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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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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2021 Tribal E-commerce CLE Conference – Call for Presentations

The ILP host the 7th Annual Tribal Government E-Commerce CLE Conference: Wiring the Rez via Zoom Webinar on February 4 – 5, 2021.

We are seeking dynamic, engaging, and knowledgeable presenters in various focus areas. For guidelines, please see the following link: Wiring the Rez 2021_Call for Presentations

Proposals should include the name(s) of presenters, topic and a 500-word summary of your presentation. Email a PDF of the proposal toilp@asu.edu by October 1, 2020. Subject line: Wiring the Rez Presentation (Your Name)

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Indian Law 101 – Jan. 29

Wednesday, January 29
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ak-Chin Indian Community Conference Center, Room 544
Beus Center for Law and Society, Phoenix, AZ

The new Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs will host a conference on the fundamentals of Indian Law.

Topics covered:

  • History of Federal Indian Law and Policy
  • Overview of Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction
  • Fundamentals of Tribal Self-Governance
  • Fundamentals of Indian Gaming

Presenters:

  • Professor Robert J. Miller
  • Professor Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes
  • Professor Lawrence S. Roberts
  • Executive Director Jay Spaan, Self-Governance Communication & Education (SGCE) Tribal Consortium

Register now and receive complimentary conference materials.

Standard Registration rate of $250 ends 1/23

Register at: law.asu.edu/indianlaw101

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Wiring the Rez 2020 – Native Women and Indian Country driven work

We bring you Assistant Secretary at the Indian Affairs U.S. Department of Interior Tara Sweeney, member of the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slopes and Kimberly Teehee, Cherokee Nation Delegate-Designate, U.S. House of Representatives will be one of our keynote speakers at our upcoming Wiring the Rez: Innovative Strategies for Business Development Via E-Commerce Conference January 30-31, 2020.

See all our impactful presenters and current agenda at: law.asu.edu/wiringtherez.

Register before Standard Registration rate ends next week! 

Navajo Nation Law CLE 2019: ILP alumni were a big hit!

On Oct. 25, we held our annual Navajo Nation Law CLE. We had a great group of speakers who gave presentations on different topics that affect the Navajo Nation, and we are so grateful to them for joining us. 

Alumni presenters included Jordan Hale (’09), Shawn Attakai (’00), Brian Lewis (’09), Candice French (’17), and Colin Bradley (’14).

Top left to right: Brian Lewis (’09), Colin Bradley (’14), Brian Curley-Chambers (’18), Jordan Hale (’09), Executive Director Kate Rosier, Krystalyn Kinsel (’15) and Kristyne Schaaf-Olson (’15). Bottom left to right: Michael Bennett (’16) and Raven Attwood (’15).

Thank you also to all who attended! And a special thank you to our alumni who offered donations to our program!