Join the MSU Indigenous Law and Policy Center

The Michigan State University Indigenous Law and Policy Center (ILPC) and College of
Law seek entry-level and lateral candidates for full-time, tenure system faculty positions with
research and teaching interests related to federal Indian law, tribal law, or the international
human rights of Indigenous peoples.

A successful candidate will form an integral part of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center
community. This will include teaching, research, and participation in the Center’s
programming and external engagement.

An important part of the Center’s purpose is to educate Native law students and to train
lawyers prepared to work on behalf of tribes around the country, whether for tribal, federal,
or state governments, private law firms, or non-profit organizations. The Center also oversees
MSU law’s Indigenous Law Certificate Program which exists to prepare students to practice
Indigenous law by providing rigorous and comprehensive training in Indigenous law, policy,
and practice.

The Center hosts an annual Indigenous law conference and a yearly speaker series, both of
which bring speakers from around the country to discuss issues involving Indigenous justice
systems, tribal sovereignty, and self-determination. The ILPC also hosts Turtle Talk, the
leading blog on legal issues in Indian Country. In addition, the Center is affiliated with an
Indian law clinic at the Law College.

MSU encourages applications from and nominations of women, persons of color, veterans
and persons with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for
employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity,
national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.
Please email application materials, a letter of interest and cv, or nominations to Professor
Tiffani Darden, Co-Chair of Faculty Appointments Committee, dardent@law.msu.edu. More
information about the Law College can be found at http://www.law.msu.edu.

View the PDF here.

The Arizona Journal of Environmental Law and Policy – Call for Submissions

The Arizona Journal of Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law are taking submissions for upcoming issues. They are specifically seeking out articles and comments focused on indigenous issues and particularly the intersection of environmental/natural resource/energy/water law with federal Indian law and international Indigenous human rights law. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

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

Nevada Legal Services

Legal Secretary. Statewide, offices in Reno, Las Vegas, Carson City, Elko and Yerington, Nevada. Ability to file legal documents in court and converse with court personnel. Perform outreach and communicate with community partners as needed. Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with a diverse team. Ability to work independently, handle changes or unexpected events, and establish cordial working relationships with courts and administrative personnel, coworkers, service providers, and clients. Capability to work with low-income clients from diverse backgrounds, including clients with physical and mental disabilities and clients with limited English proficiency. Closing date:  Open until filled.

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP

Employment Law Attorney. Omaha, NE.  Seeking candidates with at least 5 years of Employment Law experience to join our Firm. The right candidate will have the opportunity to work on cases in a variety of areas including wrongful termination, discrimination and wage and hour matters, workers compensation, contracts, harassment claims, advising on HR policies, and compliance with the law relating to the formation and cessation of employee relationships. Open until filled.

Navajo Tribal Unity Authority

Associate Attorney. Fort Defiance, AZ. Provides legal guidance and advice involving various areas of law. Reviews, researches, interprets, and prepares both written and oral opinions on a wide variety of legal issues, pleadings, motions, discovery and stipulations. Drafts, reviews, and approves legal documents. Writes, develops and recommends company policy. Negotiates, prepares, and manages contracts related to construction projects, purchase power, finance, joint ventures and related utility service agreements. Performs other duties as assigned. Position is Open Until Filled.

Judicial Legal Aid

Staff Attorney. Wausau, WI. Maintain caseload on behalf of Native American clients in both civil and criminal matters in tribal court or arising under federal or tribal law. Civil case areas include Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), custody/placement, guardian ad litem (GAL), divorce, and estate planning; Educate and serve Native Americans statewide on areas of civil and criminal law; Participate in tribal court development, code drafting, and community education projects; and carry out training and back-up assistance to private attorneys. Open until filled.

Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Trust Services

Directorate of Environmental and Natural Resources Management. Lakewood, CO; Boise, ID; Albuquerque, NM. The Directorate ensures that appropriate measures and compliance are designed and implemented to improve land, wildlife, fire management, climate resilience, environmental, cultural and natural resources with proper relation between policy and operational activities. Closing Date: 10/23/2022.

Columbia Riverkeeper

Policy Director. Portland, OR, or Hood River, OR. This is a leadership position at an inclusive, effective, place-based organization. The right person would ideally have some legislative experience, a familiarity with clean water and clean energy issues in the Northwest, and experience working with or for Tribes. Closing date: October 20, 2022.

Berkey Williams LLP

Of Counsel. Davis, CA. Advocate for clients in a variety of practice areas, including ICWA, employment, healthcare, natural and cultural resource protection, land rights and acquisitions, water rights, and governance.  Includes drafting tribal codes, policies, and ordinances; litigation in state, federal and tribal courts; advocacy before administrative and legislative bodies; and conducting trainings on various topics for tribal leadership. Closing date October 14, 2022.

The Department of the Treasury’s Office of Tax Policy

Attorney-Advisor. Washington D.C. TLC attorney-advisors enjoy the privilege of shaping domestic tax matters (other than employee benefits, employment tax, and pension matters) with their experiences and perspectives as they consult with colleagues in the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to develop regulations and other administrative guidance under the Internal Revenue Code and offer their technical expertise to Congressional staff drafting tax legislation. Closing Date: October 3, 2022.

United States District Court, Western District of Washington

Social Security Law Clerk. Seattle, WA or Tacoma, WA. The law clerk in this position will work for the court on Social Security appeals and will perform legal research, draft reports and recommendations, proposed orders, and orders in consent cases. Open until filled.

Fort Lewis College

Assistant Professor of Political Science (tenure-track). Durango, CO. The primary responsibility for this position is teaching courses on constitutional law and criminal justice, and we strongly prefer candidates with experience and expertise regarding tribal law, tribal sovereignty, federal Indian law, and related topics. All applications received by October 16, 2022.

American Civil Liberties Union

Staff Attorney – Indigenous Justice, Racial Justice Program. New York, NY. Responsible for advancing multi-pronged strategies using litigation, legislative and policy advocacy, and public education to further RJP’s Indigenous Justice work, as well as the other programmatic priority areas described above. We welcome applications from both seasoned lawyers and junior attorneys who are seeking to develop and establish an expertise and leadership role in the field of Indigenous Justice. Open until filled.

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians

RFP – Native American Graphic Designer. Remote. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is soliciting RFPs for proposals from qualified individuals to provide Native American Graphic Design for the Front-Page of Citizen and Legislative Newsletters. Closing time for receipt: October 14, 2022.

Michigan State University College of Law

Assistant/Associate Professor Tenure System. East Lansing, MI. The College of Law invites applications for full-time, entry-level, tenure-track faculty positions. Curricular needs include contracts and commercial law, family law, health care law and policy with an emphasis on inequities in public and private health care systems, race and the law, criminal law, trusts and estates, international law, and constitutional law. Open until filled.

Associate Professor – Tenure System. East Lansing, MI. The College of Law invites applications from entry-level or lateral candidates for the inaugural 1855 Professorship in the Law of Democracy. This full-time, tenure-system position will focus on legal inequities in the democratic process. Open until filled.

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor Tenure System. East Lansing, MI. The College of Law seeks entry-level and lateral candidates with research and teaching interests related to Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law, or the International Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples who will also affiliate with the Law College’s Indigenous Law and Policy Center. Open until filled.

Specialist – Teacher-Fixed Term. East Lansing, MI. The College of Law Special Projects Coordinator will teach in the Global Food Law Program, develop new areas of curricular needs, recruit instructors and an advisory board, develop a web blog and social media outreach plan, assist Advancement with fund-raising efforts as needed, and oversee the application for a partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Open until filled.

Senior Director of Development / Development Officer III/S. East Lansing, MI. Michigan State University College of Law seeks an accomplished, strategically minded, results-oriented development professional to serve as Senior Director of Development. In partnership with a dynamic dean, the Senior Director will plan, implement, lead, and provide strategic direction to a program that includes major gift fundraising, leadership annual giving and alumni engagement. The deadline to apply is Sunday, October 9, 2022.

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.

Senior Programs and Projects Specialist. Window Rock, AZ.  Under the supervision of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General will provide high level assistance to the Office of the Attorney General/Department of Justice (DOJ) with program/project management related to DOJ’s work with Fiscal Recovery Funds (FRF) matters. Assists in analyzing, developing, and achieving short and long term goals and objectives; establishes performance criteria; and plans, evaluates and improves program delivery; Attends a variety of meetings related to FRF/ARPA; assists OAG with preparation for meetings and events; coordinates program activities and communications with other Navajo Nation offices and the general public. Administers FRF funding for DOJ in compliance with FRF and American Rescue Plan Act requirements, policies and procedures under federal and Navajo Nation law. Assists in development of budget. Assists with procurement of goods and services pertaining to DOJ’s FRF-related work; reviews contracts; troubleshoots issues with procurement and vendors; monitors expenditures; prepares funding reports.  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.

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.

Prosecutor. Window Rock, 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.

Prosecutor. Window Rock, AZ.  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!

South Dakota Federal Court Rejects Federal Effort to End Suit against Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe

Here are the materials in Roeman v. United States (D.S.D.):

2022 Native Language Summit

Join the Bureau of Indian Education in Oklahoma City on October 4th for the 2022 Native Language Summit. Experts will be leading discussions on integrating Native language instruction into educational settings and strengthening community consultation around Native languages.

Register here.

Quechan Tribe and Rosette Firm Largely Prevail against Williams & Cochrane Firm

First, we want to express our deepest sympathy to the family and colleagues of Rob Rosette, who recently walked on far too young. Rob’s impact on Indian country and the practice of Indian law cannot be understated. He was a true giant in the field. Over the years, Rob and his firm hired many of our alums from Michigan State’s Indigenous Law and Policy Center, and for that we are grateful. He will be missed.

Here are the newest materials in Williams & Cochrane LLP v. Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Reservation (S.D. Cal.):

322-1 Rosette MSJ

328-1 W&C MSJ against Rosette

329-1 Quechan MSJ

330-1 W&C MSJ against Quechan

343 Rosette Response to 328

347 Quechan Response to 330

348 W&C Response to 322

349 W&C Response to 329

350 Rosette Reply in Support of 322

352 W&C Reply in Support of 328

353 Quechan Reply in Support of 329

354 W&C Reply in Support of 330

375 DCT Order on Summary Judgment Motions

Prior post here.

The End of a Michigan Law Allowing Scientists to Dig Up “Aboriginal Inhabitants”

Came across this short note in Indian Talk, a 1973 newsletter by and about Michigan Indians and a precursor to the original Turtle Talk, referencing a federal lawsuit filed to have Michigan public law 750.160 declared unconstitutional. That law prohibited Dr. Frankenstein and others from digging up graves, but granted an exception to Indiana Jones in case he found some Indian bones:

Shay Elbaum at the Michigan law library found a 1974 law repealing the part about “aboriginal inhabitants.”

Can’t find a record of the lawsuit, however. It probably went away when the state legislature repealed the exception.

Montana Federal Court Will Decide Whether Nonmember Lease at Blackfeet Was Cancelled, Rejecting Nonmember Ploy to Declare Bankruptcy to Avoid a Judgment

Here are the materials in Eagle Bear Inc. v. Blackfeet Indian Nation (D. Mont.):

51 Eagle Bear 2d Motion for Injunction

54 Blackfeet Opposition

57 Eagle Bear Motion to Vacate

59 Blackfeet Opposition to Motion to Vacate

65 Blackfeet Brief on Automatic Stay Issue

66 Eagle Bear Brief on Automatic Stay Issue

85 Blackfeet Notice re BIA Filing

85-3 US Motion to Dismiss

87 DCT Order

CA9 Order Granting Bankruptcy Stay

Prior post here.

Ninth Circuit briefs here.