University of Washington Symposium on the Restatement of the Law of American Indians

Just a reminder that early bird registration for the Symposium on the Restatement of the Law of American Indians closes on January 31. The program is packed with speakers and panelists from around the nation who participated in the development of the Restatement and will feature keynote presentations from Judge William Fletcher of the 9th Circuit and Justice Montoya Lewis from the Washington Supreme Court. Use the link below to register soon for the best rates.

Home – 34th Annual Indian Law Symposium: Restatement of the Law of American Indians (

39th Public Land Law Conference — Sept. 30 through Oct. 1

The full agenda and registration link is available here, and below is a teaser about the panel themes and some of the speakers’ recent work. It is approved by Montana for CLE credit and credits may be available for other states too. Registration is free for those not seeking CLE credit.

Opening Night – Sept 30

Offering the opening poetry reading on Thursday is Heather Cahoon, PhD, an award-winning poet and Assistant Professor of Native American Studies & Director of the American Indian Governance & Policy Institute at the University of Montana. Take a listen to this incredible Montana Public Radio interview with Cahoon and then peruse her work, Horsefly Dress: Poems.

Danna Jackson will deliver the opening keynote address. She is Senior Counselor to the Director at the U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management. Before receiving her appointment to the Department of Interior, Danna served as chief legal counsel to the State of Montana’s Department of Natural Resources and Conservation – the agency that manages Montana’s trust lands, waters, state forests, and conservation initiatives. She has spent the majority of her career in the public sector including as a federal prosecutor and a Hill staffer.

Day 2 Conference

Knowledge: Centering Tribes in Resource Management

Life: Defending the Right to Water

  • Bidtah Becker, Associate Attorney at the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority and former Director of the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources, recently co-authored this opinion piece in the Washington Post, highlighting federal obligations to invest in infrastructure to provide clean drinking water for tribal nations.
  • This winter, Jason Anthony Robison, Professor of Law at the University of Wyoming College of Law, and a national expert working at the intersection of water and Indian law, published this article with the Utah Law Review, Indigenizing Grand Canyon.
  • Dylan Hedden-Nicely, Associate Professor of Law & Director of the Native American Law Program at the University of Idaho College of Law, is well-known for his research and publications regarding the effect of climate change on Native American water rights.

Dr. Len Necefer, Founder of Natives Outdoors, will present the Midday Address on Friday. If you are a backcountry winter recreationist, you won’t want to miss Episode 17 of The Fifty Project, in which Dr. Necefer skins up Mt. Tukuhnikivatz with Cody Townsend to teach us about the cultural significance of this mountain to the Navajo Nation.

Voices: Amplifying the Next Generation of Environmental Advocacy in Climate Change

  • Nate Bellinger, Senior Staff Attorney at Our Children’s Trust, and Grace Gibson-Snyder, one of the Youth Plaintiffs in Held v. State of Montana, have exciting news to share: in a recent ruling, Judge Kathy Seeley ruled that the case can proceed to trial on the constitutionality of Montana’s fossil fuel energy policies and recognized that the youth plaintiffs are experiencing significant impacts from the climate crisis, including economic, cultural, physical, and mental health injuries. 
  • Jasilyn Charger, a Land Protector and speaker with Earth Guardians, is most well-known for their organizing at Standing Rock. Get to know Jasilyn before the conference by reading her story on Our Climate Voices.
  • Randall Abate, Professor & Rechnitz Family Endowed Chair in Marine and Environmental Law and Policy at Monmouth University, spoke about his book, Climate Change and the Voiceless at a Spring 2020 conference.

Last, but not least: We’re very excited that Supaman, an award-winning Apsáalooke hip hop artist and fancy dancer, will be offering the Closing Address & Performance of the Conference. He has won awards such as the North American Indigenous Image Award for best hip hop, a Native American Music Award for best gospel, the Aboriginal Peoples Music Choice Awards for best video, and an MTV Video Music Award for Best Fight Against the System. If you’re not familiar with Supaman’s music and performance, check it out, and watch this interview on spreading Good Medicine!

2021 Inaugural Morelli Colloquy — Belonging and Difference: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Here. My presentation materials are here: Anishinaabe Gaganoozh Comic Book.


Welcome and Introductions | 9:00-9:15 a.m.

Opening Keynote Conversation | 9:15-10:15 a.m.

Break | 10:15-10:30 a.m.

First Panel | 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Lunch Break | 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Second Panel | 1:00-2:30 p.m.

  • Sahar Aziz (Rutgers Law School)
  • Chandra Frank (University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Khary Oronde Polk  (Amherst College, Departments of Black Studies and Sexuality, Women’s & Gender Studies)

Closing Conversation | 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Planning Committee

Emily Houh
University of Cincinnati College of Law
Co-founder, Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Kristin Kalsem
University of Cincinnati College of Law
Co-founder, Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice

Sunnie Rucker-Chang
University of Cincinnati College of Arts & Sciences
Assistant Professor of Slavic, Director of European Studies

2021 FBA [Virtual] Indian Law Conference — April 8-9, 2021

Details here.


Thursday, April 8

11:30 am – 1:00 pm ET | Opening Session

  • Opening Prayer & Invocation
    • Whitney Gravelle, Bay Mills Indian Community Chairwoman
  • Welcome Remarks
    • W. West Allen, Federal Bar Association President
    • Ann Tweedy, Indian Law Section Chair
  • Keynote Presentation
    • Rep. Sharice Davids, U.S. Congress – 3rd District of Kansas
  • Lawrence R. Baca Lifetime Achievement Awards Presentation

1:30 – 3:00 pm ET | Concurrent Panels

Sports Betting: Exploring a New Landscape in Tribal Gaming
This panel will discuss recent developments in tribal sports betting, highlighting key regulatory and business considerations. Attendees will learn about sports betting across different jurisdictions, including what tribes have done to work with state legislatures to legalize and implement sports betting, and what is and isn’t permitted in different jurisdictions. Attendees will also learn about the financial outlook for sports betting.

  • Brie Coyle Jones, Partner, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP
  • Kathryn Isom-Clause, Vice Chair, National Indian Gaming Commission*
  • Jeremy Patterson, Partner, Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP
  • Aaron Payment, Chairperson, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians

The Path to the Bench
In the history of the United States, only four Native Americans have been appointed to the federal bench which includes only one Native American woman. As a new administration seeks out candidates to fill vacancies in the federal courts, Native American practitioners must seek out these opportunities to increase the Native American perspective and presence in the judiciary. This panel will explore the importance of racial diversity on the federal bench, the path to appointment, and the measures and resources available to candidates.

  • Lawrence Baca, Former Deputy Director, Office of Tribal Justice, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Hon. Diane Humetewa, United States District Court for the District of Arizona
  • Rion Ramirez, CEO, Port Madison Enterprises
  • Forrest Tahdooahnippah, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

3:30 – 5:00 pm ET | Concurrent Panels

Tribes, Public Lands, and Environmental Issues
This panel will discuss current and future challenges for tribes relating to public lands and environmental issues, including regulatory changes under the prior administration and outlook for the future.

  • Amy Cordalis, Principal, Ridges to Riffles Conservation Fund
  • Nada Culver, Deputy Director, Policy and Programs, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior*
  • Michael-Corey F. Hinton, Attorney, Drummond Woodsum
  • Gussie Lord, Managing Attorney of Tribal Partnerships, Earth Justice

McGirt: The Aftermath
This panel will discuss developments in Oklahoma and in Washington, D.C., following the Supreme Court’s historic decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma. Attendees will learn about what the Muscogee (Creek) Nation has experienced since the decision, including hearing from Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill himself (a “Time 100” most influential person for 2020!). This panel will discuss topics of great import to all Indian law attorneys – self-governance, VAWA, MMIP, and inter-sovereign relations.

  • Jonodev Chaudhuri, Partner & Practice Chair, Quarels & Brady LLP; Ambassador, Muscogee (Creek) Nation
  • David Hill, Principal Chief, Muscogee (Creek) Nation
  • Mary Katherine Nagle, Partner, Pipestem & Nagle, P.C.
  • Trent Shores, Former U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Oklahoma*

Friday, April 9

11:30 am – 1:00 pm ET | Ethics Session
Attendees will learn about the ethical rules guiding who is their client and obligations, if any, to other, related parties.  Attendees will also receive guidance on what the no contact rule is and its implications for the practice of Indian law.  Finally, following competition of this panel, attendees will be familiar with the professional rules guiding legal advice given under time pressure.  While the panel is targeted toward lawyers working for tribal governments or with tribal clients, all lawyers will receive helpful ethical guidance on the general practice of law.

  • Bree R. Black Horse, Attorney, Kilpatrick Townsend
  • Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner, S.J. Quinney School of Law, University of Utah
  • Alex Pearl, Professor, University of Oklahoma College of Law
  • Rachel B. Saimons, Attorney, Kilpatrick Townsend

1:30 – 3:00 pm ET | Concurrent Panels

Civil Rights – Protections for Our LGBTQ2S Communities
The civil rights of LGBTQ2S Native Americans are in need of recognition and protection. This panel examines the development of legislation and policy for these communities at the tribal, state, and federal level.

  • Delegate Nathaniel Brown, Navajo Nation
  • Kori Cordero, Associate General Counsel, Yurok Tribe
  • Felipa De Leon & Monique “Muffie” Mousseau, Spirit Community Members, Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Red Dawn Foster, 27th District, South Dakota State Senate

COVID Lessons Learned
This panel will discuss lessons learned from COVID from the tribal court perspective and general tribal governance perspective.

  • Ethel Branch, Member, Kanji & Katzen PLLC
  • Martina Gast, Attorney, Pipestone Law
  • Hon. Allie Maldonado, Chief Judge, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Tribal Court
  • Daniel Press, Senior Counsel, Van Ness Feldman LLP
  • Kaighn Smith, Attorney, Drummond Woodsum

3:30 – 5:00 pm ET | Concurrent Panels

Developments in Criminal Law
This panel will discuss recent developments in criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country, including the United States v. Cooley and Nobles v. State, and will also discuss implications for MMIP.

  • Troy A. Eid, Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
  • Krystalyn Kinsel, Associate, Jenner & Block
  • Colette Routel, Professor of Law, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • April Youpee-Roll, Associate, Munger Tolles & Olson LLP

Toward a Brighter Future?
The Biden/Harris Administration: Priorities, Opportunities, and Challenges. What does the historic election of President Joseph R. Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris mean for the next four years and beyond?

  • Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, Deputy Solicitor, Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior*
  • Brian Newland, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior*
  • Raina Thiele, Founder & CEO, Thiele Strategies

*Pending Office Approval