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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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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ILP alum Rob Rosette (’96) in ASU Now

“I envisioned a law firm that would only focus on federal Indian law, meaning we wouldn’t represent banks or development companies or casino interests or oil companies,” he said. “Just practice Indian law, purely on the tribal side as a tribal member from Rocky Boy. That was my original ambition and what I always wanted to do.” Robert Rosette (’96) was featured in ASU Now’s article “Rosette law firm founder thankful for family environment he found at ASU.” Read article here.

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Join NABA-DC Virtual Brown Bag series

Students and recent grads interested in Indian Law & Policy Careers in the DC area are welcome!

Every summer, the Native American Bar Association – DC organizes events and programs for summer interns working in the field of Indian law and policy. As many internships have been cancelled or have gone virtual, NABA-DC is also making its summer programs VIRTUAL. The NABA-DC programs include the Brownbag Program and Mentorship Program. Through each program, interns will be able to virtually meet and engage with attorneys and policy staff currently working in DC on issues impacting Indian Country.

If you are interested in participating please sign-up here: https://forms.gle/aR8s2TZgRM3bQeZdA

Brownbag Program: The NABA-DC Brownbag Program is for interns working in the field of Indian law and policy. This summer, NABA-DC will host virtual Brownbag events with host offices such as government agencies, law firms, and non-profit organizations.  You will get a chance to directly engage with attorneys and policy advisors currently working in DC on issues impacting Indian Country.  You will learn about their own personal career paths and the issues they work on each day. If you have any questions about the NABA-DC Brownbag program, please contact nabadcbrownbag@gmail.com.

Mentorship Program: NABA-DC coordinates a mentorship program each summer to give interns working or interested in Indian law and policy a personal networking experience.  Interns are matched with professionals working in Washington D.C., with efforts made to find mentors who are working in the same fields the interns wish to enter, enriching the interns’ educational experience in D.C. and connecting practitioners with the next generation of Native leaders.  If you have any questions about the NABA-DC mentorship program, please contact nabadcmentorship@gmail.com.

Original post from Turtle Talk.

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ILP & NALSA Virtual Graduation Ceremony – Today!

The ILP would like to invite the #ILPFamily to join us in celebrating the graduation of this year’s ILP students. Our virtual ceremony will be broadcast live via YouTube Premiere on  May 13 at 1:30 p.m. (MST) 

If you are unable to join us at that time, you may watch the video at a later time on the premiere page.

Set your reminders, post your congratulatory messages, live chat and tune in to watch our students graduate! 

Tune in at: law.asu.edu/ilpgrad2020

Job Opportunity – Government & Legislative Communications Officer

Navajo Nation Washington Office
Washington, DC

Develops and implements media strategies & manages media relations activities to publicize congressional legislation, actions, and events; maximizes existing press contacts while cultivating new ones; writes, edits and issues press preleases, newsletters, publications, scripts & other communications documents; responds to congressional, legislative, and other public relations media requests; builds meaningful relationships with key public officials and Navajo Nation leaders; develops and implements governmental relations strategies; researches and composes speeches, presentations, and talking points; serves as a resource for regional and national reporters for the Navajo Nation government; coordinates public relations activities; advises office staff concerning public relations aspects of policies, practices, procedures, programs, and actions; produces news, public service and educational programs for radio and television; recruits and arranges public appearances with subject experts, elected officials, dignitaries, and other individuals; plans and coordinates news conferences and special events; serves as a contact for information administrators in the maintenance of the office network and website; and prepares required reports.

For full job description, click here.

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Job Opportunity – Litigation Attorney

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP is a prominent tribal law firm providing legal representation and advocacy in a broad range of services, with an emphasis in tribal law and federal Indian law serving tribal nations, tribal business enterprises and tribal organizations throughout the United States.

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP is seeking candidates with 7-10 years of litigation experience to join our metropolitan Omaha, Nebraska office.  The right candidate will have the opportunity to work on cases in a variety of areas including constitutional law, environmental law, real estate, employment, tax issues, corporate/business matters, and complex federal, state and tribal court litigation at both trial and appellate levels. 

Requirements  

  • Active admission to any state bar, with the ability to become licensed in Nebraska
  • J.D. from an ABA accredited Law School
  • Attention to detail and demonstrated ability to follow standard procedures
  • Comprehensive experience in litigation
  • Ability to effectively interact, orally and in writing
  • Licensed attorney with 7-10 years of experience in litigation
  • Self-starter with the ability to manage multiple competing priorities with a “roll up your sleeves” and team-oriented attitude
  • Exceptional organizational skills, juggling priorities and adhering to strict deadlines
  • First-rate academic credentials and references
  • Superior research, writing and analytical skills and technology oriented
  • Commitment to participating in the firm’s marketing and public relations initiatives, including joining associations, securing leadership roles, and conducting webinars, seminars, and speaking engagements

Preferred

  • Knowledge of or experience working with Indian law or tribal courts
  • Experience with Microsoft Office and cloud-based computer environment

Job Type:  Full-time

Benefits:
Big Fire Law & Policy Group’s mission is to provide excellent legal services and an outstanding client experience, balanced with a work atmosphere that promotes individual betterment and professional exceptionalism. We build incredible trust with our clients by encouraging our attorneys to be the best at what they do, and to do so in the best possible way.

  • Annual salary that is competitive, compensating for talent, expertise, and performance
  • Opportunity to participate in the firm’s 401K plan
  • Enrollment in the firm’s medical insurance plan
  • Opportunity to earn annual bonuses

Unlimited paid time off for attorneys (billable time requirement applies)

Work -life balance and employee wellness promoted environment

Please send your cover letter, resume and writing sample to:   careers@bigfirelaw.com

www.bigfirelaw.com

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