Annual gathering

2022 Navajo Nation Law CLE

On Oct. 21, we held our annual Navajo Nation Law CLE Conference that brought in more than 90 attendees. The day focused on legal issues that affect the Navajo Nation: employment law considerations, torts, Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) legal challenges and upcoming Supreme Court case Haaland et. al v. BrackeenOklahoma v. Castro-Huerta Supreme Court decision, the practical aspects of the Local Governance Act, and Navajo Fundamental Law dilemmas. 

Thank you to our esteemed speakers: Shawn Attakai (’00), Ted Barudin, Director Derrick Beetso (’10), Rodgerick BegayKathleen Bowman (’86), Colin Bradley (’14), Troy EidKate FortKatya LanceroSage MetoxenApril Olson (’06) and Faculty Associate Paul Spruhan.

Thank you to our sponsor Colin Bradley Law, PLLC. We greatly appreciate everyone for joining us this year!

Empowering democracy

Navajo Nation Presidential Debate led by Navajo students at ASU Law

On Oct. 22, the W. P. Carey Armstrong Great Hall was filled with tribal citizens eager to hear from the two final candidates running for President of the Navajo Nation: current President Jonathan Nez and Dr. Buu Nygren. Director Derrick Beetso (’10) moderated the proceedings while Navajo students and staff announced the questions submitted by the public. 

Outstanding work by our ILP students and staff: Program Coordinator Theresa Beaulieu, Beetso, Shandiin Herrera (1L), ILC Law Fellow Cierra Moore (’22), Natalia Sells (2L), Autumn Shone (3L), Chelsi Tsosie (1L) and Senior Program Coordinator Danielle Williams.

We understand the importance of tribal elections and hosting this event gave Arizona’s urban Navajo voters an opportunity to learn about the candidates and their platforms. The ILP has a special scholarship agreement with the Navajo Nation, which offers full tuition scholarship to Navajo students. Currently we have six Navajo students enrolled at ASU Law. If you know of any prospective Navajo student interested in this awesome scholarship opportunity, reach out to us at ilp@asu.edu.

NALSA recognition

Students awarded NABA-AZ scholarships

On Oct. 8, twelve ASU Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) students received the Native American Bar Association of Arizona (NABA-AZ) Scholarship for their academic achievement at the “NABA-AZ 13th Annual Seven Generations Awards Event and Silent Auction.” 

Congratulations to ILP students: Rachel Carroll (2L), Keely Driscoll (1L), Chad Edwards (3L), Autumn Shone (3L), Alexandra Trousdale (2L), Sadie Red Eagle (1L), Natalia Sells (2L), Sophie Staires (2L), Shandiin Herrera (1L), Maryam Salazar (2L), Brittany Habbart (3L) and Kaleb Lester (2L).

We appreciate the continued support from our partners at NABA-AZ.

Pivotal gaming case

Indian Gaming in Texas: Discussing a Supreme Court Victory

On Aug. 23, the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs hosted the webinar “Indian Gaming in Texas: A Discussion About a Recent Supreme Court Victory.” During the Supreme Court’s October 2021 term, the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo argued a pivotal gaming case challenging the State of Texas and was victorious in a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch . The Court’s decision affirms the Tribes’ right to operate Class II gaming in Texas under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and their own tribal laws. The webinar discussed the case, the recent decision from the Supreme Court and what’s next for the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas with attorneys Brant Martin, counsel for Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo, and Fred Petti, counsel for the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Martin and Petti shared valuable insight about practicing law on behalf of a tribal client, their experiences arguing before the Supreme Court and participating as amici before the Supreme Court respectively. 

If you missed the webinar, you may watch the recording.

We look forward to inviting both attorneys and their tribal clients to the law school in Spring 2023. Keep a lookout for this announcement in the coming months.

ILP presents at ASU’s INSPIRE

Last month, the ILP partnered with ASU’s Office of American Indian Initiatives for its annual INSPIRE program, which provides high school students from tribal nations in Arizona the opportunity to participate in a week-long college readiness program as well as explore various academic focus areas. During the week, students develop academic and personal success strategies through culturally-relevant learning opportunities alongside ASU’s Native staff and faculty. Students participating in the program have the opportunity to join learning communities where they receive instruction in a variety of areas.


We were happy to welcome over 100 Native American high school students to ASU Law. ILP Executive Director Kate Rosier gave a presentation on the history of Indian law and the opportunities available to students who pursue a law degree. Students did a great job in creating their points and delivering their arguments during mock trial exercises. 

Throughout the week, Native Vote Fellow Torey Dolan (’19) and Kris Beecher (’20) taught a Law & Policy class at ASU’s Tempe campus. With 15 students in the Law & Policy learning community, Dolan and Beecher taught the students some of the foundations of Federal Indian Law, discussed the history of American Indian Policy, Tribal Law, and about modern Native political movements.

“It was a privilege to be able to spend time with the INSPIRE students and teach them about law and policy,” Dolan said. “I was inspired by their sense of Justice and their knowledge of their own Tribes’ histories and cultures. They came to class knowing a lot and expressed their own visions of how law and policy should be. Their future is bright, and the future of Indian Country is brighter because of them.”

Beecher, who is an attorney at Dickinson Wright stated, “The students’ questions and answers about the law were very insightful and I am excited to see all the things they will accomplish as the next generation of Native American leaders.”

Students ended the week with a showcase where they demonstrated what they learned through posters, poems, and presentations.

We appreciate the Office of American Indian Initiatives for continuing this treasured experience.

Programs host event at ASU’s California Center

On June 23, the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs traveled to ASU’s California Center in downtown Los Angeles to present “Indian Law and Policy Now.” The community education event was held in the Yuhaaviatam of San Manuel Event Center and co-hosted by the programs and the Academy for Justice. We were delighted that Business Council Member at-large Laurena Bolden, of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, was able to provide opening remarks and a blessing to begin the event.

The morning session was hosted by ASU Law Director Derrick Beetso (’10) who presented on the “Foundations of Federal Indian Law and Policy” to help set the stage for the day’s discussion. This was followed by a dynamic panel, VAWA 2022: How We Got Here & Where We Came From. The panel was moderated by Academy for Justice Founder and FacultyDirector Erik Luna and panelists included Stacy Leeds , ASU’s Law’s Foundation Professor of Law and Leadership; Lauren Van Schilfgaarde, UCLA’s San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Legal Development Clinic director; and Esther Labrado, attorney at Drummond Woodsum. 

This fascinating discussion tracked the history leading up to the historic tribal provisions in the 2013 Reauthorization of VAWA and the more recent expansions of those key provisions in the 2022 Reauthorization of VAWA which were passed and signed into law earlier this year.

The afternoon session closed with Director Beetso and two ILP Salt River Scholars, Noah Goldenberg (3L) and Sophie Staires (2L), summarizing recent proposals by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) affecting Indian lands and tribal gaming compacts. The BIA has hosted a series of consultations on these proposals and solicited comments from Indian tribes on a number of specific questions. Beetso, Goldenberg, and Staires provided important context for the recent actions, explained the consultation process, and provided broad responses and thoughts to many of the questions proposed by the BIA. 

This event was made possible with the generous support of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Mohegan Tribe, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and others.  

The Aftermath of Castro-Huerta

On July 7, ASU Law’s Indian Legal Program and Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs hosted a virtual event – Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta: Rebalancing Federal-State-Tribal Power

Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta is the most recent federal Indian law case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court and held that states share concurrent jurisdiction with the federal government in prosecuting crimes committed by non-Indians against Indian victims in Indian country. The majority decision, authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, departs significantly from earlier principles and precedent in this area and the panel discussed their thoughts on what this decision means on the ground for Indian tribes. 

The event was moderated by Derrick Beetso (’10), Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Director, and included a fantastic lineup of Native leaders in academia: Kevin Washburn, Dean of Iowa Law School; Professor Stacy Leeds, ASU’s Foundation Professor of Law and Leadership; and Professor Robert Miller, ASU’s Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar and ASU Faculty Director of the Rosette LLP American Indian Economic Development Program.

The ILP and the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs thank each of our panelists for their time and for sharing their views on this case, and we thank all those who tuned in to listen to this discussion. If you missed the webinar, you may watch the recording

On this topic, our expert faculty contributed to the national conversation happening in the media.

“Wednesday’s decision removes the jurisdictional boundaries of tribal sovereignty that have kept state and local police from entering tribal lands in some cases,” said Leeds to NBC News. Leeds’ legal expertise was also featured in KOSUReuters,Bloomberg Law and U.S. News & World Report.

“It will have an impact in Indian Country, so only the future will tell us if it’s good or not,” said Miller in an Associated Press news article. Miller also spoke to the Arizona Republic, saying: “Supreme Court rulings could weaken tribal jurisdiction and sovereignty.”

“Through this opinion, Kavanaugh rallied his cavalry of five to perform the modern version of slashing and burning peaceful Native communities and their resources and provisions to the ground,” Beetso wrote in his Indianz.com op-ed, “SCOTUS’ Decision in Oklahoma v. Castro-Huerta Departs Wildly from U.S. Constitution.”

2022 ILP Alumni Awards – Call for Nominations

The ILP alumni awards are now open. Nominate your classmates and friends! The ILP Awards include Professional Achievement, Alumni Service Award, and Emerging Leader Award. Nominations are due March 4, 2022! Nomination materials should be sent by email to: Kate.Rosier@asu.edu. Awards will be presented at the ILP Alumni & Friends Awards Ceremony at Fed Bar on Monday, April 7, 2022 at Sandia Golf Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Nomination Guidelines

ILP Professional Achievement Award – This award recognizes outstanding achievement in Indian Law or Tribal Law throughout an individual’s career. The award honors ILP alumni whose achievements in the field of Indian Law or Tribal Law have brought distinction to themselves and real benefit to the Indian community. Nomination Package Requirements:

  • Describe the unique professional achievements in the field of Indian Law or Tribal Law that has brought distinction to the candidate. (maximum two pages)
  • Describe the recognized contributions made by this candidate that demonstrate a benefit to the larger community. (maximum one page)
  • Describe the ways in which the candidate’s achievements are truly extraordinary or exceptional. (maximum one page)
  • Provide at least two letters of support from individuals that can speak to the candidate’s impact on his or her profession.
  • Letters of support should speak to the magnitude of the individual’s impact in the practice of Indian or tribal law or in the Indian community.
  • Provide a 200 word bio of the nominee.
  • Past winners include: Gloria Kindig (’89), Kathy Bowman (’86), Rob Rosette (’96), Diane Enos (’92), Ben Hanley (’71) and Herb Yazzie (’75).

ILP Alumni Service Award – This award is given for outstanding service to the Indian Legal Program, and is awarded for extended, extraordinary service to the Indian Legal Program. Nomination Package Requirements

  • Describe the ways in which the candidate has served or supported the ILP and the ILP alumni. Examples can include serving on committees, boards, CLEs, mentoring ILP students, or other volunteer or fundraising efforts or funding commitments. (maximum one page)
  • Describe the ways this service been truly extraordinary. (maximum one page)
  • Describe how the candidate’s service has benefited the ILP. (maximum one page)
  • Please provide at least two letters of support from ILP alumni as part of the nomination package.
  • Provide a 200 word bio of the nominee.
  • Past winners include: Peter Larson (’02), Verrin Kewenvoyouma (’04), Ann Marie Downes (’94), Mary Shirley (’92) and Jeff Harmon (’05).

ILP Emerging Leader Award – This award acknowledges and encourages service to Indian Country and the ILP by alumni who are less than ten years out of law school. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in their professional career, volunteer work, and promotion or support of the ILP and/or ASU NALSA. Nomination Package Requirements.

  • Describe how the candidate has achieved professional success in their legal career.
  • Describe the candidate’s volunteer work.
  • Describe how the candidate achieved an exceptional level of service while balancing the demands of being a recent graduate. (maximum one page)
  • Describe how the candidate was proactive in efforts to become involved in ILP and/or ILP alumni activities. (maximum one page)
  • Describe how the candidate’s service has been sustained over a long period of time or how the service has been innovative or beneficial. (maximum one page)
  • Provide two letters of support from fellow ILP alumni.
  • Provide a 200 word bio of the nominee.
  • Past winners include: Derrick Beetso (’10), Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle (’09), Nikki Borchardt Campbell (’09), Steve Bodmer (’06), Elizabeth Medicine Crow (’05), Charles Galbraith (’07), Matthew Campbell (’08) and Michael Corey Hinton (’11).

Brilliant Success

Gathering of Indigenous Legal Scholars

On Dec. 8-9, the ILP and the Native Nations Law and Policy Center at UCLA School of Law teamed up and welcomed current and future Indigenous law faculty from across the country to participate in the “Gathering of Indigenous Legal Scholars” at ASU Law. The purpose of this gathering was to cultivate a community of support for current and future legal scholars across the fields of federal Indian law and tribal law.
On the first day, four emerging Indigenous scholars presented their research to the 25 Indigenous law professors in attendance. The faculty then presented a hybrid-format webinar, “Launching Your Academic Career,” to share knowledge, tips and advice for entering the academic job market. On day two, junior and senior faculty in the field shared their current research with one another. 

The overall event highlighted just how robust scholarship in the field of Indigenous law has become, and how important rigorous legal research is to Indigenous peoples and the development of law and legal systems intended to meet their needs. The event built on previous gatherings for emerging Indigenous faculty organized by senior Indigenous scholars, including Professor Robert J. Miller

We are delighted that five ILP affiliates participated: Native Vote Fellow Torey Dolan (’19) presented “Reviving the Promises of the Indian Citizenship Act: Congress’ Trust Obligations to Protect the Native Vote,” Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee presented “Self-Determination in a Sinking Basin,” Professor Stacy Leeds presented “Essentials of Going on the Legal-Academic Job Market”, Professor Miller served on the roundtable “Developing Your Research Agenda” and Professor Trevor Reed presented “Restorative Licensing.”

We appreciate our co-host the Native Nations Law and Policy Center at UCLA School of Law and all participants for making this a successful event.

Celebrating Tribal Investments

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Last month, the Indian Legal Program celebrated the generosity of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians at the ASU California Center in downtown Los Angeles, located at the historic Herald Examiner building, for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony and the naming of Yuhaaviatam of San Manuel Event Center within the building. The naming of the space recognizes San Manuel’s $5 million gift for the recent renovation of the ASU California Center, and the tribe’s support for ASU Law’s Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs. 

San Manuel Chairman Ken Ramirez said it best: “Investing in education that underscores Native American law and tribal sovereignty is among the core values of the tribe.”

“Participating in the unveiling was an honor,” said Derrick Beetso (’10), director of ASU Law’s Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs. “The history of the Herald Examiner building, as described by Chairman Ramirez, indicates how special this event was for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and it was a pleasure to share in this experience. The Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs look forward to exploring new opportunities for innovative uses for the space, including practical learning experiences for our students.”

Read more in the ASU News article and review ASU Law’s video recap.

We are very happy some of our ILP students joined Professor Beetso, Professor Patty Ferguson-BohneeExecutive Director Kate Rosier and Professor Trevor Reed in this celebration, including: Ashleigh Fixico (2L), Noah Goldenberg (2L), Clayton Kinsey (1L), Francisco Olea (LLM), Sophie Staires (1L) and David Streamer (3L). During the trip, students documented and shared the experience on our Instagram for Student Takeover

Thank you, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, for your continued support!