DOJ OVW Violence Against Women Tribal Consultation
- Anchorage, AK – September 21-23, 2022
DOJ OVW Violence Against Women Tribal Consultation
DOJ Office for Victims of Crime, Tribal Division – Supervisory Grants Management Specialist
DOJ Access to Justice – Pro Bono Program Counsel
DOJ Access to Justice – Attorney Advisor
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.
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.
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) Court
Under the administrative supervision from the Court Administrator, provides legal review and advice to Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) Court. Through legal expertise with the Indian law and general principles of the law, provides research for the Court Judges, working to assist the Judges in resolving legal issues as they arise. Ensures that Community’s Constitution and applicable laws are followed, and that due process principles are applied to ensure the fair and reasonable administration of justice of the matters pending before the Court. Assists with the professional development of Court Staff and Judges by organizing training activities and collecting and distributing information on federal Indian Law and tribal law developments and best practices in tribal justice systems. This job class is treated as FLSA Exempt and may be required to work evenings, weekends, and non-standard work schedule.
For application and full job description, go to SRPMIC job announcement.
Washburn University School of Law invites applications for a full-time visiting faculty position teaching Legal Writing beginning in the 2022-2023 academic year. This is a 9-month visiting position, although the position has a possibility of renewal contingent on the need for services and the availability of funding. In addition, Washburn may have a tenure-track legal writing appointment available after the 2022-2023 academic year depending on budget and curricular needs. If a tenure-track position is approved for the 2023-2024 academic year and beyond, the law school will conduct a national search and the visiting faculty member will be welcome to apply for the position.
We seek candidates whose performance to date has demonstrated effectiveness in teaching, scholarship, and service or the potential for achievement in each of these job functions. Application materials should clearly articulate the candidate’s record of work supporting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and state how the candidate will contribute to Washburn University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Washburn University is a teaching-focused, student-centered, public institution. The Washburn campus is located in the heart of Topeka, Kansas, blocks from the historic state capitol. Topeka features affordable housing; beautiful, historic neighborhoods filled with well-maintained parks; and a nationally recognized public library. It is also the home of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historical Site.
Washburn is dedicated to recruiting and retaining a diverse faculty, staff, and student body and cultivating a vibrant and inclusive working environment and curriculum. We offer competitive wages, an excellent benefits program, a supportive leadership team, and a healthy work/life balance. At Washburn, we strive to ensure a campus climate that supports the success of every employee and appreciates the unique skills and expertise each contributes to serving our students.
The ideal candidate will have law school teaching experience, but entry-level candidates will be considered.
Fulfill teaching expectations associated with a visiting assistant professor appointment as outlined in the faculty handbook. Teach a full workload of two first-year legal writing courses (6 credit hours per semester).
This visitor will fulfill service expectations by engaging in service activities in the department, university, and profession.
To apply, see website.
This year, Professor Helen E. Burtis (’07) helmed the Indian Legal Clinic while Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee sharpened her focus on other projects on sabbatical. During the academic year, eleven student attorneys worked over 3600 hours handling 22 cases covering a variety of subjects and venues, including tribal, state, and federal courts. Some of the accomplishments that students realized on behalf of their clients included assisting an elder to officially enroll in her tribe after a lifetime of paperwork complications, creating bylaws for a nonprofit funding youth in the arts, and successfully starting or concluding several appointments of personal representatives in probate cases. Students also researched and recommended options to protect tribal land, to recover expenses for services not performed, and to recover debts.
This was the first year students were able to appear in tribal courts for criminal cases since the start of the pandemic. While still not at full capacity, seven student attorneys made appearances in tribal courts for both prosecution and defense. For many students, this was their first appearance in court.
The ILC also expanded services for Indian Wills Clinics, forging new partnerships with two tribes while continuing two existing partnerships. In September 2021, 3L student attorneys Jacob Broussard, Liliana Elliot, Lindsay Ficklin, Zaine Ristau and Dwight Witherspoon and Professor Burtis traveled to Winterhaven, California for the third Wills Clinic for the Quechan Indian Tribe and in October, the same team also provided the third Wills Clinic for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in Temecula, California.
In February 2022, clinic students Gwendolyn Bell (2L), Ryan Maxey (2L), Lena Neuner (2L), Claire Newfeld (2L), Ravynn Nothstine (2L) and David Streamer (3L) and Professor Burtis traveled to Santa Rosa Rancheria, California for the first Wills Clinic for the Tachi Yokut Tribe.
In March, this team remotely provided another first Wills Clinic from ASU Law to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut.
Overall, student attorneys created estate planning documents including wills, healthcare powers of attorney, and financial powers of attorney for 45 tribal clients during these Wills Clinics.
The ILC Team, including Native Vote Fellows Torey Dolan (’19) and Blair Tarman-Toner (’21) and Professor Ferguson-Bohnee, continues to work with tribes to protect tribal land and resources, uphold tribal sovereignty, advocate for cultural protections, support voting rights, and assist with status clarification of Tribes. Notably, Ferguson-Bohnee successfully argued and won a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that found “intratribal disputes are generally nonjusticiable in federal courts.”
Tarman-Toner presented to the National Congress of American Indians’ Federal Recognition Task Force. Her presentation provided updates on Tribes seeking to gain federal recognition through legislative, judicial, and administrative avenues.
Honore Callingham (’18)
Law Fellow, Indian Legal Clinic, ASU Law
Program Coordinator Sr, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law
The Hopi Tribe
Office of General Counsel
The Deputy General Counsel provides professional legal counsel and representation to the Hopi Tribal government – including the legislative and executive branches of the Hopi Tribe, the administrative departments, offices and programs. The Deputy General Counsel performs highly professional and advisory work involving considerable depth of knowledge and analytical/organizational skills in a broad range of subject areas of the law, and exercises broad and independent judgment in providing legal advice on any political/legal dimension and its effects on Tribal entities. The Hopi Tribal Council sets the overall objectives and priorities of the Office of General Counsel. The General Counsel establishes the duties and responsibilities of the Deputy General Counsel pursuant to these priorities and the priorities of the Executive Branch. . The Deputy, in consultation with the General Counsel develops deadlines for work to be accomplished. The Deputy General Counsel, having years of experience in the legal field is responsible for planning and carrying out all assignments and resolving conflicts as they arise. Work is reviewed from the overall standpoint of meeting identified requirements and achieving expected results.
For full job description and application information, go to: The Hopi Tribe Job Listing
This year, Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee and Native Vote Fellows Torey Dolan (’19) and Blair Tarman-Toner (’21) worked on a variety of voting rights issues. The goals of the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project at ASU Law for this year was to: analyze the 2020 election cycle, track democracy developments in the state legislature and with the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, and prepare for the upcoming midterm election.
Mapping & Redistricting
The U.S. Constitution requires states to redraw their congressional and state legislative district boundaries every 10 years following each decennial Census. The goal of redistricting is to protect the constitutional right to “one person, one vote” by ensuring that each district has approximately the same number of people. In Arizona, the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) is tasked with redrawing the State’s congressional and state legislative districts.
Why It’s Important for Arizona Native Voters
Ensuring that the redistricting process remains fair is critical for Native American voters in Arizona, as it determines whether voters can elect their candidates of choice into state and federal offices. The redistricting process ultimately determines access to resources as well as a communities’ political representation.
ILC Redistricting Efforts
Tarman-Toner joined the Native Vote team as a Native Vote Fellow and hit the ground running by tracking the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission as they redrew the State’s congressional and legislative districts. Tarman-Toner tracked the Commission’s deliberations over the course of its fourteen decision-making meetings as well as tracked the public comments made at thirty-two public hearings. The ILC created a redistricting guide, regularly presented to Tribes regarding the redistricting process, and assisted Tribes in drafting public comments. The ILC submitted oral and written testimony regarding compliance with the Voting Rights Act, maintenance of a strong Native American majority-minority district, and respecting reservation boundaries as communities of interest.
Tarman-Toner also created a redistricting summary from the 2021 redistricting cycle to share with Tribes.
Dolan was recently quoted in The Guardian’s article “Redrawn Arizona congressional map drains Native American voting power.”
In September 2021, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe reached a settlement with Pima County to restore an in-person early voting location on the reservation. This provides voters living on the reservation an opportunity to vote in-person early, safely, and in their community just as other Arizonans have voted across Pima County for the past four years. The settlement agreement also provides for cooperation on voter registration and outreach. Student attorneys at the time Aspen Miller (’21), Jens Camp (’21) worked with Ferguson-Bohnee and Dolan to prepare for the preliminary injunction hearing in Fall 2020.
In April 2022, ILP legal team defends voting rights in Arizona. ILP advisory council member Judith Dworkin (JD ’86) and Ferguson-Bohnee represented the Inter Tribal Association of Arizona in an amicus brief regarding the constitutionality of early voting. Dolan and Tarman-Toner assisted in drafting the brief.
Testimony and Reports
The Native Vote Election Protection Project actively to protect the rights of Native American voters in Arizona. On October 27, Ferguson-Bohnee testified at the “Voting Matters in Native Communities Hearing” before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Native Vote Fellows Dolan and Tarman helped prepare the testimony that was delivered to the Committee.
Dolan and Tarman-Toner co-authored an article discussing the Native American Voting Rights Act for the Daily Journal.
The team issued its 2018 Native Vote Election Protection Project Report, which details voter issues faced by Tribal voters in the 2018 election.
Throughout the 2022 Legislative Session, Dolan and Tarman-Toner tracked bills impacting the right to vote and identified 142 democracy-related bills in the Arizona State Legislature—72 in the Senate and 70 in the House of Representatives.
The ILC coordinated with its voting partners, Tribes, and counties to address issues in anticipation of the 2022 election cycle. As members of the Arizona Native Vote Coalition, the ILC worked with ITCA and All Voting is Local to host and present at monthly Native Vote Strategy Sessions. In addition to strategic planning for 2022, Dolan and Tarman-Toner regularly provided legislative analysis and updates to Tribes at the sessions.
In September 2021, Ferguson-Bohnee emceed the Secretary of State’s first-ever Tribal Nations Conference.
On May 4, the ILC joined the “May the Vote Be With You” event organized by Angela Salazar-Willeford (MLS ’22) and hosted by her tribe Salt River-Maricopa Indian Community and ITCA.
The Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs (“Programs”) at ASU Law had a successful academic year and we congratulate all the 2022 Master of Laws (LLM) and Master of Legal Studies (MLS) graduates.
In August, the Programs welcomed its current director, Derrick Beetso, a 2010 graduate of the Indian Legal Program (ILP). Beetso is a member of the Navajo Nation who previously served as general counsel for the National Congress of American Indians where he co-directed the Tribal Supreme Court Project alongside colleagues at the Native American Rights Fund, and before that he served as attorney-advisor for the Western Region of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the BIA’s San Carlos Irrigation Project. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge working in and around federal Indian law and policy and said, “the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs provide practical learning opportunities for all law students, whether they seek a JD, LLM, or MLS degree, and I’m so proud to help guide how the Programs engage with and respond to Native communities in Arizona and throughout the Nation. It has been a pleasure to work with the ILP team to help realize the professional goals of such a dynamic cohort of students dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of Indian Country.”
Two faculty associates also joined ASU Law’s Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs: Jay Spaan, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, taught Tribal Self-Governance I and Tribal Self-Governance II, and Michael Hoenig taught Indian Gaming I and Indian Gaming II. Faculty Associates Paul Spruhan taught Civil Jurisdiction in Indian Country and Helen Burtis (’07) taught American Indian Law.
MLS student Roicia Banks enjoyed Professor Spruhan’s class. “I appreciated Professor Spruhan’s extensive knowledge of Federal Indian Law,” Banks said. “But it was more important to me that as a man married to a tribal member, Professor Spruhan was very respectful, woke, and straight forward.”
“As a member of a federally recognized tribe, I took many of the deciding court cases that shaped federal Indian law personally in that I felt it was my duty to understand the past to better understand where we are today,” Richard Picard (MLS ’22) said. “Professor Burtis ensured that all relevant Indian law topics were covered thoroughly and that they were understood as clearly and easily as possible.”
Francisco Olea (LLM ’22) worked for Professor Hoenig in 2016 during his internship with the National Indian Gaming Commission in Washington, D.C. and six years later, Olea was glad to be enrolled in his online Indian Gaming II class.
In September, in partnership with ASU Law’s Allan “Bud” Selig Sports Law and Business Program, the Programs hosted a timely webinar entitled “Betting on Arizona: the Future of Indian Gaming and Sports Betting in Arizona.” The webinar was well attended and featured key attorneys that represented Arizona Indian tribes in negotiating recent compacts and state legislation allowing Arizona’s tribes to participate in the State’s recent sports wagering operation directed by the Arizona Gaming Commission. The rollout of sports wagering in Arizona last year has brought many instances of first impression and the Programs’ students and staff are at the forefront of thinking through various issues presented and helping envision what the future holds for tribes in this area nationally. Beetso has provided regular commentary to gaming publications on recent sports wagering developments; updated the Arizona Indian Gaming Association on current legal and policy issues; and helped moderate a sports betting panel for the Federal Bar Association’s D.C. Indian Law Conference and the ILP’s Wiring the Rez conference.
In October, Beetso taught his first course, Federal Advocacy for the Tribal Client, the ILP’s traveling class at ASU’s Washington, D.C. campus during the fall semester break. The course is designed to instruct students on the basic principles behind effective advocacy before federal agencies, Congress, and the Supreme Court.
Students had the opportunity to engage with professionals, congressional staff, and administrative officials to better understand how federal Indian law and policy is shaped and implemented. While in town, the students also had time to tour the Nation’s Capitol and make professional connections with practicing attorneys during networking opportunities.
In November, the Programs had the pleasure of attending the ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly opened Yuhaaviatam of San Manuel Event Center within ASU’s California Center in downtown Los Angeles at the historic Herald Examiner Building. The Programs accompanied ILP faculty, the ILP’s esteemed Salt River Scholars, law school leadership, and representatives from the office of ASU President Michael Crow to celebrate this momentous occasion and important partnership with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. The Band has donated generously to the law school’s endeavors to increase its impact in the Los Angeles area and to provide meaningful and practical education opportunities for Native students interested in furthering Indian gaming and tribal self-governance. The Programs are currently planning a community teaching event, to be held at the Yuhaaviatam of San Manuel Event Center this summer, which will showcase the exciting work our students are engaged in, the talent of the law school’s faculty, and the partnerships and community building efforts made possible by substantial investments from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the Mohegan Tribe, and other important donors.
Finally, the Programs were honored to host a lunch lecture with Tribal leaders from the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas to share their unique history and the relevance of the Tribe’s bingo operation to its self-governance. The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe and its bingo operation await a decision from the Supreme Court on a case, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas, that will have a direct impact on their self-governance.
The Tribe shared its role in the current litigation before the Court and spoke with students about their interest in Indian gaming and the case specifically. Oral arguments in Ysleta del Sur Pueblo v. Texas were held February 22, 2022 and a decision from the Court is expected soon. The Programs hope to invite tribal leadership from both the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas and Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo back once the Court’s opinion is published.