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.

10th Annual William C. Canby Jr. Lecture – The Bears Ears National Monument: A Breakthrough for Tribal-Federal Collaborative Management on Federal Public Lands

Hot Topic!!  New Designation of Bear Ears National Monument from President Barack Obama 

Public Lecture followed by Reception – Open to the Public.  Please RSVP.
Free CLE – 0.75 General CLE Credit will be offered.

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National Native American Bar Association Releases Study of Native American Attorneys

The National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) and NNABA Foundation recently released the results of the first-of-its-kind research study on Native American attorneys. This research is the only comprehensive research regarding Native American attorneys across all practice settings where each and every of the over 500 survey respondents identified as Native American.

One of the powerful findings of this study is that Native Americans often feel invisible and share an overarching perspective that their experiences are not valid or real. In addition to documenting the failure of traditional diversity and inclusion efforts to reach Native American attorneys, the study sheds light on unique challenges facing American Indians. Native Americans are clearly behind even other underrepresented groups in terms of inclusion, retention, and representation.

“This comprehensive research is not only the first – but the only – research that examines the experiences of Native American attorneys across all practice settings. It presents a stark portrait of an entire group of attorneys systematically excluded from the legal profession,” said Mary Smith, NNABA President. “It is clear that traditional diversity and inclusion programs are simply not working for Native American attorneys. NNABA hopes that this research will be used to build a more robust pipeline of Native American attorneys and to work toward the full inclusion of Native Americans in the legal profession.”

Highlights of the research include:

  • The survey captured information from 527 Native American attorneys, approximately 20% of the 2,640 Native American attorneys in the United States.
  • The most satisfied attorneys were working in the tribal sector, and the least satisfied attorneys were working for the federal/state government or law firms; however, tribal politics/cliques, overwhelming workloads, and not being able to make an impactful difference were cited as primary sources of dissatisfaction even in the context of being generally satisfied.
  • Over 40% of the attorneys overall in the study reported experiencing demeaning comments or other types of harassment based on their race, ethnicity, and/or tribal affiliation; and 33.63% reported experiencing one or more forms of discrimination based on their race, ethnicity, and/or tribal affiliation.
  • Women were more likely than men to report demeaning comments and/or harassment based on gender (38% to 3%); discrimination based on gender (35% to 4%); denial of advancement or promotional opportunities due to gender (21% to 3%); and denial of appropriate compensation due to gender (29% to 1%).
  • Over 76% of the attorneys in this study reported that more awareness and understanding of issues faced by Native Americans would have a positive impact on their careers. In comparison, only 60% of the attorneys felt that more effective implementation of diversity and inclusion policies in their workplace would have a positive impact on their careers. This is not surprising given the ways diversity and inclusion initiatives have largely ignored the issues and concerns of Native American attorneys.

For more information and to view the full report and the executive summary, go to http://www.nativeamericanbar.org/native-american-attorney-study/.

Founded in 1973, NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

For more information contact 480-727-0420 or visit www.nativeamericanbar.org.