“Muskrat Textualism” Now Published in the Northwestern U. Law Review


The asbtract:

The Supreme Court decision McGirt v. Oklahoma, confirming the boundaries of the Creek Reservation in Oklahoma, was a truly rare case in which the Court turned back arguments by federal and state governments in favor of American Indian and tribal interests. For more than a century, Oklahomans had assumed that the reservation had been terminated and acted accordingly. But only Congress can terminate an Indian reservation, and it simply had never done so in the case of the Creek Reservation. Both the majority and dissenting opinions attempted to claim the mantle of textualism, but their respective analyses led to polar opposite outcomes.

Until McGirt, a “faint-hearted” form of textualism had dominated the Court’s federal Indian law jurisprudence. This methodology enables the Court to seek outcomes consistent with the Justices’ views on how Indian law “ought to be.” This Article labels this thinking Canary Textualism, named after the dominant metaphor used for decades to describe Indian law, the miner’s canary—a caged bird used to warn of toxic gases in a mine. Canary textualists treat Indians and tribes as powerless and passive subjects of federal law and policy dictated by Congress and the Supreme Court. Canary Textualism relies on confusion in the doctrinal landscape and fear of tribal powers to justify departures from settled law. The 1978 decision Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe, in which the Supreme Court stripped Indian tribes of critical law enforcement powers by judicial fiat, is the prototypical Canary Textualism case. Oliphant’s hallmark is the Court’s legal acknowledgment that Indian tribes are dependent on the federal government in light of centuries of precedents that presumed the racial inferiority of Indian people. This allowed the Court to quietly assume that tribal governments are inferior as well.

Scholars long have decried the Court’s Canary Textualism but have rarely offered a better theory. This Article attempts to fill that gap and to provide more certainty in federal Indian law textualist doctrine that will help preclude Canary textualist activism. A far better metaphor than the miner’s canary is that of the muskrat—the hero of the Anishinaabe origin story of the great flood, a lowly, humble animal that nevertheless took courageous and thoughtful action to save creation. Indians and tribes are no longer caged birds. Tribal governments are active participants in reservation governance. They are innovative and forward-thinking. Luckily, the McGirt decision exemplifies a new form of textualism, Muskrat Textualism, that acknowledges and respects tribal actions and advancement. Muskrat textualists accept tribal governments as full partners in the American polity. Muskrat textualists accept the relevant interpretative rules that govern federal Indian law where texts are ambiguous and where texts are absent or not controlling. As a result, Muskrat Textualism is also a superior form of textualism more generally, illustrating the proper role of the judiciary in constitutional law and statutory interpretation and ensuring more predictable and just Indian law adjudication.

This Article argues that McGirt—and its embrace of Muskrat Textualism—is a sea change in federal Indian law, and rightfully so. If that is the case, then cases like Oliphant should be reconsidered and tossed into the dustbin of history.

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Peebles Kidder Bergin & Robinson LLP

Associate Attorney. Rapid City, SD. Duties include: (1) Providing counsel and legal services to new and existing clients as well as representing clients in a professional and expedient manner; (2) Applying knowledge of legal procedures and previous cases to effectively counsel clients; (3) Conducting legal research by preparing legal memoranda and necessary pleadings required in all aspects of tribal, federal, and state litigation matters; (4) Draft agreements and analyze legal documents; (5) Complying with all court, state bar and inter-office policies and procedures; (6) Conducting legal research and gathering evidence, interpreting laws, rulings and regulations, and analyzing probable outcomes of cases using knowledge of legal precedents; (7) Applying knowledge of legal procedures and previous cases to effectively counsel clients; (8) Presenting evidence to defend clients and summarize cases; and (9) Negotiating settlements. Please see the position description for more information. This position is open until filled. Interested candidates should send a resume and cover letter, writing sample, professional references, and law school transcripts (if graduated less than 5 years ago) to: Robert Frazer, Chief Operating Officer rfrazer@ndnlaw.com.

Kanji & Katzen, PLLC

Associate Attorney. Seattle, WA; Ann Arbor, MI; or remote. Our nationwide legal practice focuses on the representation of tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal members.  Ideal candidates will have a keen interest in and knowledge of environmental and natural resources law, in addition to federal Indian law.  However, prior experience in the fields of Indian and/or environmental law are not pre-requisites to employment.  Applicants should have at least 2 years of litigation experience after a judicial clerkship or law school.  The firm offers competitive compensation and benefit packages, and an opportunity to hone advocacy skills in a wide variety of interesting settings. To apply, please send by email a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, a writing sample, and references, to employment@kanjikatzen.com.  We prefer to receive the application documents combined into a single pdf file. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please contact Phil Katzen at pkatzen@kanjikatzen.com. The position is open until filled.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

2022 Summer Associate. San Francisco, CA. LCHB summer associates work alongside partners and associates in a variety of roles. As a summer associate at LCHB, you will gain valuable experience in legal research and writing and will also have the opportunity to attend court hearings and depositions and assist in conferences with clients, witnesses, and opposing counsel. 2Ls will be considered. Ideal candidates must demonstrate excellent research, writing and analytical skills, along with above average grades. Commitment to public interest strongly preferred. Applications should include a cover letter, resume, transcript, writing sample, and references. To apply, send your application materials to the attention of Michelle Reardon, Recruiting Coordinator, at mreardon@lchb.com. Apply here by February 10th, 2022.

The Catawba Nation

Summer 2022 InternshipRock Hill, SC; Remote. Interns will assist the Nation’s Legal Department by researching pertinent issues, attending meetings, and drafting ordinances, memoranda, and policies. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, interns will be asked to work remotely. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample, and law school transcript by January 30th, 2022 to Lydia Locklear, Deputy Tribal Attorney, Lydia.locklear@catawba.com.

Wisconsin Judicare, Inc.

Winter 2022 Staff Attorney – Criminal and Civil Tribal Court. Wausau, WI. Qualified applicants willing to work remotely in or near the service area are encouraged to apply. Duties include: (1) Maintaining 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 (ICW), custody/placement, guardian ad litem (GAL), divorce, estate planning; (2) Educating and serving Native Americans statewide on areas of civil and criminal law; (3) Participating in tribal court development, code drafting and community education projects; and (4) Carrying out training and back-up assistance to private attorneys. Please see the position description for more information. Submit resume, references, and writing sample to: Mary Jo Nyenhuis, Executive Secretary, Wisconsin Judicare, Inc., P.O. Box 6100, Wausau, WI 54402-6100, info@judicare.org.

The Mescalero Apache Tribe

Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Mescalero, NM. Duties include: (1) Overseeing the operation of the Tribal Accounting Department; (2) Assisting the Tribe in developing general fund budgets; (3) Ensuring that internal controls are in place and followed; (4) Overseeing operation of several Tribal business entities; (5) Preparing financial presentations for the Tribal Council; and (6) Ensuring that the Tribe’s financial resources, rights and interests are protected and preserved. The position is opened until filled. The Tribal Employment Application can be found at www.mescaleroapachetribe.com. Applicants should attach a resume or curriculum vitae to their Applications. Applicants with questions can email agandara-diaz@mescaleroapachetribe.com or mlapaz@mescaleroapachetribe.com.  

Tanana Chiefs Conference

General Counsel. Fairbanks, AK. Duties include: (1) Performing fiduciary duties exclusive to TCC; (2) Representing Legal Department at meetings and maintaining clear lines of communication to TCC President and Executive Board on a recurring basis; (3) Providing and overseeing legal representation to all levels of TCC Staff, Member Tribes and issues surrounding Member Tribes on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and tribal court proceedings and related matters; (4) Overseeing, developing, or reviewing required legal instruments (e.g. contracts, leases, etc), rendering legal opinions, providing management with legal guidance, and acting as expert consultant and legal advisor; (5) Preparing annual departmental budget and managing Legal Department; (6) Overseeing hiring, training, discipline, and employee evaluation; (7) Overseeing the coordination and technical guidance of TCC’s overall advocacy efforts including but not limited to reviewing advocacy documents, testimony, preparing for meetings and attending meetings on behalf of TCC and or member tribes; (8) Serving as TCC’s point of contact for all communication between TCC and HHS’ Office of the General Counsel; and (9) Management and processing of all FTCA / tort claims related activities. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should apply here.

Associate Counsel. Fairbanks, AK. Duties include: (1) Assisting the General Counsel in all matters assigned to the legal division; (2) Handling general legal matters; (3) Participating in the development of TCC policies, procedures and programs and providing continuing counsel and guidance on legal matters and on legal implications of all matters; (4) Representing the company in legal proceedings, and assisting with the coordination and management of outside counsel and litigation; (5) Interacting with members of TCC, the legal profession, officials of state and federal government, and others as assigned by the President or General Counsel; (6) Coordinating with management, auditors, accountants and other staff; (7) Meeting with clients including staff, member tribes and partners; (8) Assisting programs in negotiation and draft commercial, construction, contractual and other agreements; (9) Keeping informed of industry-specific regulations and ensuring that appropriate risk management strategies are in place; and (10) Providing legal advice and services on issues concerning the rights, obligations, and privileges of the organization and member tribes. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should apply here.

Bureau of Land Management Headquarters, Division of National Landscape Conservation System

Tribal Liaison Officer. Washington, D.C.. Duties include: (1) Conducting formal and informal tribal consultation; (2) Developing BLM national level tribal consultation and coordination policies, directives, and program guidance are consistent with Departmental policies; (3) Managing BLM’s Native American program; (4) Identifying and developing training to support implementation of bureau policies and to provide guidance for line officers; (5) Advising management regarding specific program requirements and responsibilities to Native American topics; (6) Coordinating with Tribal governments and other agencies including the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service (FS), etc. on Tribal affairs and other Native American issues; (7) Coordinating with the Assistant Directors, BLM States, the BIA, the Solicitor’s Office, Interior Department, Tribal governments and other state and federal agencies, to develop agency wide policies or guidance with addressing Native American concerns; (8) Developing current and long-range plans for complex projects with procurement and contractual agreements including work-month estimates, procurement needs, contracts for ethnographic research, work schedules, and cost estimates; and (9) Generating management reports, initiating requests, justifications and other report documents as needed at the bureau and Department level. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should see more information and apply here and here by January 21st, 2022. If you have questions about the announcement or application process, please send an email to blm_oc_hr_staff_team@blm.gov.

The Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas

Protective Services Attorney. Contract & remote. Protective Services Attorney will provide support in Child Welfare, Juvenile and Adult In Need of Care litigation on behalf of and representing the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas and the Kickapoo Indian Child Welfare Services Department (ICWS). Department: Prosecutor’s Office. Reports to: General Counsel. Overtime: Exempt. Salary: DOE. To apply please contact Cristina Collett Jensen at (830) 421-5389 or via Email: cristina.collett@ktttribe.org. Please see the position description for more information.


Tribal Relations Manager. Workplace: Annapolis, Boston, New London, New York City, Newark, Providence, Washington DC. Duties include: (1) Supporting initial communications with Native America tribes and collaborating with internal stakeholders to develop tailored outreach efforts to tribal communities; (2) Maintaining regular communications with tribes to enhance long-term relationships and mutual understanding; (3) Updating internal project teams on key tribal concerns and assisting in the development of effective responses; (4) Developing and facilitating training sessions to educate our team members on cultural histories and traditions and potential interfaces with our planning and permitting efforts; (5) Maintaining positive relations with tribes, providing information for community awareness, and tracking and reporting on interests or concerns identified through external communications; and (6) Organizing regular meetings with external parties and being responsible for adjusting the schedules and approach to such meetings in response to internal and external stakeholder input. There’s no PDF position description – everything lives in the online portal. Here’s the link again: Tribal Relations Manager (orsted.com). Application deadline: February 14th, 2022, 00:59 EST.

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Associate Judge. Cass Lake, MN. The Associate Judge is responsible for assisting the Chief Judge with the impartial and effective administration of justice for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. The Associate Judge shall faithfully uphold the tribal constitution and all laws of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. A minimum of 5 years of experience as an attorney is required. Litigation experience is preferred.  Must be licensed to practice law in any state. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter with a resume and a copy of current attorney License to: Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Jacquelyn Wright, Court Administrator, 190 Sailstar Drive NE Cass Lake, MN 56633, Or email to: jackie.wright@llojibwe.net. Closing Date is Monday, February 28th, 2022 at 4:30 pm.

Associate Tribal Attorney. Cass Lake, MN. The Associate Tribal Attorney assists the Legal Director with analysis of ongoing cases and legal issues in a broad range of subject areas central to the needs of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.  The tribal attorney is responsible for preparing and analyzing contracts, legal documents, Tribal Codes, ordinances and Resolutions.  The attorney will represent the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in tribal, State and Federal Court.  The position is open until filled and the application materials can be found on the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe website at https://www.llojibwe.org/jobs/llbojobs.html.

The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina

Tribal Administrator. Pembroke, NC. The Lumbee Tribe of N.C. Tribal Administrator will be responsible for organizing, implementing and directing programs, policies, and directives established by the Tribal Chairman of the Lumbee Tribe. The Tribal Administrator will be responsible for managing approximately 25 Federal and State Programs. This job oversees the operations of 150+ employees on a daily basis. The Tribal Administrator requires strong managerial skills and will work with upper-level management and Tribal Council to improve the overall operations of the Lumbee Tribal Government. Responsibilities are fully outlined in the position description.

The Lummi Nation Lummi Indian Business Council.

Deputy Tribal Prosecutor II – Office of the Reservation Attorney. Bellingham, WA. Duties include: (1) Representing the Nation in Tribal Court and Court of Appeals, and other tribal, federal, state, and local courts; (2) Managing a large case load requiring preparation for trial and other court appearances; (3) Gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, developing the theory of the case, and developing trial or case resolution strategy; (4) Performing pretrial investigations by consulting with tribal law enforcement officers, other law enforcement agencies, and witnesses; (5) Participating with other tribal, state, and federal agencies collaborating on regional responses to specific criminal efforts; (6) Collaborating with federal law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney on cases that may result in federal prosecution; (7) Negotiating with defense counsel on plea arrangements and sentencing; (8) Completing legal research and writing necessary for the preparation of complaints, motions, pleadings, and other court documents; (9) Working as a cooperative member of the rehabilitative justice programs; (10) Performing job duties consistent with ethical standards and with the assurance that justice is upheld under the Lummi Code of Laws, and other pertaining laws; and (11) Continuing professional development, including continuing legal education and/or training in the areas of Indian law, criminal law, law enforcement, and other areas relevant to job duties. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should submit an LIBC application, cover letter, resume, brief writing sample, and two reference letters to be considered.

Staff Attorney I or II – Office of the Reservation Attorney. Bellingham, WA. Duties include: (1) Providing legal advice and representation to the Nation, its departments, and entities, in judicial and administrative proceedings in tribal, federal, and state forums; (2) Assisting with revision of Lummi Code of Laws and with complex legal issues impacting the Nation; (3) Negotiating, preparing, and reviewing contracts, resolutions, forms, and policies and procedures; (4) Performing legal research and preparing memorandums of law; (5) Completing legal research and writings necessary for the preparation of complaints, motions, pleadings, and other court documents; (6) Continuing professional development through Continuing Legal Education and/or training in the areas of Indian Law or other issues relevant to job duties; (7) Participating in Lummi community events during and/or after hours to gain perspective of the community served; (8) Attending judicial, administrative, or legislative proceedings; (9) Attending meetings of the LIBC, the General Council, and Lummi’s Commissions, Boards or Committees, and Inter-tribal or other conferences or meetings; and (10) Traveling locally and out of state as necessary to represent the Lummi Nation. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should submit LIBC application, cover letter, resume, and reference letters. The position is open until filled.

Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority – Request for Proposals

Request for Proposals – Electronic Fish Harvest Reporting System. Sault Ste. Marie, MI. Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority (CORA) and its member tribes. The estimated period of performance is March 1, 2022-June 30, 2022 (with certain services ongoing thereafter). The purpose of this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) is to seek proposals from qualified respondents to design or customize, build, host, and maintain an electronic fish harvest reporting system that will meet the needs of CORA and its member tribes. Interested candidates should contact Bev Carrick, CORA Acting Executive Director (bevcarrick@chippewaottawa.org), to obtain a copy of the full Request for Proposal, which describes in more detail the scope of work and the required contents, evaluation, and scoring of proposals. Proposals are due by January 31st, 2022.

Tule River Economic Development Corporation Request for Proposals

Request for Proposals – Grant Writer. The purpose of this request is to acquire the services of a professional grant writer familiar with the requirements and procedures for submitting a funding application to the [US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. The funding application(s) is critical to TREDC’s proposed development of a commercial /industrial development located on land that is in fee to trust. This development will serve to expand economic opportunities for the Tule River Tribe membership.] Please see the full RFP for more information and instructions on where to submit.

Rosette, LLP

Law Clerk. Grand Rapids, MI. An Associate Attorney offer is contingent on the selected candidate’s work performance. Duties include: (1) Assisting and shadowing attorneys as they provide counsel and legal services in a professional manner while maintaining express confidentiality; (2) Participating in business development functions (trade shows, seminars, etc.) to maintain and build client relationships as well as expand business; (3) Traveling to off-site meetings with prospective and current clients; (4) Applying knowledge of business issues, legal procedures, cases, statutes, and other regulatory authority to provide basis for attorneys to effectively counsel clients; (5) Conducting legal research by preparing legal memoranda and necessary pleadings required in all aspects of state, federal and tribal litigation matters; (6) Appearing at hearings and trials, where authorized and with attorney supervision; (7) Drafting tribal codes, regulations, agreements, analyzing and reviewing legal documents; (8) Interfacing with clients where appropriate; and (9) Complying with all applicable law school, court, and state bar licensure obligations. Please see the position description for further information. Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, official/certified law school transcript, and a writing sample.

Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP Native Law Group

Summer 2022 Law Clerk PositionNative Law Group is currently seeking candidates for its Summer 2022 Clerkships in both of our office locations: Louisville, Colorado and Washington, D.C. Please indicate your office preference in your cover letter. Qualifications include: (1) Must have completed 2L year by Summer 2022; (2) Native American Law coursework completed by clerkship start date; (3) Excellent research abilities; and (4) Excellent written and oral communication skills. Please see the position description for more information. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample, law school transcript, letter of recommendation, and references to Firm Administrator Erin Obray at eobray@nativelawgroup.com by the deadline of January 21st, 2022.

Senior Associate Attorney. Louisville, CO. Duties include: (1) Providing counsel and legal services to new and existing clients as well as representing clients in a professional and expedient manner; (2) Participating in business development functions (conferences, seminars, etc.) as requested to maintain and build client relationships as well as expand business opportunities; (3) Applying knowledge of legal procedures and previous cases to effectively counsel clients; (4) Conducting legal research by preparing legal memoranda and necessary pleadings required in all aspects of tribal, federal, and state litigation matters; (5) Appearing at hearings and trials including hearings in tribal courts; (6) Drafting agreements and analyzing legal documents; and (7) Complying with all court, state bar and inter-office policies and procedures. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, writing sample, professional references, and law school transcripts to Erin Obray, Firm Administrator, eobray@nativelawgroup.com. The position is open until filled.

The Tohono O’odham Office of Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General – two openings. Sells, AZ. The Tohono O’odham Office of Attorney General is hiring two (2) Assistant Attorneys General.  The Office of Attorney General represents the interests of the Tohono O’odham Nation in tribal, state, and federal venues.  While the two postings are for an Assistant Attorney General IV, the Office of Attorney General will consider applicants with less than eight years of experience. Attorneys enjoy a diverse practice, face challenging jurisdictional issues, and protect tribal sovereignty.  Knowledge of federal Indian Law is preferred but not necessary. Position classifications are as follows: Assistant Attorney General I (1 year of legal experience); Assistant Attorney General II (3 years of legal experience); Assistant Attorney General III (6 years of legal experience); and Assistant Attorney General IV (8 years of legal experience). Interested candidates should send their resume to Attorney General Howard M. Shanker at Howard.Shanker@tonation-nsn.gov . Please call Mr. Shanker at (520) 349-0559 if you have any specific questions. 

The Oglala Sioux Tribe

Attorney General. Pine Ridge, SD. Duties include: (1) Being the Law Enforcement Officer for the Oglala Sioux Tribe; (2) Prosecuting and representing the Oglala Sioux Tribe in all major criminal and civil cases filed by the Attorney General’s Office, including cases that involve public officials; (3) Being responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Attorney General’s Office, including the supervision of all civil or criminal cases filed by the Attorney General’s Office before the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court; (4) Assisting the Legal Department of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and committees of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council on revisions to the Oglala Sioux Tribe Law and Order Code and Court Rules; (5) Assisting the Legal Department of the Oglala Sioux Tribe in legal disputes with the Federal Government, State Government, and other entities or individuals; (6) Advising Tribal Police Officers on all legal matters; (7) Issuing directive(s) to the Chief of Police to conduct criminal investigations; (8) Issuing directives regarding law-enforcement procedures to the Chief of Police to protect the Civil Rights of Tribal Members; (9) Upholding the integrity and independence of the Tribal Court, and the OST Constitution and By-Laws; and (10) Upon the request of the Law and Order Committee of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council, the Attorney shall provide a report containing aggregate data on the number of prosecutions brought by the Oglala Sioux Tribe in cases in which the United States Attorney office has declined prosecution. The Attorney General and the prosecutors working under the Attorney General shall have prosecutorial discretion. Please see the position for further information. Interested candidates should submit a complete OST Application for Employment to Stacy Two Lance, Secretary of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, P.O. Box 2070, Pine Ridge, South Dakota 57770 – Call (605) 867-8468 or email: StacyTL@oglala.org. The positon is open until filled.

OST Marijuana Commissioner and Alternates. The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council is now accepting Letters of Intent for persons who are interested in serving as an (1) COMMISSIONER AND (1) ALTERNATE for the OST Marijuana Commission (“Commission”). The Commission is a three member commission appointed by the Tribal Council and are seeking ALTERNATE commissioners should a vacancy occur. Duties include: (1) Obtaining the latest training on marijuana laws and scientific and commercial developments involving marijuana cultivation and use; (2) Developing a written system of regulations and procedures for licensing persons who wish to participate in marijuana cultivating, brokering, handling, processing, transporting and testing; (3) Developing additional procedures for the destruction of marijuana crops, and additional standards for the marketing of marijuana within the territory of the Oglala Sioux Tribe; (4) Maintaining a formal record, including a legal description of each of the sites where marijuana activity is allowed under a Commission approved license, along with a detailed description of the approved activity, and a record of all persons which have applied for and/or received any type of marijuana license under this Ordinance; (5) Developing and implementing procedures and minimum requirements for ensuring the proper inspection, testing and sampling of marijuana plants, marijuana cultivated, stored, transported, processed, possessed or used within the territory of the Tribe; (6) Developing and implementing minimum standards and procedures for background checking and licensing all labs, technicians and other scientific professionals performing the various marijuana related tests required by the Commission; (7) Developing and implementing procedures for background checking and licensing all applicants for the various marijuana licenses authorized by this Ordinance and Commission regulations; (8) Developing and implementing a procedure for ensuring that all marijuana related licenses are granted on an impartial basis in the best interest of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and in compliance with applicable tribal law; (9) Developing and implementing additional standards and procedures for refusing a marijuana related license and revoking or suspending any marijuana related license granted by the Commission; (10) Developing and obtaining approval of an annual budget; (11) Providing a quarterly report to the Tribal Council or such Tribal committee; (12) Developing and implementing a working relationship with tribal, state and federal law enforcement and the tribal business license and the TERO programs, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and all other federal regulators and enforcement arms involved with the enforcement arms of federal and tribal narcotics laws. Interested candidates should submit Letters of Intent (see position description for requirements) to Stacy Two Lance/OST Secretary, PO Box 2070, Pine Ridge, SD 57770 or email to: Stacytl@oglala.org.

Omaha Tribal Court

Tribal Prosecutor. Macy, NE. Duties include: (1) Interview members of the public concerning complaints of a criminal nature and determine whether to handle complaints as criminal matters; (2) Preparing and implementing appropriate formal complaints to be filed with the Court; (3) Preparing and implementing Criminal Summonses and Arrest Warrants; (4) Maintaining records of the Tribal Prosecutor; (5) Making recommendations to members of the public on how to proceed in mediation; (6) Coordinating and assisting police officers with investigations and preparing cases for trial; (7) Coordinating the entire criminal process with other members of the Court staff, Child Protective Services, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Tribal Police, Social Service agencies and other Courts; (8) Prosecuting Child Protective Services cases on behalf of the Tribe; (9) Engaging in the process of plea bargaining with counsel representing criminal defendants, including the Tribal Public Defender; and (10) Preparing and making reports on the operation of the Tribal Prosecutor’s Office to the Chief Judge. Please see the position description for further information. Interested candidates should send applications and resumes to Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, Attn: HR Department, P.O. Box 368, Macy, NE 68039 or send via email to othumanresources@theomahatribe.com. The position is open until filled.

Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Chief Judge of Tribal Court. Siletz, OR. The Chief Judge is chief administrator of the Tribal Court; assigns cases to Associate Judges, and hears cases. Please see attached position description for more information. The position is opened until filled. 

Colorado River Indian Tribes

Chief Judge. Parker, AZ. Duties include: (1) Determining judicial assignments for assigned judicial officers; (2) Supervising judicial and non-judicial personnel; (3) Establishing docketing, calendaring and case management policies and procedures; (4) Developing and supervising the administration of the Tribal Court budget; (5) Assisting the Tribal Council with the establishment of bond schedules in coordination with the Tribal law enforcement departments; (6) Establishing and implementing standards and parameters for indigency screening, and guidelines for determination of indigency for the purposes of waiving Court fees; (7) Defining and establishing specific parameters under which a defendant shall be granted the time to pay monetary sentences imposed; (8) Complying with statistical reporting, jury management and recording management policies and procedures established by the Tribal Court; (9) Cooperating and coordinating with the Chief Appellate Court Judge concerning the administration of the Tribal Court; (10) Providing regular communications to the Tribal Chairman and Tribal Council. Please see the position description for further information. Contact Tribal.Court@CRIT-NSN.GOV.

Associate Tribal Judge. Duties include: (1) Presiding over a variety of hearings including criminal and traffic arraignments, juvenile offender arraignments, criminal jury and non-jury trials, civil trials, small claims hearings, tax court proceedings, orders of protection hearings and harassment injunctions, pre-trial conferences and motion hearings; (2) Reviewing requests for continuances; (3) Conducting interviews for orders of protection and harassment injunction and preparation of appropriate orders; (4) Reviewing search warrants; (5) Reviewing and signing summons, subpoenas, arrest warrants and other court orders; (6) Reviewing financial disclosure statements; (7) Reviewing and signing seized property releases; (8) Corresponding with non-local defendants for dispositions of cases by mail when appropriate; and (9) Performing legal research. Contact Tribal.Court@CRIT-NSN.GOV.

Deputy Attorney General. Parker, AZ. Duties include: (1) Representing the Tribal Government before all Federal, Tribal and State courts, administrative proceedings, tribunals, departments, agencies and committees of the Congress and the State Legislatures on behalf of the Tribe; (2) Advising and consulting with and giving legal assistance to the Tribal Council and its officers; and (3) Assisting in Tribal administrative matters upon request of the Tribal Council or its designated representative. Attorney General shall not be required to render legal services for, represent, or appear on behalf of, any member of the Tribe in that member’s individual capacity, nor shall Attorney General act in the capacity of tribal Public Defender. In the absence of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General is responsible for the management, supervision and direction of the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Prosecutor. Interested candidates can apply here and submit their resumes to rloudbear@critdoj.com and crithr@crit-nsn.gov.

Casey Family Programs

Senior Director – Judicial and National Engagement (Attorney). Remote. The Senior Director of Judicial and National Engagement brings national expertise in key areas of access to justice, dependency court legal practice, and the development of partnerships and collaborations that will support judicial branch improvements and promote the social determinants of health and prevention. This position will promote effective practice strategies and support to national efforts to create communities of practice that advance judicial branch and national engagement strategies that will strengthen child, family and community well-being. The Senior Director brings national expertise in three key areas of Dependency Court work:  (1) judicial and attorney leadership; (2) high quality legal representation; and (3) working to strengthen the “front-door” of the court.  This position reports to the Managing Director of Judicial and National Engagement (JNE) and coordinates and provides consultation at a national level and in identified states to achieve Casey Family Programs’ mission and JNE’s strategic priorities.  The Senior Director coordinates and provides efforts to reduce the need for children to be reported to Child Protective Services or enter foster care by strengthening high quality legal representation for families, promoting preventive legal advocacy across the country, and promoting court reforms to narrow the front door of child welfare. Interested candidates should apply here by February 12th, 2022.

Muckleshoot Tribal Prosecutor’s Office

Prosecutor. Auburn, WA. Duties include: (1) Representing the Tribe in the areas of adults and juveniles committing criminal acts, civil prosecution of child abuse and neglect, Elder abuse and neglect cases, civil and criminal violations of traffic offenses, fish and wildlife offenses, exclusion matters, vicious dog offenses and other civil offenses occurring within the Tribal jurisdiction; (2) Representing the Tribe in ICW proceedings, drafting notices of intervention; (3) Presenting materials to the court; (4) Conducting interviews with witnesses and complainants; (5) Litigating bench and jury trials; (6) Reviewing cases for arraignments, pre-trial conferences, or probation violation hearings; (7) Responding to calls from victims, concerned family and friends, and service providers; (8) Presenting and explaining key policy issues regarding tribal justice and victimization; (9) Keeping abreast of new laws, cases and legal challenges that may affect pending or future case prosecution and advises tribal police of challenges; (10) Cooperating with tribal, state and federal officials in prevention and adjudication of cases while upholding tribal sovereignty; (11) Conducting research, writing documents, filing legal documents in the appropriate court, and presenting oral arguments in court; (12) Reviewing and evaluating Agency regulations, internal controls, and policies, and makes recommendations concerning same to Law and Order Committee and Tribal Council; and (13) Developing and improving the Tribe’s code of laws including code development. Please see the position description for further information.

Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi

Staff Attorney. Fulton, MI. Duties include: (1) Attend meetings of the Tribal Council, Committees, regulatory board/commissions and Membership meetings; (2) Researches and drafts resolutions, Tribal laws, regulations, and policies for Tribal Council approval; (3) Provides timely legal advice/counsel to, and draft legal opinions for, the Tribal Council and other subdivisions and instrumentalities of the Tribal government; (4) Prepares legal memoranda and conducts legal research as directed; (5) Develops and implements policies and procedures, and works with Department Leaders to create policies/procedures and compose resolutions for Tribal Council; (6) Represents NHBP in Tribal court, and before quasi-judicial or administrative agencies of government; (7) Interprets laws, rulings, and regulations for the Tribal Council and other Tribal government entities; (8) Under the supervision and direction of the Chief Legal Counsel, advises NHBP concerning transactions of business involving internal affairs, Tribal Council, officers of NHBP and Tribal relations with general public; (9) Manages delivery of Legal Services as defined by General Counsel to ensure services are provided in a timely manner by appropriate personnel consistent with NHBP business needs; and (10) Maintains current, accurate and complete records as required by federal, state and all regulatory agencies. Please see the position description for further information. Interested candidates can apply here by February 11th, 2022.

California State University Los Angeles

Child Welfare Instructor. Los Angeles, CA. Duties include: (1) Develop an outreach program to underserved communities, particularly Native American/Alaska Native; (2) Recruit students with Native American/Alaska Native heritage; (3) Participate in and contribute to relevant community and interagency activities; (4) Create a social media presence for CalSWEC; (5) Provide outreach and support for graduates during their employment obligation period; (6) Work with CalSWEC Project Coordinator to interview and select students for the CalSWEC program; (7) Develop new CalSWEC internship sites, work closely with students needing placements and place students in field internships; (8) Assist in the development of a CalSWEC Specialized Seminar series and give presentations; and (9) Participate in School meetings and activities, participate in field education meetings and orientations. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates can apply here.

Environmental Law Institute

Senior Manager for Foundations and Donor Relationships. Are you passionate about protecting the environment? Are you a skilled development professional with an expertise in cultivating relationships with foundations and individual donors? If you are up for the challenge of supporting our mission of fostering innovative, just, and practical law and policy solutions to enable leaders across borders and sectors to make environmental, economic, and social progress, then the Environmental Law Institute needs you as our Senior Manager for Foundations and Donor Relationships.  As a part of ELI’s Development team, you will play a key role in our outreach to Foundations, donors, members of the ELI Board of Directors, and assisting with the annual Award Dinner. Submit an application package via ELI’s online application system. Simply visit https://www.eli.org/employment to get started.


Associate Attorney, Northeast Regional (NYC). New York City, NY. Duties include: (1) Conducting legal and factual research and preparing memoranda on issues related to ongoing or potential new cases; (2) Reviewing and analyzing administrative records and technical documents; (3) Drafting motions, briefs, and other legal and factual documents in support of litigation; (4) Participating in proceedings before federal and state courts and agencies; (5) Working with clients and experts and learning how to handle press work; (6) Hiring and supervising law students who work at Earthjustice as interns or clerks. Interested candidates should submit via Jobvite a resume, cover letter, writing sample, law school transcript, and list of three references by January 16th, 2022. After that, applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Associate Attorney, Sustainable Food & Farming (NYC | Washington DC). NYC, Washington DC. Duties include: (1) Working closely with Earthjustice attorneys, scientists, and professional staff to build cases and
support policies that serve a diverse set of clients; (2) Participating in the full range of tasks involved in administrative advocacy and complex litigation, including factual investigation, legal research, memo writing, briefing, and oral advocacy; (3) Interacting with clients and work with experts to develop a clear understanding of the facts involved in each case and, ultimately, to support our litigation goals; (4) Representing Earthjustice on telephone calls and at meetings with clients, partners, co-counsel, and experts; (5) Developing skills required to serve as spokesperson with print and other media; and (6) Assisting with hiring and supervision of student law clerks. Interested candidates should submit via Jobvite a resume, cover letter, writing sample, law school transcript, and list of three references by January 30th, 2022. After that, applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP

Antitrust Associate. San Francisco, CA. Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP seeks a lateral attorney in San Francisco to join our thriving and collegial antitrust practice. Our diverse team of antitrust attorneys have successfully challenged cartels and monopolies in the pharmaceutical, high technology, electronic component, and medical industries on behalf of consumers, hospitals, local governments, and small businesses. Associates have lead roles in cases, investigating cases, consulting closely with clients, taking and defending depositions, writing and arguing motions and appeals, working with experts, participating in trials and mediations. For nearly fifty years, Lieff Cabraser has represented only plaintiffs in some of the highest-profile cases in the United States, recovering billions of dollars for our clients. We strive daily to achieve justice for our clients, and seek similar-minded attorneys to join our team. The ideal candidate will have well-developed written and oral advocacy skills. Resumes in confidence to: Lin Chan, Hiring Partner, Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, 275 Battery St., 29th Fl, SF, CA 94111. Email: jobs@lchb.com. Interested candidates can apply here. Learn more at our website, www.lieffcabraser.com.

The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska

Associate Justice. Juneau. AK. The Central Council of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska (Tlingit & Haida) is seeking qualified candidates to fill an Associate Justice position for the Tribe’s Supreme Court for a two-year term. Candidates will be rated by the Judiciary Committee as highly qualified, qualified, and not qualified to serve as Associate Justice to ensure the candidate can uphold the integrity and dignity of the Court. The Judiciary Committee may require a background check by a law enforcement agency. Interested candidates must submit a letter of intent to serve, copy of ID (for age verification purposes), three character references, and a Tribal Court Bar Admission application to the Judiciary Committee Chair by the close of business on March 21, 2022. Submit all documents to: Tlingit & Haida Judiciary Committee, c/o DonnaRae James, Chair, judiciarycommittee@ccthita-nsn.gov, Fax: 866.532.3558. Please see the position description for more information and for a copy of the application.

MSU Indigenous Law & Policy Center Winter Newsletter

As 2022 begins, the Michigan State University College of Law Indigenous Law & Policy Center invites you to join us in reflecting upon and celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of our students, faculty, alumni, and community in 2021. Please view our winter newsletter, and stay up to date on current events in Indian law with Turtle Talk and follow us on social media for information on future events!

Follow & Contact Us:

Twitter: @ILPCTurtleTalk 

Instagram: @ilpc_turtletalk 

Email: indigenous@law.msu.edu

Fifth Circuit Affirms 3-Year Prison Term for Theft of $18K from Choctaw Casino

Here are the materials in United States v. Nickey:

Unpublished opinion:


JUDGES NEEDED – 30th Annual National Native American Moot Court Competition on February 26-27th, 2022


Colorado Law is hosting the 30th Annual National NALSA Moot Court
Competition on February 26-27th, 2022, virtually via Zoom. Law students from
across the country will take on the challenge of writing and arguing the most
compelling federal Indian law and tribal governance issues. Teams of two students
will write an appellate brief and give oral arguments addressing the same legal
problem using their own unique legal theories.

We are in need of Oral Argument Judges to sit on a panel of three and
individually score competitors via Zoom. Each Judge can determine the number of
rounds they participate in based on their availability. Please see our website rules
(https://www.nnalsamootcourt2022.com/downloads) if you are unsure whether you
qualify as a judge.

Volunteer Judges are critical to the success of this competition and we would
greatly appreciate your support. If you are interested in judging, sign up via the
form on our website: https://www.nnalsamootcourt2022.com/volunteer

If you have any questions or concerns, please email:

Online Domestic/Family Violence Advocacy Training January 25-26, 2022

The Karuk Tribe, in partnership with Tribal Justice Support, Office of Justice Services, U.S. Department of the Interior–Indian Affairs, is hosting an online Domestic/Family Violence Advocacy training January 25-26, 2022.

Domestic/Family Violence Advocacy Training – January 25-26, 2022

Because Violence is Not Traditional

Are you, or someone you love, experiencing domestic/family violence? Do you present domestic/family violence cases in tribal court?
Gain direct knowledge from experienced tribal court judges, legal practitioners, and powerful interactive exercises.
Attend one or both days from any place with internet access via Zoom.

Day 1 is open to all and includes:
• What is domestic/family violence?
• Recognize the warning signs.
• How and where to get help.
• Obtaining a protective order.

Day 2 focuses on presenting domestic
violence matters in tribal court including
court arguments and witness examination.

For more information, or to register, email:

Washington SCT Decides Wild Fish Conservancy v. Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife