Ninth Circuit Decides Winnemucca Indian Colony v. United States [leadership dispute]

Here is the unpublished opinion in Winnemucca Indian Colony v. United States.

Briefs here.

Ninth Circuit Briefs in Winnemucca Indian Colony v. United States [leadership dispute]


Opening Brief

Appellee Brief


Oral argument:

Lower court materials here.

MHA Nation Member Wins Challenge to Secretarial Election Disenfranchising Off-Reservation Voters

Here are the materials in Hudson v. Zinke (D.D.C.):

32 Amended Complaint

35-1 Hudson MSJ


40 Hudson Reply

42 US Reply

53 DCT Order



New Fletcher Paper: “The Rise and Fall of the Ogemakaan”

Please check out my new paper, “The Rise and Fall of the Ogemakaan,” now available on SSRN. Here is the abstract:

Anishinaabe (Odawa, Bodewadmi, and Ojibwe) legal and political philosophy is buried under the infrastructure of modern self-determination law and policy. Modern Anishinaabe tribes are rough copies of American governments. The Anishinaabeg (people) usually choose their ogemaag (leaders) through an at-large election process that infects tribal politics with individualized self-interest. Those elected leaders, what I call ogemaakaan (artificial leaders) preside over modern governments that encourage hierarchy, political opportunism, and tyranny of the majority. While modern tribal governments are extraordinary successes compared to the era of total federal control, a significant number of tribes face intractable political disputes that can traced to the philosophical disconnect from culture and tradition.

Anishinaabe philosophy prioritizes ogemaag who are deferential and serve as leaders only for limited purposes and times. Ogemaag are true representatives who act only when and how instructed to do so by their constituents. Their decisions are rooted in cultural and traditional philosophies, including for example Mino-Bimaadiziwin (the act of living a good life), Inawendewin (relational accountability), Niizhwaaswii Mishomis/Nokomis Kinoomaagewinawaan (the Seven Gifts the Grandfathers or Grandmothers), and the Dodemaag (clans). I offer suggestions on how modern tribal government structures can be lightly modified to restore much of this philosophy.

Nooksack Update [Updated 2/17/20]

Here is “A woman took a stand against tribal disenrollment and paid for it” in High Country News.

Updates in pending litigation….

Doucette v. Bernhardt (W.D. Wash.):

Doucette v. Bernhardt 45. 1-29-20 Rule 62.1 Motion for Indicative Ruling on Plaintiffs’ Rule 60(b) and 15(a)(2) Motions

Doucette v. Bernhardt 46-1. 1-29-20 Exhibit A

Doucette v. Bernhardt 46-2. 1-29-20 Exhibit B

Doucette v. Bernhardt 46-3. 1-29-20 Exhibit C

Doucette v. Bernhardt 46-4. 1-29-20 Exhibit D

Doucette v. Bernhardt Ninth Circuit 8. 1-29-20 Notice of Rule 62.1 Motion for Indicative Ruling on Plaintiffs’ Rule 60(b) and 15(a)(2) Motions

Rabang v. Kelly (W.D. Wash.):

Rabang v. Kelly 175. 1-29-20 Notice of Rule 62.1 Motion for Indicative Ruling on Plaintiffs’ Rule 60(b) and 15(a)(2) Motions

Rabang v. Kelly Ninth Circuit 42. 1-29-20 Notice of Rule 62.1 Motion for Indicative Ruling on Plaintiffs’ Rule 60(b) and 15(a)(2) Motions


Tribe Response to Motion

U.S. Response

Nooksack Federal/State Litigation Update

Tageant v. Ashby (state court tort suit removed to federal court)







Adams v. Elfo (federal court habeas corpus suit)


Adams v. Dodge (state court tort suit)


Doucette v. Zinke (federal APA suit)


Update in San Pasqual Band Membership Suits

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

44 second Amended Complaint

46-1 US Motion to Dismiss

48 Response

49 Reply

50-1 Individual Defendants MTD

53 Response

59 DCT Order Dismissing SAC

62 Third Amended Complaint

68-1 US Motion to Dismiss

79 Response

83 Individual Defendants Reply

85 US Reply

98 DCT Order Dismissing Third Amended Complaint