming compacts.  Iowa Law Dean Kevin Washburn shared his insights from his time serving as Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs and the current state of litigation with the Oklahoma Governor and Indian tribes in Oklahoma. Attorney Andrew Caulum, who focuses on tribal gaming issues for the Solicitor’s Office in the Department of Interior, provided a timely overview of how the Department processes its review of tribal-state gaming compacts.

Participants for Day 2 of the virtual conference were welcomed by ASU Law alum Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes (’94), Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs. Special guest ASU alum A. Gay Kingman, Executive Director of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association extended a warm welcome to the attendees and shared her support for ASU Law’s new programs.  She noted ASU’s long-standing commitment to serving the educational needs of tribal nations and tribal citizens.  Day 2 opened with a panel moderated by Burton Warrington, Indian Ave. Group, focused on the latest trends in online gaming. Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians’ General Counsel and ASU Law alum Steve Bodmer (’06) provided an update on the latest developments in California and the complexities moving forward.  NIGA Executive Director Jason Giles provided a national perspective of how tribes are approaching online gaming with the Congress. Bay Mills Indian Community Chairman Bryan Newland shared how the tribes in Michigan have worked with the State to offer online gaming under existing tribal-state compacts and to offer off-reservation online gaming under state law. Rion Ramirez, CEO, Port Madison Enterprises provided an update on how tribes in the pacific northwest are approaching online gaming and potential future hurdles. 

The virtual conference closed with a panel providing updates on actions by the Trump Administration impacting tribal nations, moderated by David Mullon, Partner, Venable LLP. Two ASU Law alumni, Charlie Galbraith (’06), Partner at Jenner & Block, and National Congress of American Indians’ General Counsel Derrick Beetso (’10), shared their insights regarding Interior and White House actions concerning tribal interests. National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Chairman Sequoyah Simermeyer provided an update on NIGC’s efforts to assist tribal gaming operations during covid.  Department of the Interior Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs Kyle Scherer provided an overview of litigation in which the Trump Administration supported tribes, including defending the Indian Child Welfare Act. 

We extend special thanks to the National Indian Gaming Association, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for their sponsorship of this inaugural event. These sessions will be posted in the coming weeks on ASU Law’s Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance website – we hope you enjoy the content.

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McGirt Webinar Recording – Now available!

Did you miss our recent webinar? Recording of ” “The most significant Indian Law case of the century: McGirt v. Oklahoma” is available here

  • Professor Larry Roberts (Oneida) – Moderator, Executive Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Program and Professor of Practice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law 
  • Stacy Leeds (Cherokee) – Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas 
  • Professor Robert Miller (Eastern Shawnee) – Faculty Director, Rosette LLP American Indian Economic Development Program and Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law 
  • Jonodev Chaudhuri (Muscogee Creek Nation) – Ambassador, Muscogee Creek Nation, Partner, Quarles & Brady 
  • Derrick Beetso (’10) (Navajo) – General Counsel, National Congress of American Indian
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Job Opportunity – Staff Attorney

New Mexico Legal Aid
Gallup, NM

The staff attorney will handle cases and matters involving Federal Indian law and Indian tribal law issues, including representation of low income individuals in tribal court.  In addition, the staff attorney may be required to handle general poverty law work in non-Tribal forums and to conduct outreach in Indian and non-Indian communities.  The attorney will also be active in relevant bar and community activities.   The position will be based in Gallup and will concentrate on Native American and non-Native American cases in northwest counties of the state. It may involve up to may involve up to 50% domestic violence casework. The attorney will report to the managing attorney of the Native American Program and the managing attorney of the Gallup office according to the type of casework.

The staff attorney will handle cases and matters involving Federal Indian law and Indian tribal law issues, including representation of low income individuals in tribal court.  In addition, the staff attorney may be required to handle general poverty law work in non-Tribal forums and to conduct outreach in Indian and non-Indian communities.  The attorney will also be active in relevant bar and community activities.   The position will be based in Gallup and will concentrate on Native American and non-Native American cases in northwest counties of the state. It may involve up to may involve up to 50% domestic violence casework. The attorney will report to the managing attorney of the Native American Program and the managing attorney of the Gallup office according to the type of casework.

Send a current resume and a letter of interest explaining what you would like to accomplish if you are selected for this position to:  jobs@nmlegalaid.org Salary:  DOE, NMLA is an EEO Employer.  Deadline:  March 31, 2020, or until filled.

For full job description, click here.

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McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court Decision: Treaties Upheld

On July 9, the Supreme Court issued its decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma and affirmed that the Muscogee Creek Nation’s reservation was never disestablished. The majority opinion strongly affirmed what Native people have known: that Treaty rights are the Supreme Law of the land and do not fade with time.  This historic decision is a strong vindication of the Muscogee Creek Nation’s treaty and a promising decision for all treaties. Indian Country will be talking about this decision for decades to come, and ASU ILP has already begun taking part in these conversations.

In their 2L year, Dylan West (Choctaw) and Blair Tarman (Chickasaw) assisted Professor Stacy Leeds (Cherokee) on the Cherokee Nation’s amicus brief.  Read the amicus brief on behalf of Cherokee here. Professor Leeds was the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community distinguished visiting Indian Law professor at ASU Law during Fall 2019 semester and taught Federal Indian law. 

In his interview with the Voice of America (VOA) News, Professor Robert Miller (Eastern Shawnee) stated, “The Court is upholding this 1832 treaty that the Creek Nation signed with the United States, and is holding the United States to those promises.” Watch full video here. Miller also presented, “McGirt v. Oklahoma: Understanding the Decision and its Implications for Indian Country” for the Oregon Historical Society. Watch Miller’s presentation  here.

Professor Larry Roberts (Oneida) said, “today’s decision is a significant win for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and for Tribal Nations across the country. With the Muscogee (Creek) Nation facing opposition from the Trump Administration, this Court made clear that treaties mean something – that they are the supreme law of the land,” in his article for ASU’s American Indian Policy Institute blog. Read blog more here.

“This opinion was not given without opposition, nor does it bar Congress from breaking the treaties in the future,” said rising 2L Taylor Norman (Muscogee Creek). “What it does mean, however, is that rather than kneel to lazy reasoning or racist objection, the Supreme Court of the United States did not break any treaties today.” Read Norman’s full piece here

Joe Keene (’12) and Candace French (’17) recently published an article for Sacks Tierney P.A. summarizing the McGirt case. Read the article here.

The McGirt decision has sparked many conversations across Indian Country and to help bring further awareness and understanding, the Indian Legal Program is proud to host a case overview. “The most significant Indian Law case of the century: McGirt v. Oklahoma” webinar will be held on Thursday, July 23 at 1 p.m. PT.

  • Professor Larry Roberts (Oneida) – Moderator, Executive Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Program and Professor of Practice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law 
  • Stacy Leeds (Cherokee) – Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas 
  • Professor Robert Miller (Eastern Shawnee) – Faculty Director, Rosette LLP American Indian Economic Development Program and Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law 
  • Jonodev Chaudhuri (Muscogee Creek Nation) – Ambassador, Muscogee Creek Nation, Partner, Quarles & Brady 
  • Derrick Beetso (’10) (Navajo) – General Counsel, National Congress of American Indian

This webinar is free and open to the public. We wish to acknowledge our co-sponsor NABA-AZ. The State Bar of Arizona does not approve CLE activities, however, this activity may qualify for up to 1.5 credit hours. Join us for this free insightful event. Register here.

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Job Opportunity – Temporary Law Clerk

Navajo Nation Judicial Branch
Crownpoint, New Mexico

Closing Date:  July 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m

Under immediate supervision, performs work of moderate difficulty with responsibility to assist in various aspects of program operations; works under the guidance and direction of professional staff or assigned supervisor; conducts legal or case research for law clerk, justices or court staff; to assist law clerk in preparing cases for adjudication; to assist court clerk during oral arguments or hearings; and performs related duties as assigned. Prepares and assists law clerk with facts of the case and legal issues on appeal; Reviews files and pleadings on appeal; Drafts various court orders; Conducts legal research and verifies legal authority for law clerk and Justices; Analyzes case files to prepare bench memoranda; Recommends disposition of appeals; Performs miscellaneous office and clerical duties; 

Qualifications:
Education, Training and Experience: Bachelor’s degree and enrollment in an accredited college of law. Completion of federal Indian Law class, preferred.

See full job posting here.

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Prof. Miller interviewed on McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court decision

Professor Robert J. Miller who teaches Federal Indian Law at ASU Law was interviewed by Voice of America – VOA regarding the recent McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court decision. 

“The Court is upholding this 1832 treaty that the Creek Nation signed with the United States and is holding the United States to those promises.”

Watch the full interview here.

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