MSU Indian Law Clinic Funding Announcement and Job Opportunity

It is with great pleasure to announce the Indian Law Clinic at MSU received an initial $200,000 to fund a Tribal Appellate Clerk Project from the Luce Foundation for the next 18 months. The funding allows us to assign students to tribal appellate courts to assist with research, memo writing, bench briefs and draft opinions. The Clinic is officially now seeking for tribal clients, so please reach out to fort@msu.edu if you or your tribe might be interested in receiving these pro bono services from the Clinic.

IN ADDITION, the funding allows us to hire a Fellow/Coordinator for this project! Please apply here:

Job Posting

While this is a soft funded position with a time limit, we have an opportunity to reapply for the funding. In addition, prior ILC/ILPC fellows (including me!) have gone on to great job opportunities after working with us. The job includes working with students, coordinating with tribes and tribal courts, and (most exciting) taking students on site visits to the tribes we work with! We are looking to hire as soon as possible.

Thank you very much to the Luce Foundation and MSU’s own Foundation office for working with the Clinic to get us this funding.

Friday Job Announcements

To post an open Indian law or leadership job to Turtle Talk, send all of the following information to indigenous@law.msu.edu

In the email body:

A typed brief description of the position which includes

  • Position title
  • Location (city, state)
  • Main duties
  • Closing date
  • Any other pertinent details, such as a link to the application
  • An attached PDF job announcement or link to the position description

Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP

Legislative Policy Advisor. Washington, DC. Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP, a national law firm dedicated to promoting and defending the interests of Indian tribal governments and organizations, seeks a Legislative Policy Advisor to work in its Washington, DC office. This position is open until filled. Please see the Job Announcement for more information and how to apply.

Rothstein Donatelli

Summer Associate 2023. Tempe, AZ. This is a 40 hour/week in-office position with remote work flexibility, as needed and approved upon hire. Applicants must have completed 1L or 2L year by Summer 2023. Excellent research abilities. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Indian law coursework and work experience is preferred but not required. Closing Date: February 10, 2023.

Bay Mills Indian Community

Attorney. Brimley, MI. The attorney works under the direct supervision of the President of the Bay Mills Indian Community and Bay Mills Community College, and provides strategic legal advice as counsel for and on behalf of the Bay Mills Indian Community, and all its governmental and commercial entities to advance compliance with applicable laws, to appear as such before all federal, state and tribal courts, tribunals, departments, agencies and committees of Congress and the State legislatures, including services in connection with tribal claims against the United States. Work directly in developing tribal legislation, public policy, regulations, and represent Bay Mills in cases related to federal Indian law, the Indian Child Welfare Act, Indian gaming, environmental law, or natural resource law. For more information please see the position description. Closing Date: Open Until Filled.

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan

Senior Associate General Counsel. Mt. Pleasant, MI. Under the supervision of General Counsel, represent the tribe in all judicial and administrative forums and in the tribe’s governmental and business relations with all persons, organizations and entities, public and private, excluding representation performed by the General Counsel. Open Until Filled.

Colorado River Indian Tribes

Legal Aid Director. Parker, AZ. The Legal Aid Department only serves C.R.I.T. enrolled community members in civil matters. Persons who are eligible for enrollment with C.R.I.T. are also eligible for services. Open until filled.

Public Defender. Parker, AZ. The Public Defender will also be responsible for management of the Public Defender’s Office and staff including administrative and budgeting duties and supervision of staff in representing and counseling eligible Tribal Members. Open until filled.

Chief Judge. Parker, AZ. The Chief Judge is responsible for fairly and impartially hearing and deciding judicial matters within the jurisdiction of the Colorado River Indian Tribes pursuant to the Colorado River Indian Tribal Laws, ordinances and regulations, or applicable state laws.  The Chief Judge is responsible for protecting the administrative operations of the Colorado River Indian Tribal court and supervises the Tribal Court and its employees. This position is Open Until Filled.

Cultural Heritage Partners

Professional Executive Assistant. Richmond, VA or remote (Eastern Time Zone preferred). Cultural Heritage Partners, a law and policy firm focused on cultural heritage law, seeks a professional Executive Assistant with a four-year college degree and at least five years of applicable experience to support a busy partner and our tribal practice. Primary responsibilities will include managing an extremely active calendar of appointments, participating in meetings with clients and the executive, taking and distributing notes, and project/task management. Open until filled.

Native Organizers Alliance

Director of Policy. Remote. Reporting to the Managing Director, the Director of Policy will provide leadership for our public policy work, working directly with the Executive Director and Native Organizers Alliance ecosystem of organizations and Tribal leadership. The candidate should also have a familiarity with the history and current situation in Indian Country. Prior experience in working with Tribal and Native communities and organizations is desirable. Closing date: Open until filled.

Alaska Public Defender Agency

Attorney 1-4. AK (Anchorage, Bethel, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Juneau, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome, Palmer, Sitka, and Utqiagvik). The Agency’s mission is to provide constitutionally mandated legal representation to indigent clients appointed by the court. The Agency hires new lawyers and experienced attorneys to handle civil (Child in Need of Aid and commitment), appellate, and criminal matters. Open until filled.

Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Chief Judge. Port Angeles, WA. The Chief Judge is chief judicial officer of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Court, the trial court of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. The Chief Judge is appointed to a four-year term by the Lower Elwha Business Committee, the elected governing body of the Tribe. This position is responsible for fairly and impartially hearing and deciding judicial matters within the jurisdiction of the Lower Elwha Tribal Court pursuant to the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Judicial Code, ordinances, regulations, and applicable Federal and local laws. The Chief Judge conducts hearings and trials and performs other judicial duties. The Chief Judge is also the administrative supervisor of all Tribal Court staff and as such is responsible for the efficient and effective operation of all aspects of the Lower Elwha Tribe’s trial-court-level judicial system and for proper administration of justice. The Chief Judge has no direct authority over the Lower Elwha Court of Appeals, which consists of Justices appointed by the Business Committee under contract. Closing date: Open until filled.

Tribal Deputy Prosecutor. Port Angeles, WA. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is dedicated to fully exercising its sovereignty to prevent and reduce criminal activity and victimization on the Reservation through vigorous and effective investigation and prosecution of crimes combined with effective use of traditional healing and cultural services provided to victims and appropriate corrective action for offenders. The Tribal Prosecutor is a critical partner in advancing these goals while identifying and addressing associated threats to the political, social, and cultural integrity of the Tribe relating to tribal justice and victimization. Closing date: Open until filled.

Tribal Defense Attorney. Port Angeles, WA. The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is dedicated to fully exercising its sovereignty to prevent and reduce criminal activity and victimization on the Reservation. At the same time, pursuant to the Lower Elwha Constitution, Article VII, Bill of Rights, the Lower Elwha Judicial Code §§ 1.2, 6.11(3)(c), and the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, 25 U.S.C. § 1302(a)(8), the Tribe is dedicated to affording due process to all persons subject to the Tribe’s authority. In order to facilitate due process, the Tribe employs the Tribal Defense Attorney to represent defendants/respondents in proceedings initiated by the Tribe in the Lower Elwha Tribal Court. Closing date: Open until filled.

Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General

Principal Tribal Court Advocate. Window Rock, AZ.  Performs legal work related to representation of the Navajo Nation government, as assigned by the Assistant Attorney General, including legal research, negotiations, legal writing, drafting pleadings, briefs, memoranda, resolutions and other documents for the divisions, departments, or programs assigned. Child Support Enforcement: Present child support enforcement cases before the Office of Hearings and Appeals. Participate in case staffing with Child Support Enforcement officers; provide legal advice and case strategy.  This position is open until filled.

Principal Attorney (Water Right Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Under general direction of the Assistant Attorney General or the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, professionally represents the Nation in multiple water rights adjudications pending in state and federal courts, in state administrative water rights matters and in any settlement negotiations concerning the Nation’s water rights. The Principal Attorney works closely with technical staff within the Water Rights Unit Staff, Department of Water Resources and other programs within the Navajo Nation, and with consultants retained to provide technical support to the Nation or to serve as expert witnesses. The Principal Attorney provides legal advice on all water rights matters to the Office of the President and Vice President, the Office of the Speaker, the Navajo Nation council, and its committees and subcommittees and the Navajo Nation Water Rights commission (NNWRC) to ensure that the water rights of the Navajo Nation are effectively pursued and protected.  This position is open until filled.

Principal Attorney. Window Rock, AZ.  Under general direction of the Assistant Attorney General or the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, represents the Navajo Nation government; Review documents, such as service contracts, sub-recipient and grant agreements, legislation, proposed policies, etc., for legal sufficiency. Participate in negotiations regarding legal documents/agreements with parties outside of the Navajo Nation. Respond to Request for Services and other legal inquiries from clients. Perform legal research and provide legal advice verbally and in writing. Legal advice and services will include: conducting initial eligibility determination reviews on proposed FRF expenditure plans; interpreting federal, state, and Navajo laws, regulation, policies, and procedures; and advising on legal compliance in the implementation of FRF programs and projects.  This position is open until filled.

Attorney, (Litigation Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Legal work related to federal, Navajo Nation, and state court and administrative tribunal representation of the Navajo Nation Government, as assigned by the Assistant Attorney General of the Litigation Unit or the Office of the Attorney General, and Deputy Attorney General, including legal research, pleading drafting, and settlement negotiation for Litigation Unit of the Department of Justice. Review of proposed disciplinary actions by Navajo Nation government programs for compliance with Navajo Nation Personnel Policies Manual and Navajo Preference in Employment Act. Drafting of proposed Navajo Nation legislation, regulations, and policies. Other duties as assigned.  This position is open until filled.

Attorney, (Human Services and Government Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Under general direction of the Assistant Attorney General or the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, represents the Navajo Nation government in reviewing documents, such as services contracts, sub-recipient and grant agreements, legislation, proposed policies, etc., for legal sufficiency. Participates in negotiations regarding legal documents/agreements with parties outside of the Navajo Nation. Respond to Request for Services and other legal inquiries from clients. Perform legal research and provide legal advice verbally and in writing. Legal advice and services will include: conducting initial eligibility determination reviews on proposed FRF expenditure plans; interpreting federal, state, and Navajo laws, regulation, policies, and procedures; and advising on legal compliance in the implementation of FRF programs and projects.  This position is open until filled.

Attorney Candidate. Window Rock, AZ.  Under general direction of the Assistant Attorney General, the Attorney General, or the Deputy Attorney General, provides legal direction to Navajo Nation Divisions, Departments and offices, regarding a wide range of legal issues, including statutory and regulatory authority, contracts and procurement issues, and intergovernmental relations; Assists Attorneys; prepares and presents civil cases in tribal court and administrative bodies; confers and provides guidance, and prepares advisory opinions for assigned departments and branches of the government; prepares interpretations of new legislation and judicial decisions; reviews contracts, leases, permits and related documents; interviews witnesses, complainants, and others on a variety of legal matters; conducts legal research, prepares briefs, pleadings and other legal documents.  This position is open until filled.

Senior Attorney, (Tax and Finance Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Respond to Requests for Services and other legal inquiries from clients, particularly in the area of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and federal Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF). Perform legal research and provide legal advice orally and in writing.  Legal advice and services will include: conducting initial eligibility determination reviews on proposed FRF expenditure plans; interpreting federal, state, and Navajo laws, regulations, policies, and procedures; as well as advising on legal compliance in the implementation of FRF programs and projects. Participate in Legislative Branch and Executive Branch meetings, including Standing Committee meetings and Council Sessions, regarding approval of FRF expenditure plans and the planning and implementation of FRF programs and projects, in order to respond to legal questions pertaining ARPA and the use of FRF.  This position is open until filled.

Principal Attorney (Human Services and Government Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Under the general direction of the Assistant Attorney General, Attorney General or the Deputy Attorney General, the position is assigned to the “Humans Services & Government Unit” of the Office of the Attorney General; Provides legal direction to other attorneys and advocates in providing complex legal representation of Navajo Nation Divisions, Departments, and Programs regarding a wide range of legal issues. Performs professional legal work, research; presents cases in court and performs related duties as required; confers with, gives advice to and prepares opinions for various departments and branches of the Navajo Nation; drafts legal and judicial processes; prepares interpretations of new legislation and judicial decisions; reviews contracts, mortgages, leases, permits and related documents; conducts interviews on a variety of legal matters; conducts legal research, prepares briefs, pleadings and other legal documents. Assist in routine operation of the Department of Justice. This position is open until filled.

Attorney (Human Services and Government Unit). Window Rock, AZ.  Under general direction of Assistant Attorney General or the Attorney General, and Deputy Attorney General, provides legal direction to Navajo Nation Division, Departments and Offices, regarding a wide range of legal issues, including statutory and regulatory authority, contract disputes and procurement issues; and intergovernmental relations; performs professional legal work in research, trial prep and other legal work; and performs related duties as required. Confers with, gives advice to, and prepares opinions for assigned departments and branches of the government; drafts legal and judicial processes; prepares interpretations of new legislation and judicial decisions; reviews contracts, leases, permits and related documents; interviews witnesses, complainants, and others on a variety of legal matters; conducts legal research, prepares briefs, pleadings and other legal documents.  This position is open until filled.

Navajo Nation Office of the Prosecutor

Prosecutor. Kayenta, AZ.  Represents the interest of the Navajo Nation in juvenile adjudications, dependencies, Children in Need of Supervision (CHNS); research and study of litigation of juvenile proceedings and child neglect cases including appellate cases, reviews police, social service, and related reports/complaints, and other law enforcement documents and reports; prepares oral arguments, gathers facts and data; determines if sufficient evidence exists to support the charges; attends juvenile related hearings in Navajo Nation Courts; conducts legal research; drafts complaints, motions and/or other legal proceedings; prepares a legal strategy; identifies and subpoenas witnesses, records and other information required to present the case, prepares legal memoranda, briefs, motions and other required documents for court presentation; performs extensive legal research. Makes decisions in sensitive case and seeks assistance as needed in the juvenile matter.  This position serves at the pleasure of the Chief Prosecutor.  This position is open until filled.

Senior Prosecutor. Crownpoint, NM. Represents the interest of the Navajo Nation in prosecuting individuals alleged to have violated provisions of the Navajo Nation Code and present major and complex litigation in District and Family Courts. Reviews citations, arrest sheets and other law enforcement documents and reports; interviews witnesses, gathers facts and data; determines if sufficient evidence exists to support the charges; conducts legal research; drafts complaints, motions and/or other legal proceedings; prepares a legal strategy; gathers and compiles evidence; identifies and subpoenas witnesses, records and other information required to present the case. Prepares and presents criminal and civil cases in the Navajo Nation and appellate courts; prepares legal memoranda, briefs, motions and other required documents for court presentation; collaborates with law enforcement agencies; and negotiates settlement with opposing parties. This position serves at the pleasure of the Chief Prosecutor.  This position is open until filled.

Prosecutor. Crownpoint, NM.  Represents the interest of the Navajo Nation in prosecuting individuals alleged to have violated provisions of the Navajo Nation Code; reviews citations, arrest sheets and other law enforcement documents and reports; interviews witnesses, gathers facts and data; determines if sufficient evidence exists to support the charges; conducts legal research; drafts complaints, motions and/or other legal proceedings; prepares a legal strategy; gathers and compiles evidence; identifies and subpoenas witnesses, records and other information required to present the case. Prepares and presents criminal and civil cases in the Navajo Nation and appellate courts; prepares legal memoranda, briefs, motions and other required documents for court presentation; performs extensive legal research.  This position serves at the pleasure of the Chief Prosecutor.  This position is open until filled.

Click here for last week’s job announcements!

Materials re: Opposition to Proposed U.S. v. Michigan Consent Decree

Lots of lawyers making money on what appears to be utterly farcical litigation.

Here are the updated materials in United States v. Michigan (W.D. Mich.):

Prior post with the details of the consent decree here.

Here are materials in an interlocutory (?) appeal on whether the amici can formally intervene in the case (there is a federal brief, joined by the four tribes who signed onto the consent decree, that is sealed):

Burt Lake Band Attempting to Re-open Federal Recognition Suit

Here are the new materials in Burt Lake Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians v. Haaland (D.D.C.):

63-1 Burt Lake Motion

Docket No. 64: MINUTE ORDER. Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and the law presumes that “a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction.” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994); see also Gen. Motors Corp. v. EPA, 363 F.3d 442, 448 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (“As a court of limited jurisdiction, we begin, and end, with an examination of our jurisdiction.”). Subject matter jurisdiction may not be waived, and “courts may raise the issue sua sponte.” NetworkIP, LLC v. FCC, 548 F.3d 116, 120 (D.C. Cir. 2008), quoting Athens Cmty. Hosp., Inc. v. Schweiker, 686 F.2d 989, 992 (D.C. Cir. 1982). Indeed, a federal court must raise the issue because it is “forbidden… from acting beyond [its] authority, and ‘no action of the parties can confer subject-matter jurisdiction upon a federal court.'” Id., quoting Akinseye v. Dist. of Columbia, 339 F.3d 970, 971 (D.C. Cir. 2003). In connection with the 63 Motion to Rule Upon Constitutional Claims and For Permanent Injunction, then, plaintiff must show cause by January 6, 2023 why the question of the validity of the proposed rule would be ripe at this time, and why the Court has subject matter jurisdiction to consider the constitutional issues when there is no live controversy before it. The 2015 rule has been vacated but its replacement has not yet been promulgated, so plaintiff must explain why it is not simply seeking an advisory opinion. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Amy Berman Jackson on 12/23/2022. (lcabj2) (Entered: 12/23/2022)

65 Burt Lake Response

66 Interior Response

Prior post here.

Emily Harwell on the Effects of McGirt

Emily N. Harwell has published “Judicial Discretion Across Jurisdictions: McGirt’s Effects on Indian Offenders in Oklahoma” in the Cornell Law Review. PDF.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Here is the abstract:

Oklahoma’s exercise of criminal jurisdiction over crime committed on tribal reservations remained unchecked until 2020. In McGirt v. Oklahoma, the Supreme Court held that the Muscogee Creek Nation’s reservation had in fact never been disestablished and remains in existence today. In doing so, the Court restored criminal prosecution authority to tribal and federal courts. McGirt received praise throughout the United States from tribal nations and federal Indian Law practitioners for Justice Gorsuch’s strong affirmation of the Muscogee Creek’s sovereignty over its reservation and the honoring of treaties made between the United States and the Muscogee Creek Nation. Similarly situated tribes in Eastern Oklahoma including the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw have already joined the Muscogee Creek Nation in asserting the changes that McGirt brings.

In the wake of this change, legal and political discussion has centered around practical matters: Does the Tribe have adequate resources for managing criminal jurisdiction within its reservation? Will the increase in cases overload the federal court system? The question of how the change in prosecutorial authority will affect Native American criminal defendants has yet to be asked, though. This Note assesses the effects of McGirt on the sentencing of Native Americans who commit crimes on a reservation in Oklahoma. Oklahoma state court judges exercise discretion in areas of sentencing different from federal court judges. Existing empirical studies suggest federal sentencing produces harsher, lengthier sentences than state courts. By comparing Oklahoma and federal court sentencing data, this study attempts to answer whether McGirt‘s celebration of tribal sovereignty is simultaneously a devastating blow to Native American criminal defendants committing crimes on tribal reservations in Oklahoma.

Buena Vista Rancheria Brings Federal Common Law Nuisance Action against Surface Lands Strip Mining Company

Here is the complaint in Buena Vista Rancheria of the Me-Wuk Indians v. Pacific Coast Building Products Inc. (E.D. Cal.):

Friday Job Announcements

To post an open Indian law or leadership job to Turtle Talk, send all of the following information to indigenous@law.msu.edu

In the email body:

A typed brief description of the position which includes

  • Position title
  • Location (city, state)
  • Main duties
  • Closing date
  • Any other pertinent details, such as a link to the application
  • An attached PDF job announcement or link to the position description

Environmental Law Institute

Project Manager, Climate Judiciary Project. Washington D.C. As a part of the Climate Judiciary Project (CJP) you will be involved in fostering a better understanding of climate science and the law in the judicial community through educational programs. To do this you will engage with diverse constituencies of scientists, judges, and policy experts. You will serve as the project manager focusing on operational planning, relationship management, web content management, and project evaluation, reporting, and financial tracking. Application Deadline: 3/1/2023.

Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP

Legislative Policy Advisor. Washington, DC. Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP, a national law firm dedicated to promoting and defending the interests of Indian tribal governments and organizations, seeks a Legislative Policy Advisor to work in its Washington, DC office. This position is open until filled. Please see the Job Announcement for more information and how to apply.

Earthjustice

Litigation Paralegal, Northwest. Seattle, WA. This position provides paralegal and administrative support for the litigation and advocacy activities of the Northwest Regional office. The Litigation Paralegal will provide litigation paralegal services, including legal advocacy assistance, factual research, and drafting; assist in case development and management; and help ensure the overall effectiveness of litigation support in the Northwest Regional Office, including developing policies and best practices for litigation support. Apply By Date: Feb 12, 2023.

Federal Public Defender Office of New Mexico

Legal Assistant. Albuquerque, NM. Main duties are varied and are listed on the first page of the job announcement. Closing date for posting is 3/5/2023.

Administrative Assistant. Albuquerque, NM. Main duties are varied and are listed on the first page of the job announcement.  This is for a focus in Personnel and Human Resources. Closing date for posting is 3/5/2023.

Rothstein Donatelli

Summer Associate 2023. Tempe, AZ. This is a 40 hour/week in-office position with remote work flexibility, as needed and approved upon hire. Applicants must have completed 1L or 2L year by Summer 2023. Excellent research abilities. Excellent written and oral communication skills. Indian law coursework and work experience is preferred but not required. Closing Date: February 10, 2023. 

The Wilderness Society

Director of Government Relations. Washington, DC. The Wilderness Society (TWS) is seeking two highly skilled and experienced Government Relations professionals in Washington, DC, to lead our engagement with Congress and the administration on our core issue portfolios: climate and energy, equitable access to nature and land conservation. A successful candidate for these positions will be an experienced strategist and skilled manager who brings political savvy and creative thinking to achieving legislative and administrative policy and program goals. Application Deadline: February 26, 2023.

Chippewa-Cree Tribe TERO Department.

RFP for Legal Services. Remote with occasional meetings. The Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy Montana is soliciting bids from qualified attorney/lawyer to provide professional legal services with experience in employment law, TERO, and tribal employment ordinances/codes. This is a legal services contract for TERO located on the Rocky Boy’s Reservation. The Attorney shall be primarily responsible for providing professional legal services for FY23 starting January 31, 2023, and running through January 31, 2023, to the TERO Office. The legal services will be performed both off-Reservation and within the exterior boundaries of the Rocky Boy’s Reservation. The Attorney shall provide professional legal services to the Chippewa Cree Tribe/TERO department concerning review and enforcement of the TERO Ordinance, including but not limited to revisions to the ordinance, policies, and plans as needed; general advice/support to the TERO office; creation of vendor’s license, cease and desist orders, enforcement of compliance, violations, and fines. The closing date for this posting is January 31, 2023 or until filled.

The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan

Senior Associate General Counsel. Mt. Pleasant, MI. Under the supervision of General Counsel, represent the tribe in all judicial and administrative forums and in the tribe’s governmental and business relations with all persons, organizations and entities, public and private, excluding representation performed by the General Counsel. Posting Date: 1/09/2023-Open Until Filled.

Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Assistant General Counsel. Watersmeet, MI. Under the direction of the General Counsel, the Assistant General Counsel provides legal services and representation to the Tribe, its agencies, and its enterprises in a broad variety of matters, including contract law, employment law, administrative law, real estate matters, Indian gaming regulation, taxation, tribal jurisdiction, environmental law, cultural resource preservation, child welfare, and legislation. Lac Vieux Desert is hiring two candidates for this position. Open until filled.

Bay Mills Indian Community

Attorney. Brimley, MI. The attorney works under the direct supervision of the President of the Bay Mills Indian Community and Bay Mills Community College, and provides strategic legal advice as counsel for and on behalf of the Bay Mills Indian Community, and all its governmental and commercial entities to advance compliance with applicable laws, to appear as such before all federal, state and tribal courts, tribunals, departments, agencies and committees of Congress and the State legislatures, including services in connection with tribal claims against the United States. Work directly in developing tribal legislation, public policy, regulations, and represent Bay Mills in cases related to federal Indian law, the Indian Child Welfare Act, Indian gaming, environmental law, or natural resource law. Closing Date: Open Until Filled.

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

Code Enterprise Attorney. La Conner, WA. We are seeking an energetic attorney, preferably with five or more years of experience as in-house counsel to a tribal or other indigenous government. A candidate’s qualifications must include excellent written, oral, research and analytical skills, strong interpersonal communication and negotiation skills, and an ability to work hard and thrive in an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural environment; bring flexibility to a fast-paced and dynamic work setting; enjoy and excel at creative problem solving; and have demonstrated a commitment to working with Native or other minority communities. Qualified applicants must have experience or demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following: drafting and revising statutes, including leading a collaborative interdisciplinary drafting team; contract and grant document review and drafting; and tribal economic development enterprises. Open until filled.

Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians

Assistant Attorney General. Alpine, CA. The Assistant Attorney General will work in the Office of the Attorney General under the direct supervision of the Attorney General for the Viejas Band. The Assistant Attorney General will work with the Attorney General and Deputy Attorneys General to render legal services to the Viejas Band, including its government departments, enterprises, and elected officials.  Competitive salary depending on experience and comprehensive benefits. Open until filled.

Morongo Band of Mission Indians

Litigation Counsel. Banning, CA. Under general direction of In-House Counsel, the Litigation Counsel will be part of the Legal Department’s function of delivering legal counsel, advice, and support as the legal advisor to the Tribe, including the Tribal Council, General Membership, all tribal administrators and department heads, and various committees and commissions on litigation and other matters, including,  but not limited to, providing attorney services to the Morongo Cheehun ‘Evra – Office of Victims of Crime Program (OVC), funded by grants under the federal Office of Victims of Crime. The duties of the Litigation Counsel will be divided 60% to legal services to the tribal government and 40% to OVC. Opening until filled.

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians

Legislative Services Attorney. Harbor Springs, MI. The primary function of the Legislative Services Attorney is to serve the Tribal Council and provide legal advice in order to promote and protect Tribal Sovereignty, Tribal Self-sufficiency, and Tribal Self-determination. The Legislative Services Attorney shall interact and communicate with Tribal Council and Tribal Council committees, representatives from other tribes, local, state, and federal units of government when necessary; and in some cases, the Tribal citizens, while maintaining effective cooperative relationships. The Legislative Services Attorney will provide representation of Tribal Council; provide advice and analysis of the Tribal Constitution, Tribal Codes, state and federal laws and regulations; negotiate and draft legal, business and State/Tribal documents; and draft Resolutions, Statutes, Certified Motions, policies, procedures, Legislative Directives, Declarations, Special Tributes, agreements, proposals, legal memorandums, Memorandums of Understandings (MOU), Leases and contracts for the Tribe and Tribal Council. Open until filled.

Click here for last week’s job announcements!

Fort & Smith on ICWA During the Brackeen Years

Forthcoming in the Juvenile & Family Court Journal

From 2017 through 2022, while the Indian Child Welfare Act (“ICWA”) was under direct constitutional attack from Texas, state courts around the country continued hearing appeals on ICWA with virtually no regard for the decision making happening in Haaland v. Brackeen in the federal courts. For practitioners following or working on both sets of cases, this duality felt surreal, as they practiced their daily work under an existential threat. The data in this article draws from the authors’ previous publications providing annual updates on ICWA appeals, and now includes cases through 2021. It provides a description of appellate data trends across this time period, as well as for each year, while also highlighting key appellate decisions from jurisdictions across the country. Perhaps what this article demonstrates more than any single thing is the amount that ICWA is a part of child welfare practitioners’ daily lives now, in a way that will be difficult to upend, regardless of the Supreme Court’s ultimate decision.

This is particularly recommended for practitioners–we’ve taken the data from all our past articles to put them into one. One of our charts still needs a labels fix from our data expert, Alicia Summers, but otherwise the article has undergone peer review and will be published soon.

Biden Administration Repeals the 2020 Roadless Rule in the Tongass

https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2023/01/25/biden-harris-administration-finalizes-protections-tongass-national

Repealing the 2020 Alaska Roadless Rule, which exempted the Tongass from roadless protections, will return the inventoried roadless areas of the forest to management under the 2001 Roadless Rule, which prohibits road construction, reconstruction, and timber harvest in inventoried roadless areas, with limited exceptions. USDA determined that the underlying goals and purposes of the 2001 Roadless Rule continue to be a critical part of conserving the many resources of the Tongass, especially when it comes to the values that roadless areas represent for local, rural communities, Alaska Native peoples, and the economy of Southeast Alaska.

WaPo coverage here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2023/01/25/tongass-forest-protections-alaska-biden/

“The Tongass Roadless Rule is important to everyone,” said Joel Jackson, president of the Organized Village of Kake, which sits on the forest edge on an island south of the capital, Juneau.

“The old-growth timber is a carbon sink, one of the best in the world,” Jackson said in a statement. “It’s important to OUR WAY OF LIFE — the streams, salmon, deer, and all the forest animals and plants.”

Tribal leaders and Native organizers made a huge push to get these protections back in place. According to the press release, the Administration received more than 112,000 comments during this rulemaking (that is a *lot* of comments), a majority of which were in support of this change.

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