November 9th, 2021 Live Stream: Cherokee Legal History Panel with J. Matthew Martin, Stacy Leeds, and Trey Adcock

Cherokee Legal History Panel with J. Matthew Martin, Stacy Leeds, and Trey Adcock.

Tuesday, November 9th at 6:00pm ET

Like most of our events, this event is free, but registration is required. Click here to RSVP for this event. Prior to the event the link required to attend will be emailed to registrants.

If you decide to attend and purchase the authors’ books, we ask that you purchase from Malaprop’s. When you do this you make it possible for us to continue hosting author events and you keep more dollars in our community. You may also support our work by purchasing a gift card or making a donation of any amount below. Thank you!

About the Seminar:

The first legal history of the first tribal court upends long-held misconceptions about the origins of Westernized tribal jurisprudence. This book demonstrates how the Cherokee people—prior to their removal on the Trail of Tears—used their judicial system as an external exemplar of American legal values, while simultaneously deploying it as a bulwark for tribal culture and tradition in the face of massive societal pressure and change. Extensive case studies document the Cherokee Nation’s exercise of both criminal and civil jurisdiction over American citizens, the roles of women and language in the Supreme Court, and how the courts were used to regulate the slave trade among the Cherokees. Although long-known for its historical value, the legal significance of the Cherokee Supreme Court has not been explored until now.

About the Speakers:

J. Matthew Martin is the first American Bar Association (ABA) Tribal Courts Fellow. In 2013 he retired after over a decade of service as an Associate Judge of the Cherokee Court, the Tribal Court for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. For over 25 years, Judge Martin has been Board Certified as a Specialist in Federal and State Criminal Law by the North Carolina State Bar. In the 1991 Term, at age 31, he argued Wade v. United States before the Supreme Court of the United States. Judge Martin has spoken nationally and internationally on issues ranging from federal Indian law to criminal law and the judicial process. He is published in multiple peer-reviewed periodicals.  

Judge Martin received a BA with Honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a JD from the UNC School of Law. He also holds a Ph.D. in Judicial Studies from the University of Nevada-Reno. He has taught law students as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the UNC and Elon Schools of Law. He is a long-time member of the faculty of the National Judicial College and former Secretary to the College’s Board of Trustees.

Judge Martin was honored as a T.C. Roberson High School “Graduate of Distinction” and received the “Franklin Flaschner Award” from the ABA’s National Conference of Specialized Court Judges as the nation’s outstanding specialized court judge in 2014. The Cherokee Supreme Court: 1823-1835 is his first book.

Trey Adcock (ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ, Citizen of Cherokee Nation), PhD, is an associate professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and the director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the University of North Carolina Asheville. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Center for Native Health and sits on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Cherokee Studies.

Stacy Leeds is Foundation Professor of Law and Leadership at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University. Leeds is Dean Emeritus, University of Arkansas School of Law (2011-2018) and the first Indigenous woman to lead a law school. Learn more at

MILS Discussion and Presentation with NYT Best-Selling Author of “Firekeeper’s Daughter” Monday, October 25th at 7:00pm EST

Michigan Indian Legal Services and Uniting Three Fires Against Violence present a discussion with New York Times Best-Selling Author, Angeline Boulley. The author of Firekeeper’s Daughter will present with special legal guests and discuss the book, domestic violence, and criminal jurisdiction on tribal lands. The discussion will provide an interesting dissection of the relevant topics, along with the book’s unique setting in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Audience members are encouraged to bring their questions.

Monday, October 25th, 2021 at 7:00pm ET

Hosted on MILS Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to watch our live event. Just login at and you can view with us.

Pre-Registration (optional) here

Free and open to all

Distinguished Panelists include:

Angeline Boulley, Author of Firekeeper’s Daughter

Jeff Davis, of Counsel with Barnes & Thornburg, LLP, former AUSA Western District of Michigan

Hon. Jocelyn K. Fabry, Chief Judge of the Sault Ste. Marie Tirbe of Chippewa Indians Tribal Court

Hon. Melissa L. Pope, Chief Judge of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potowatomi Tribal Court

Prof. Kirsten Matoy Carlson, Wayne State University Law School

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Free Virtual Programs

pdf version with working links

Indigenous Peoples’ Day – October 11th, 2021

This worldwide movement recognizes the history and contributions of Indigenous Peoples throughout the Americas. This year, we will honor those who never returned home from Indian Boarding Schools.

Free Virtual Programs:

12:00pm (CT) via Zoom – Get tickets on Eventbrite

Join us for an informational presentation for students about the Indian Boarding school era. There will be time for a short Q&A at the end of the presentation.

6:00pm (CT) via Zoom – Get tickets on Eventbrite

Join us for a presentation and discussion with guest speakers about Indian Boarding schools in North America. There will be a short Q&A at the end of the presentation

Presentation by:

Lauren van Schilfgaarde

Cochiti Pueblo

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Tribal Legal Development Clinic Director at UCLA School of Law

Voting Rights Webinar – October 5th, 2021

Addressing Barriers to Native American Voting Rights: A Tribal-Federal Roundtable Discussion

October 5th, 2021 | 3:00pm – 4:00pm EDT | Register now!

Please join us for a virtual roundtable discussion addressing the barriers to Native American voting rights.

Speakers include:

Sen. Ben Ray Luján, New Mexico

Sen. Jon Tester, Montana

Rep. Sharice Davids, Kansas

Chairman Timothy Nuvangyaoma, Hopi Tribe

Chairwoman Shelly Fyant, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

General Counsel Natasha Singh, Tanana Chiefs Conference

Please view the attached flyer for more details. Register now!

ABA: Free Juneteenth Webinar

Date: Today, June 19, 2020
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. EDT
Format: Free non-CLE Webinar
Joint Sponsors: ABA Diversity and Inclusion Center, ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, ABA Commission on Disability Rights, ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, ABA Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline, ABA Center for Public Interest Law, ABA Section of State and Local Government Law


  • Judy Perry Martinez (Welcome Remarks) – President, American Bar Association; Of Counsel, Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn
  • Paulette Brown (Moderator) – Past President, American Bar Association; Senior Partner and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Locke Lord LLP
  • James O. Goodwin – Attorney, Goodwin & Goodwin; Publisher, The Oklahoma Eagle
  • Dr. Karlos Hill – Department Chair and Associate Professor, African and African-American Studies, University of Oklahoma
  • Dr. Martha S. Jones – Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University
  • Calvin Schermerhorn – Professor of History, Arizona State University

Known as “Juneteenth,” June 19th commemorates the day that enslaved persons in Galveston, Texas, were notified about the Emancipation Proclamation–almost two and a half years after it was issued. They walked away from bondage in what is known as the “Second Independence Day.” This day has been celebrated for years since, and is recognized as a holiday in 47 of the 50 states.

While free in name, formerly enslaved Black people would be impacted by sharecropping and other systems and policies that sought to keep them in bondage and indebted. Many were terrorized when they attempted to leave plantations, including during and after Reconstruction.

Today, we see vestiges of slavery in the criminalization of Black people, in domestic terrorism, and in the deprivation of civil rights of Black people.

This webinar will feature speakers who will discuss Juneteenth, including its historical significance and its connection to racial inequities that we are witnessing in society today. They will discuss the potential of law and public policy to help Black people realize true freedom in this society.

Register Here 

NAICJA Webiner – McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court Oral Arguments: An analysis of the History, Law, and Arguments of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation Case

McGirt Flier v2

Date & Time: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 from 12:30 pm-2:00 PM MST (90) minutes.

Webinar Narrative: The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments on May 11, 2020 in McGirt v. Oklahoma, case #18-9526 (by telephone) involving the status of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation. Last year, the Court heard arguments on a nearly identical case in the Murphy matter. This decision could have enormous impact for Indian law, positive or negative. Come join us for a FREE webinar to hear tribal perspective as to the surrounding Muscogee cultural history, the jurisprudence of Indian lands in Oklahoma and thoughts and analysis of the oral arguments from the Muscogee Nation’s Supreme Court amicus brief advocate Riyaz Kanji.

Register Here:


Consultation Webinar Announcement

Defending Tribal Sovereignty: The Ongoing Battle Over “Meaningful Consultation” and Self-Governance Over Natural and Cultural Resources

May 23, 2018

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST

Non-CLE Webinar


(direct link:

The Dakota Access Pipeline, Bears Ears National Monument, de-listing of the gray wolf and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Grizzly Bear, and the Bureau of Land Management’s rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Indian land. These high-profile courtroom dramas are about more than the protection and use of natural resources: they encapsulate the ongoing struggle between tribes and federal agencies over the government’s obligation as trustee to engage in “meaningful consultation” about actions impacting Indian Country. These developments are just the latest in a centuries-long debate about the meaning of tribal sovereignty, and they offer an indigenous perspective into the promise of true environmental justice.

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