“Cultural Misappropriation” – Professor Reed 3/31

Professor Trevor Reed is giving a presentation on Wednesday, March 31 at 5:30-7:30pm EST for Intellectual Property Law Association on “Cultural Misappropriation.”

Register for free to join.

About the program: What is cultural misappropriation and why does it matter? Tune in for a conversation between legal experts and activists covering Copyright and Trademark issues of cultural misappropriation such as the Washington pro football team (Harjo v. Pro Football and its relationship with Matal v. Tam), fashion (Urban Outfitters v. Navajo), photography and music on reservations, and traditional knowledge labeling

Progress, Power, Purpose: Stacy Leeds

Women's History Month

In celebrating “Women’s History Month,” we turned to some of the women of the ILP to shed light on Native women legal professionals and their Progress, Power, Purpose. Newest to the ILP Family, Indian law scholar Stacy Leeds brings her extraordinary experiences and ideas to shape the futures. Having paved the way for Native women in different areas, why not consult with this fierce Oklahoma Cherokee woman? Amid a global crisis, this visionary created her blog—IndigenousWell—as a platform to propel Indigenous women in the field the much-needed inclusion and balance work of health and wellness.

Q: What does your current position entail?
A: Teaching, writing, helping to advance the mission of the Law School and the ILP

Q: Were you always interested in this kind of work?
A: Indian law has always been an interest, but I never would have predicted the many directions my work would take

Q: What advice do you have for Native American women who want to work in this area?
A: Always be respectful and supportive of others. Never underestimate the value in your reputation and your network.

Q: What is your proudest career moment?
A: It’s the many moments when former students exceed their own expectations. It is very powerful to witness a big change in someone’s life trajectory and know you played an important role in that.

Q: Is there anything you’ve learned after graduating law school that you wished you learned in class?
A: The complexity of what it takes to be a really great advocate. The strategy, the big picture, the importance of knowing when to be bold and when to be reserved. Law school is a great start, but there are many things that come with experience and maturity.

Q: What is the most valuable lesson you learned in the classroom that has helped you in your career?
A: Critical thinking skills coupled with the ability to communicate. It’s why law school graduates will always have the benefit of diverse career opportunities.

Q: Who are three Native American women law professionals and/or advocates who should be on our radar right now?

Q: You are a Native American woman making history and have been the “first” in prominent areas throughout your career—first Native American woman to serve as a Law School dean, first woman justice for the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court—Did you ever feel like the lone Native American voice in the room? How did you overcome those adversities? For that girl/woman who is finding her rhythm and trying to carve out a space to thrive, what advice would you give her?
A: I have often been the only woman and the only Native American voice on certain issues and inside certain physical spaces, but I have rarely felt “alone” in those moments. There’s a big difference in feeling lonely (wishing you had peers around you) and being alone (separated without a connection to others). I am always connected to Indigenous issues and Indigenous people and those connections strengthen me. That being said, many of us will find ourselves in roles and circumstances where we are the perceived “voice” representing others. It’s a delicate balance to maximize the power and duty in that moment while simultaneously educating others on the diversity of viewpoints across Indian country. At the end of the day, always try to be your authentic self and don’t compromise your values. There will always be hard days and difficult situations, but in totality, look for opportunities where the positive energy far exceeds the negative energy. I have learned that when I prioritize my own mental, physical and spiritual health, I am also at the top of my game professionally, including being a better advocate for others.

Review Stacy’s publications:

  • Two draft co-authored articles published in the SSRN, “A Wealth of Sovereign Choices: Tax Implications of McGirt v. Oklahoma and the Promise of Tribal Economic Development” and “A Familiar Crossroads: McGirt v. Oklahoma and the Future of the Federal Indian Law Canon.” Please email any feedback.
  • Creative Native podcast about the launch of IndigenousWell and how athletics in native youth can positively impact their professional lives as leaders. 

Stay tuned for our next Progress, Power, Purpose series.

________

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

ILP Alumni partnership creates Judicial Clerkship Handbook

The Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) Judicial Clerkship Committee that includes ILP alumni teamed up and created the Judicial Clerkship Handbook to advise and encourage Native American law students interested in judicial clerkships across all levels of courts, including tribal courts. 

PLSI Judicial Clerkship Committee:

  • Racheal White Hawk (’16), Chair
  • Christine Jordan, Member
  • Lydia Locklear, Member
  • Doreen McPaul (’01), Member
  • Rodina Cave Parnall (’01), Member
  • Alexander Mallory (’19), Member
  • Roshanna K. Toya, Member
  • Kateri Eisenberg

Who better to offer advice than those who have served in these positions? White Hawk, former Judicial Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Arizona Supreme Court; Parnall, former Judicial Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Mallory, current Judicial Clerk, U.S. Immigration Court, Department of Justice Honors Program; and McPaul, former Judicial Clerk, Arizona Court of Appeals and former Staff Attorney, Navajo Nation Judicial Branch.

Q:  What is the importance of this project?

A: This Judicial Clerkship Handbook is a product of the Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) Judicial Clerkship Committee, which consists of current and former Native American judicial clerks. The Handbook provides the unique perspective and advice of such judicial clerks about the sometimes mystifying judicial clerkship application process and is targeted toward Native American pre-law and law school students. Such students comprise an important audience because Native Americans are vastly underrepresented as not only judicial clerks but also as judges in America, and there has long been a connection between clerking in the judiciary and eventually becoming a judge.  It is, therefore, essential that Native Americans are able to obtain clerkships and thereby participate in the pipeline to the judiciary. Ultimately, the Handbook seeks to improve America’s judicial systems by ensuring the rich diversity of the American people is reflected in such systems, including the people indigenous to this land.  The Handbook also includes robust sections discussing tribal court clerkships, ensuring that students are made aware of such clerkships and funding opportunities as well as ensuring that tribal courts are included in the discussion about judicial systems in America. 

Q: What made you decide to create the handbook?

A: Each year, the PLSI Judicial Clerkship Committee selects several Native American students to attend the American Bar Association’s Judicial Clerkship Program, which connects students with judges and provides information to students about the clerkship experience and application process.  Such students must submit application materials to the Committee that are similar to what students would submit for a judicial clerkship application. We noticed that some students needed assistance with their application materials, so we decided to create this resource to assist those and other students in need of guidance. We also recognized that many judicial clerkship handbooks did not discuss tribal courts and did not include the unique perspective of Native American students or advice regarding how to discuss a student’s federal Indian law experience or valuable experiences that might be different from the typical judicial clerkship applicant. Each year, we will provide this Handbook to Native American pre-law students as a resource and to the National Native American Law Students Association.  We think it is important that Native American pre-law students in particular be made aware of judicial clerkships so they can better align their law school experience with becoming a judicial clerk if they wish to pursue such a path.

Q: What are you most anticipating moving forward with this project?

A: We hope Native American students will find the Handbook helpful in applying for judicial clerkships and that the number of Native Americans clerking and becoming judges will increase over time.  We also plan to continue improving the Handbook each year. As part of this Handbook, we are also starting a mentoring program in the fall of 2021 by connecting current and former Native American judicial clerks with Native American pre-law and law school students.  We hope this Handbook will help mentees prepare for, and mentors provide guidance about, the judicial clerkship application process.

________

Racheal White Hawk (’16)
Associate Attorney, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP
+
Rodina Cave Parnall (’01)
Director, Pre-Law Summer Institute, American Indian Law Center, Inc.

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Indigenous Research Roundtable

Connecting Indigenous Scholars across ASU

For several years now, ASU’s Indigenous Research Roundtable (IRR) has connected Indigenous scholars and allies through a monthly seminar featuring new, cutting-edge scholarship conducted with, by and for Indigenous communities. The IRR was originally organized by Dr. Angela Gonzales from ASU’s School of Social Transformation and hosted at Tempe campus. As the ASU Downtown campus has grown to include numerous ASU colleges, schools and programs serving Indian Country—including Social Work, Journalism, Health Sciences, Law and many others—the IRR is for the first time being hosted by two downtown campus Indigenous faculty, ASU Law Professor Trevor Reed and School of Social Work Professor Felicia Mitchell.

In the fall semester, the IRR featured two thought-provoking presentations showcasing the diversity of Indigenous research happening at ASU. On Nov. 4, Professors David Manuel-Navarrete and Tod D. Swanson shared their experiences establishing a new field school in partnership with Tribes in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The field school educates university students from around the world about Kichwa approaches to climate science and biodiversity while also providing a stream of sustainable income for Kichwa peoples. On Dec. 9, Professor Matt Ignacio presented the results of his groundbreaking study of harm-reduction interventions aimed at Indigenous youth who may be at risk for alcohol and other drug use. Then on Jan. 27, School of Social Work Professor Shanondora Billiot shared her research on the effects of land-based healing programs on the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities in Louisiana.

For the upcoming spring semester, the IRR will feature presentations by Professor Robert J. Miller who will present his current research on the landmark Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma. 

For more information about the Indigenous Research Roundtable or to participate in an upcoming roundtable please contact Professor Reed at t.reed@asu.edu.

Indigenous Research Roundtable

Connecting Indigenous Scholars across ASU

For several years now, ASU’s Indigenous Research Roundtable (IRR) has connected Indigenous scholars and allies through a monthly seminar featuring new, cutting-edge scholarship conducted with, by and for Indigenous communities. The IRR was originally organized by Dr. Angela Gonzales from ASU’s School of Social Transformation and hosted at Tempe campus. As the ASU Downtown campus has grown to include numerous ASU colleges, schools and programs serving Indian Country—including Social Work, Journalism, Health Sciences, Law and many others—the IRR is for the first time being hosted by two downtown campus Indigenous faculty, ASU Law Professor Trevor Reed and School of Social Work Professor Felicia Mitchell.

In the fall semester, the IRR featured two thought-provoking presentations showcasing the diversity of Indigenous research happening at ASU. On Nov. 4, Professors David Manuel-Navarrete and Tod D. Swanson shared their experiences establishing a new field school in partnership with Tribes in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The field school educates university students from around the world about Kichwa approaches to climate science and biodiversity while also providing a stream of sustainable income for Kichwa peoples. On Dec. 9, Professor Matt Ignacio presented the results of his groundbreaking study of harm-reduction interventions aimed at Indigenous youth who may be at risk for alcohol and other drug use.

Prof. Matt Ignacio's IRR presentation

This upcoming spring semester, the IRR will feature presentations by ASU Law Professor Robert J. Miller who will present his current research on the landmark Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma. School of Social Work Professor Shanondora Billiot will share her research on the effects of land-based healing programs on the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities in Louisiana.

For more information about the Indigenous Research Roundtable or to participate in an upcoming roundtable please contact Professor Trevor Reed at t.reed@asu.edu.

Progress, Power, Purpose: Torey Dolan (’19)

Women's History Month

In celebrating “Women’s History Month,” we turned to some of the women of the ILP to shed light on Native women legal professionals and their Progress, Power, Purpose. This brilliant Choctaw woman is a great advocate for all things Native Vote and an asset to the program, especially the Indian Legal Clinic. Here Torey reflects on her law school memories and the meaning of her work. 

Q: What does your position entail?
A: I am the Native Vote Fellow in the Arizona State University Indian Legal Clinic – I work full time issues related to Voting Rights for Native Americans in the State of Arizona. I work directly with Tribes, County, and State Officers on voting issues as well as educate the public about barriers that Native Americans face. I also worked on the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project in the 2020 Election Cycle to advocate for Tribes to retain access to voting, answered calls to the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Hotline, coordinated Election Protection Volunteers on election day, and we collected data on the barriers that Native Americans faced when voting. 

Q: Were you always interested in this kind of work?
A: No. I’ve always been interested in Civil Rights, but never thought about issues related to voting rights. It wasn’t until I was a student in the ASU Indian Legal Clinic working on the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project that I realized this is an ongoing area of civil rights struggle that needs attention. It was then I became passionate about the work. 

Q: What advice do you have for Native American women who want to work in this area?
A: Just do it! There are a handful of attorneys that work at the intersection of voting rights and Indian law and it would be great to get more women in this area. Start by networking and reaching out.

Q: What is your proudest career moment?
A: On election day, through our hotline and our volunteers we learned that polling locations on the Navajo Nation did not open on time and was opened an hour late. During election day, we worked on preparing a case along with the ACLU to go to court to keep the polls open longer at the end of the day to make up for lost time. We successfully got the court order. When a voter went to vote during the extended hour the poll workers attempted to turn her away, but our volunteer encouraged her to stay as she called the hotline. I answered the hotline call and explained to the voter that she had the right to vote because of the court order. We stayed on the phone talking to the voter and poll worker, alerted the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, the Secretary of State, and the Apache County Election’s Department. We were adamant. Ultimately, the county got in touch with the poll workers and the county instructed them to let the voter cast a ballot. It was a day’s worth of work to get the court order and because of our volunteers, our team, and our efforts we were able to ensure that person voted.

Q: Is there anything you’ve learned after graduating that you wished you learned in class?
A: I wish I had learned more about counseling Tribal clients when it comes to deciding when to file a lawsuit and when to pursue other diplomatic channels to solve disputes. As Native people, we know that you can be right on the law and still lose in court due to bias. Tribal governments must balance a lot of factors when deciding whether to pursue legal action, so I wish I had more experience in addressing those various concerns before graduating.

Q: What is the most valuable lesson you learned in the classroom that has helped you in your career?
A: I’m very grateful that my Indian Law professors repeatedly emphasized the nature of jurisdiction on Indian reservations. I feel comfortable analyzing state law and how it impacts Native Americans living on Tribal lands because I know the in’s and out’s of state jurisdiction on Tribal lands thanks to my professors.

Q: What is your advice for current students?
A: Get to know your professors and the people in your community. Indian law is a small field and the people around you have a wealth of knowledge. These are people that will go on to be your mentors, colleagues, adversaries in court, or just lifelong friends. Get to know them, and remember, when someone helps you make sure you help them down the road.

Q: Who are three Native American women law professionals and/or advocates who should be on our radar right now?
A: Sarah Crawford (’19), Blair Tarman (3L), and Rellani Ogumuro (’19)

    • Sarah Crawford has been working in Washington D.C. as an attorney at a boutique law firm that was able to help the Little Shell Band of Chippewa achieve federal recognition and is now working with them as they build their government with more capacity in their transfer from state recognized to federally recognized. I think she is very efficient in advocacy and has tremendous personal and professional knowledge of bridging the gaps between Tribal governance and federal advocacy.
    • Blair Tarman is a 3L this year in the Indian Legal Program. I was her moot court coach for the 2020 competition and was continually blown away by her work ethic, her humility, and most of all her intelligence. As a clinic student, Blair was consistently reliable and constantly striving to achieve more. I’m excited to watch her enter the Indian law profession because I know she is going to grow into a formidable advocate and I’m excited to see everything she will do for Indian Country.
    • Rellani Ogumuro is intelligent, kind, pragmatic, and passionate. She is the first person I ever met who was indigenous to a Territory of the United States and not a state. I know she has a deep love for the people of Saipan and the land and as an advocate has always talked about using her career to serve her people. I believe that she will go on to change this country’s understanding of its relationship to the people of Saipan, the Mariana Islands, and all people Indigenous to U.S. Territories.

Q: Favorite law school memory.
A: Doing moot court in 2019 with Sarah Crawford, Ana Laurel, and Meredith Duarte. We put in a lot of work, Sarah and I did not advance, but we all became really close and the friendship I have with them is an important part of my life and something I’m grateful for every day.

Review Torey’s publications:

  • “Voting in Our Voices” article
  • Co-authored “The Indian Law Bombshell: McGirt v. Oklahoma” article

Stay tuned for our next Progress, Power, Purpose series.

________

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

Arizona Native Vote Changemakers

The Indian Legal Clinic student attorneys, ILP affiliates and volunteers worked on the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project (AZNVEP) for months to prepare for the general election on Nov. 3. The number of this year’s Election Protection volunteers made for a great success despite the circumstances! We had 100 volunteers, which is more than in past years, who assisted Native voters at over 60 polling locations in Arizona on Election Day through the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project. The ILC team included Native Vote Fellow Torey Dolan (’19) as lead, Brendan Clark (3L), Aspen Miller (3L), Dustin Rector (3L), MacArthur Stant (3L),and Blair Tarman (3L) under the supervision of Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee. Student attorneys provided virtual training sessions for volunteers, ran the hotline and interacted with voters on-site.

Through partnerships with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), the Native American Bar Association of Arizona (NABA-AZ), the Arizona Election Protection Coalition and volunteers, Native Vote served as an important resource for hundreds of Native voters during the 2020 election. Over 250 Native American voters called the Native Vote Election Protection hotline for assistance on Election Day, and many voters called prior to the election to check voter registration and polling locations, and answered questions regarding general election information.  

With the extraordinary commitment from volunteers—ILP students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends—an Election Protection volunteer was on-site and available at the following locations: Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Gila River Indian Community, Tohono O’odham Nation, White Mountain Apache, San Carlos Apache, Pascua Yaqui, Yavapai Apache, Yavapai Prescott, Quechan, Cocopah Indian Tribe, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, and the Ak-Chin Indian Community. 

We thank our ASU community for the support, which released the ASU Now article on election day that highlighted the greater work of Native Vote as well as the innovative Polling Locator Tool created just this year with US Digital Response. Watch the video  to see how this tool was used by Native voters.

Two of our ILC students Miller and Stant who traveled to Hopi and Navajo Nation were highlighted in an Arizona Republic article

Ferguson-Bohnee was quoted in the Center for Public Integrity article and Arizona Republic articles here and here

On Nov. 11, Dolan was interviewed by Native America Calling to give a recap about Native Vote. She was also quoted in The State Press articles here and here

Find more coverage from Ferguson-Bohnee, Dolan and Brian Garcia (’20) in this VICE article, which included Arizona Native Vote assisting with extension hours to a polling site. 

We appreciate our partners and all who volunteered across Indian Country to ensure Arizona’s tribal communities and tribal members had access to the polls!

NAGPRA: Celebrating a 30-year milestone

On Nov. 16, the ILP commemorated the 30th anniversary of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) with a webinar “NAGPRA: 30 Years and Beyond.” The roundtable focused on how the law has empowered Tribes to reclaim their ancestors and cultural items from museums and other federally funded institutions, and what changes are needed in both the law and its implementation to better serve Indian Country.

Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Hodulgee Muscogee), writer, curator, policy advocate and president of the Morning Star Institute, shared her insights into the important role NAGPRA plays in reversing the harms done to Indigenous ancestors and culture by researchers, federal agencies, and museums. She also spoke to the need for Tribes and their advocates to fully explore NAGPRA’s potential. James Riding In (Pawnee), founding member and associate professor in the department of American Indian Studies at ASU, spoke about his experiences helping Tribes implement NAGPRA and addressed some of ways Tribes can better negotiate with holding institutions. Shannon O’Loughlin, executive director and attorney with the Association on American Indian Affairs, discussed how NAGPRA should not be another way for museums to gather more data from Tribes to fill in gaps left by poor research—It is an enforceable law museums must respect with repatriation as its end goal. ASU Law’s Dean Emeritus Paul Bender, who facilitated the panel for National Dialogue on Tribal-Museum Relations that led to the passage of NAGPRA, moderated the event.

“The panelists’ insights into the origins of NAGPRA really brought the law into perspective,” said Professor Trevor Reed. “They showed us just how much the law can do for Tribal Nations as we build capacity and push to revise and develop it going forward.”

We’re grateful to these experts for sharing their time and knowledge