American Indian and Alaska Native Student Travel Scholarship Program

Are you an American Indian or Alaska Native student who is enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program AND are you interested in issues related to public safety, crime, and justice?

Would you like to learn how your education can be used to solve complex issues in these fields?

If so, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) would like to help you explore science in criminal justice and public safety through conference scholarships!

To enhance diversity in the field of criminal justice, NIJ will support up to fifteen American Indian and Alaska Native students to attend a criminal justice-related conference to explore the role of science in solving complex problems to increase public safety. Attendance at these conferences will allow students to explore the ways their interest in science applies to crime and justice, and to meet researchers and practitioners currently engaged in similar work. Additionally, students will learn about innovative, evidence-based, and technological solutions to justice issues.

Applications are due on May 17, 2019. Please see the flyer or website for more information.

Friday Job Announcements

Job vacancies are posted on Friday. Additional announcements may appear throughout the week. If you would like your Indian law or leadership job posted on Turtle Talk, please email

DNA-People’s Legal Services, Inc.

Managing Attorney, Flagstaff, A.Z. The managing attorney is responsible for the management and oversight of the office they are assigned, including ensuring that office meets or exceed operational goals and objectives, providing necessary legal services for assigned cases, and liaising with the office staff to ensure effective client service business operations. At least three years of litigation experience preferred and should be licensed by the State Bar of Arizona.

Staff Attorney, Flagstaff and Tuba City, A.Z. The staff attorney will practice law on behalf of eligible clients. This attorney assists with prosecution of criminal cases in the Hopi Prosecutor Defender Office, and this attorney assists in civil cases for DNA offices. This position entails significant courtroom advocacy. Two years of litigation experience is preferred and should be licensed by the State Bar of Arizona.

Native Village of Eyak

Consultant , Cordova, A.K. The Native Village of Eyak is soliciting proposals for a consultant to assist in the development of an intensive outpatient treatment program for the Ilanka Community Wellness Center. Proposals must be received at the Native Village of Eyak Tribal Court office by 5:00pm Alaska time on March 1, 2018.

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians

Evaluator, Family Healing to Wellness Court, Peshawbestown, M.I. The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians is soliciting contractual-service proposals for an Evaluator to work in the Family Healing to Wellness Court under the court’s grant. The contractual services will start upon completion of contract negotiations and end on Sep. 30, 2019. Proposals will be accepted until 5:00pm EST on Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

Advocates for the West

Staff Attorney, Boise, I.D. Advocates for the West is a non-profit, public interest environmental law firm based in Boise. Currently, the firm is looking for a passionate and talented attorney to advocate for wild salmon and steelhead in Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. The Staff Attorney position has initial funding for two years, and Advocates for the West is looking for an attorney with one to five years of prior litigation experience.

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

Prosecutor, Mount Pleasant, M.I. The Prosecutor will work closely with tribal law enforcement and judicial officials to effectively administer justice on the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Reservation, prosecute crimes committed by Native Americans within the exterior boundaries of the Isabella Reservation, and act as Tribal Presenter in Child Abuse and Neglect cases.

Tribal Historic Preservation Office

Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Shelbyville, M.I. The Tribal Historic Preservation Office is looking for a Preservation Officer to oversee and ensure the preservation, protection, and management of ancestors, sacred objects, archaeological sites, properties/traditional cultural places, and archives significant to Pottawatomi history and culture.

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation

Deputy Prosecutor, Fountain Hills, A.Z. The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation is looking for a Deputy Prosecutor to represent the Nation in all criminal, juvenile, dependency, and/or comparable actions. Applicants must be members of the State Bar of Arizona and have three years of responsible experience in criminal prosecution or defense of criminal cases. Applications close on March 8, 2018.

Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (Update)

Student Clerkship and Internship, Harbor Springs, M.I. The Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians (LTBB) Tribal Court is seeking two summer law clerks, one paid and one funded through your school or other external sources.  The Tribal Court is a court of general jurisdiction hearing cases including, but not limited to: criminal, civil, drug court, domestic violence, eviction and children’s cases. Please email cover letters and resumes to Jody Gasco,

Other announcement(s) posted to Turtle Talk this week: Program Coordinator for NAICJA

Last week’s announcements: Feb. 16, 2018.

NCAI Webinar: Gun Purchases, Tribal Convictions, and Using the Instant Criminal Background Check System (Feb. 23 at 2pm)

Identifying dangerous persons across jurisdictions can help prevent needless tragedies. Keeping firearms away from persons who are legally prohibited from purchasing firearms requires collaboration across many jurisdictions—including tribal governments.  NCAI will be hosting a webinar on NICS, featuring a presentation from JoAnn Garrison, Liaison Specialist from the FBI NICS Business Unit. The webinar will provide an overview of NICS and the ten federal firearm prohibitions, and then explain how tribes can access and use NICS to protect tribal citizens form illegal gun possession. The discussion will primarily focus on the two federal prohibitions specific to domestic violence: the Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence federal prohibition, 922(g)(9), and the Protection Order federal prohibition, 922(g)(8).  Attendees will gain knowledge of the role they play in sharing information needed to determine if a firearm transfer is disqualified under federal law as well as highlight the importance of sharing record information on a national level.

–You can register for the webinar here.–

The webinar will be recorded if you are not able to join. If you have any questions, please contact: Elizabeth Reese,

Alex Pearl on Maximizing Welfare and Efficiency Through Informal Norms in Indian Law

M. Alexander Pearl has posted “Of ‘Texans’ and ‘Custers’: Maximizing Welfare and Efficiency Through Informal Norms,” forthcoming in the Roger Williams University Law Review, on SSRN.

Here is the abstract:

Professor Robert Ellickson (Yale) theorized that the informal norms of a close-knit community maximize aggregate welfare and Professor Barak Richman (Duke) identified two distinct types of private ordering systems: “shadow of law” and “order without law.” Under the Ellickson-Richman structure, many Indian tribes qualify as close-knit groups where informal norms effectively operate. The additional trait of isolation — both geographic and cultural — makes them ideal communities for the prioritization of informal norms. The imposition of external law, such as state law, is harmful and unnecessary to the maintenance of order in these communities. Recent legislative efforts to ameliorate criminal problems in Indian Country miss the mark and an alternative solution prioritizing the operation of informal norms and private ordering should prevail over application of external law and structures.

This article expands upon Ellickson’s assessment of how social behavior is affected by law and other forces, such as the informal norms in a given social group. Part I explains Ellickson’s theory and analyzes other important contributions made by other scholars. Part II discusses the taxonomy of historical and current examples of communities utilizing informal norms, or private law based mechanisms, to resolve disputes and how efficient results that maximize welfare (as defined by the community) are achieved. Part III, addresses the question of whether government law enforcement interferes with the close-knit community to an extent great enough to diminish the efficacy, or existence, of operative informal norms. Part IV examines anthropological sources to argue that the unique attributes of various Indian tribes and tribal communities warrant definition as the type of close-knit communities contemplated under Ellickson’s theory. Part V explains why the informal norms of certain tribal communities should be allowed to operate without interference from outside legal forces (Custers). Finally, Part VI looks at the relevant provisions in the recently passed Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and asks whether they effectively address the criminal justice issues facing Indian tribes subject to State criminal jurisdiction.