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 


End of the Semester Check-In and Lunch: Indigenous Law & Policy Center

🍂 End of the Semester Check-In! 🍂

The Indigenous Law & Policy Center will be hosting an in-person End of the Semester Check-In on Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 from 12:15-1:15pm in room 472

Students, faculty, staff, and allies will come together to celebrate the end of the semester over a provided lunch! **RSVP Required**

RSVP by Tuesday, November 23rd, 2021. Please direct all RSVPs and questions to

We look forward to seeing you there!

Indigenous Peoples’ Day

The Indigenous Law & Policy Center is at the forefront of Indian law issues and home to one of the most well-known Indigenous Law programs in the nation. 

Today on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we recognize this work and celebrate the next generation of water protectors, Indian childhood welfare defenders, and tribal judges supported by the Center, as well as the students and communities they serve.

Artwork: “The Seeds Are Planted” by Zoey Wood-Salomon

Friday Job Announcements


To post an open Indian law or leadership job to Turtle Talk, send the following information to 

In the email body: 

  1. A typed brief description of the position which includes: 
    • Position title 
    • Location (city, state) 
    • Main duties 
    • Closing date 
    • Any other pertinent details such as links to the application 
  2. An attached PDF job announcement. 


The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma 

District Court Judge, Durant, OK. The District Court Judge will: (1) Oversee the functions of the Choctaw Nation District Courts. (2) Sit as an impartial trier of all civil and criminal matters. (3) Supervise the Court Clerk, deputy Clerks, Reporters, and all other officers and associates of the Court. (4) Render decisions on all evidentiary and procedural issues for the orderly administration of justice. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates can apply online through the application portal no later than August 16th, 2021.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Durant, OK. The Assistant Prosecuting Attorney will: (1) Represent the Choctaw Nation in all juvenile cases and deprived actions within the jurisdiction of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. (2) Facilitate communication with federal, state, and local officials regarding juvenile matters involving members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. (3) Assist in drafting legislation affecting children and juvenile laws. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates can apply here

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Legal Department

Associate Tribal Attorney, Cass Lake, MN. The Associate Tribal Attorney will: (1) Analyze ongoing cases and legal issues central to the needs of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. (2) Prepare and analyze contracts, legal documents, Tribal Codes, ordinances and Resolutions. (3) Represent the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe in tribal, State and Federal Court. Please see the position description for more information. The position is open until filled, and interested candidates can apply here

Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services

Social Worker Supervisor II, Sacramento, CA. The Social Worker Supervisor will: (1) Plan, organize, and direct the work of social service staff. (2) Supervise and train lower level social workers. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should apply later than August 2nd, 2021.

Northwest Justice Project  

Staff Attorney, Seattle, WA. The Staff Attorney will: (1) Provide advice, consultation, limited and extensive pro se assistance, and representation to Native American crime victims. (2) Develop and maintain relationships with tribal DV advocate programs and personnel. (3) Travel across Washington State for outreach. (4) Conduct legal education events for client groups, social and human services providers, and civil and tribal justice system stakeholders. Please see the position description for more information. Interested applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample here.

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation

Senior Legal Counsel, Mashantucket CT. The Senior Legal Counsel will: (1) Provide legal advice and services to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, including its departments, subdivisions, regulatory bodies, committees, entities and business enterprises. (2) Communicate legal concepts and analysis to resolve matters. Please see the position description for more information. Interested applicants can send their resume to or apply here.

Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP

Associate Attorney, Louisville, CO. The Associate Attorney will: (1) Provide counsel and legal services to new and existing clients. (2) Participate in business development functions. (3) Conduct legal research and prepare legal memoranda and necessary pleadings required in all aspects of tribal, federal, and state litigation matters. Please see the position description for more information. Interested applicants can send their resume, cover letter, writing sample, professional references, and law school transcripts (if graduated less than 5 years ago) to Erin Obray, Firm Administrator The position will remain open for 60 days or until filled.

Native American Rights Fund (NARF) 

Blaustein Fellow, Boulder, CO. The Blaustein Fellow will: (1) Work with NARF Staff Attorneys and clients in all aspects of complex impact litigation. (2) Represent NARF and NARF clients before various community and stakeholder groups. (3) Represent NARF clients before federal and state agencies and in regulatory proceedings. (4) Build and lead coalitions with diverse stakeholders and work in partnership with other organizations. Position is for two years only and is not a guarantee of full-time NARF employment after the end of the fellowship. Please see the position description for more information. Interested applicants can submit their resume, cover letter, three professional references, writing sample, and law school transcript no later than 5:00 pm Mountain Daylight Time, on Friday, August 13, 2021, by email to: Kevin Cheng at

Summer 2022 Law Clerk. Positions are available in Anchorage, AK; Boulder, CO; and Washington, D.C. Please indicate your office preference in your cover letter. The Law Clerk will: (1) Assist NARF attorneys by conducting legal research. (2) Draft legal memorandums and case filings. (3) Verify citations and proofread. (4) Assist in case management and work on special legal projects. Please see the position description for  more information. To apply, submit a cover letter (indicate your office preference), resume, non-collaborative legal writing sample, law school transcript, letter of recommendation, and three references to Kevin Cheng, Law Clerk Program Coordinator by September 10, 2021

The Yakama Nation Department of Justice Services

Attorney II, Toppenish, WA. The Attorney will: (1) Represent and advise tribal member clients in Tribal, Municipal, State and Federal Court systems. (2) Provide a full range of legal services to tribal members in areas such as, criminal, dependency, children’s court, fish and game, civil, family and Federal Indian Law matters. (3) Provide legal education law clinics for the public. Interested applicants can submit an application here by 08/04/21, or contact with questions.

Cherokee Nation

Assistant Attorney General I or II (OAG), Tahlequah, OK. The Assistant Attorney General will: (1) Legally represent the Nation and its departments, divisions, programs, boards, commissions, and trust authorities in civil, criminal and juvenile cases both proposed or pending in administrative appeals, tribal, state, federal court and other proceedings. (2) Act as a legal advisor to, draft legal opinions, contracts, policies, and legislation for the Nation. (3) Assist Attorney General and/or Senior Assistant Attorney General concerning transactions of business involving internal affairs, Tribal Council, directors, officers and corporate relations with the general public. Please see the position description for more information. Interested applicants can apply here by August 4th, 2021. Hiring for two Assistant Attorney General positions.

Alaska Native Justice Center

Legal Fellow, Anchorage, AK. Late summer or early fall 2021, recent law graduates are encouraged to apply. Fellows will: (1) Provide legal services to victims and survivors of crime. (2) Support and partner with Alaska Tribes to build capacity, implement cultural values and remedies, and access resources for Tribal Justice Systems. (3) Represent Alaska Tribes in State Child of Need Aid cases where the Indian Child Welfare Act (“ICWA”) applies. Please see the position description for more information. Interested applicants can apply here. The position will remain open until filled.

Navajo Nation Department of Justice

Principal Tribal Court Advocate, Office of the Attorney General, Window Rock, AZ. The Principal Tribal Court Advocate will: (1) Perform legal work related to representation of the Navajo Nation government, including legal research, negotiations, legal writing, drafting pleadings, briefs, memoranda, resolutions and other documents for the divisions, departments, or programs assigned. (2) Present child support enforcement cases before the Office of Hearings and Appeals. (3) Participate in case staffing with Child Support Enforcement officers; provide legal advice and case strategy. This position is open until filled. Please see the position description for more information, or apply here.

Principal Attorney (Water Right Unit), Office of the Attorney General, Window Rock, AZ. Window Rock, AZ. The Principal Attorney will: (1) Represent the Nation in multiple water rights adjudications pending in state and federal courts, in state administrative water rights matters and in any settlement negotiations concerning the Nation’s water rights. (2) Work closely with technical staff within the Water Rights Unit Staff, Department of Water Resources and other programs within the Navajo Nation, and with consultants. (3) Provide legal advice on all water rights matters to the Office of the President and Vice President, the Office of the Speaker, the Navajo Nation council, and its committees and subcommittees and the Navajo Nation Water Rights commission (NNWRC). (4) Ensure that the water rights of the Navajo Nation are effectively pursued and protected. This position is open until filled, please see the position description for more information, or apply here.

Chief Prosecutor, Office of the Chief Prosecutor, Window Rock, AZ. Window Rock, AZ. The Chief Prosecutor will: (1) Perform administrative, managerial, and prosecution work in directing the Office of the Chief Prosecutor and component districts including the Juvenile Justice and White Collar Crime programs. (2) Administer short and long range planning, organizing, directing, strategic planning for annual, external, and supplemental budgets, and related activities of the Office of the Chief Prosecutor.  (3) Coordinate and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the assigned program offices and districts.  (4) Adhere to the Plan of Operation and establishing annual goals and objectives, and making necessary amendments. This position serves at the pleasure of the Attorney General. This position is open until filled. Please see the position description for more information, or apply here

Attorney, Office of the Prosecutor, Ramah, NM. Under supervision of the Chief Prosecutor/Deputy Chief Prosecutor represents the interest of the Navajo Nation government. The Attorney will: (1) Assist several district prosecutor offices in prosecution of criminal and civil cases representing the interests of the Navajo Nation government. (2) Will attend arraignments, trials, adjudications, child dependency adjudications, and other related issues to court attendance. (3) Prepare legal documents. (4) Provide legal guidance and advice to law enforcement personnel in proceeding with investigation. This position serves at the pleasure of the Chief Prosecutor. This position is open until filled. Please see the position description for more information, or apply here.


Associate Attorney, Miami, FL. The Associate Attorney will: (1) The Associate Attorney will work collaboratively with Florida Regional Office staff located in Miami and Tallahassee, FL, as well as with program staff located throughout the country. (2) Focus on litigation involving water pollution, water conservation, wetlands protection, endangered species protection, fish and wildlife conservation, Everglades restoration, clean and renewable energy, and equal access to a healthy environment for all. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates can apply here by August 10, 2021. Applications submitted afterwards will be viewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.  

Associate Attorney, The Biodiversity Defense Program. Washington, D.C., Seattle, WA, Bozeman, MT (remote). The Associate Attorney will: (1) Work to stem the growing crisis of biodiversity loss. (2) Work closely with more senior lawyers to advance a nationwide litigation and advocacy campaign to protect and preserve our remaining biodiversity. (3) Occasionally travel to work towards nationwide focus. The position is available immediately but we will consider applicants who can start work anytime between now and the fall of 2022. Interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, three professional references and a writing sample. Please apply here by September 8, 2021. Applications submitted afterwards will be viewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

Director, Outreach and Partnership Advancement, San Francisco, CA, New York, NY, Seattle, WA, Washington, D.C., Miami, FL, Chicago, IL, Tallahassee, FL, New Orleans, LA (remote), Houston, TX (remote). The Director will: (1) Assist Earthjustice staff in outreach and partnership and building networks that support expanding bodies of work with frontline communities, grassroots groups, and other partners. This includes but is not limited to organizations that serve low-income communities, communities of color, and other communities that have been historically targeted to receive heavy pollution burdens. (2) May also maintain their own organization-level relationships with key partners, serve as an Earthjustice ambassador (along with program staff) at events hosted by partners or events that bring partner groups together. (3) Serve as an initial point of contact for organizations or communities seeking to engage with Earthjustice. Please see the position description for more information. Interested candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, three professional references, and a writing sample here by September 8, 2021. After that, applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled..

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP

Gaming and Compliance Attorney, Omaha, NE or Winnebago, NE. The Gaming and Compliance Attorney will: (1) Be responsible for key projects and functions related to gaming, commercial and construction and A&E contracts, finance, employment law, complex transactions, and state regulatory issues. (2) Review, negotiate, analyze, and draft key company contracts and provide legal advice to applicable business clients including strategic partnership agreements, sponsorship agreements, payment processing agreements, affiliate agreements, and nondisclosure agreements. (3) Support and advise property management, gaming leadership personnel, and other relevant personnel on gaming and related regulatory and compliance matters. (4) Assess applicable gaming and other laws and regulations for possible changes and reforms. Please see the position description for more information. Interested applicants should send their resume and cover letter including salary expectations to

Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana – Request for Proposals

Request for Proposals (RFP) for COVID-19 Recovery Strategic Planning. Charenton, LA. The Tribe wishes to engage a consultant (or contractor) to develop a comprehensive strategic plan that enables the Tribe to maximize the use of COVID-19 pandemic federal relief—including funds from the FRF—to implement those strategic priorities that facilitate a strong governmental and economic recovery from the pandemic. To that end, the Tribe invites you to submit a response to this Request for Proposals. Please submit your response before 5:00 p.m. Central Time on August 19, 2021. Please see the RFP description for detailed information regarding the submission process. Questions may be directed via email to April Wyatt, Chief Administrative Officer / Tribal Administrator, at Please carbon copy Michael Murphy, General Counsel to the Tribe, at on your email inquiry as well. In the subject line for the inquiry, please insert “RFP – COVID-19 Recovery Strategic Plan.”

The Tribal Law Journal – University of New Mexico School of Law

The Tribal Law Journal is sending out a second call for submissions for Volume 22 of their journal. Submissions will be accepted until October 15, 2021. Please see the attached informational flyer for more details. Article submissions may be sent to us by email at The Tribal Law Journal accepts both written and oral submissions, including multimedia projects (i.e., interviews, stories, art) from law students, practitioners, tribal members, and faculty members. For more information, or if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at

See previous posts.

Call for Proposals: 18th Annual Indigenous Law Conference

Are you an in-house attorney addressing one of these issues?

-Self Governance

-Consultation Practices

-Amicus Briefs

-Insight from Current Judicial Clerks

-Traditional Knowledge in the Law


-Hot Topics

Each year, the Indigenous Law Conference has 8 panels plus a keynote speaker. Current TICA members interested in presenting on the above topics, with a focus on the tribal in-house practice of law, are invited to submit their individual presentation proposals. ILPC/TICA will form panels. Proposals must be submitted by May 1, 2021. The Conference will be hosted November 4-5, 2021 with pre-conference activities on November 3. For more information, click the buttons below.

Congratulations to the class of 2020!



Please join us in congratulating law graduates near and far! We are especially proud of those who earned the Indigenous Law Certificate at MSU College of Law:

CHLOE ELM (Tonawanda Seneca), YASMEEN MOHAMAD FARRAN (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation), KAITLIN MARIEL GANT (Oneida Nation of the Thames), AUSTIN MICHAEL MOORE (Samish Indian Nation), EMILY WACYK PASKI, KATHRYN IRENE PETERSEN (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians), and SARAH KAY ZLOTNICKI (Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi).


Discussions from the Borderlands

This week the Michigan State University Department of Philosophy conference Discussions From the Borderlands will host two ILPC alumni as keynote speakers! PDF flyer here.

Sarah Yore-Van Oosterhout, ‘12 “The Invisible Wall”

March 13 5-6pm Wells Hall B310

Nellie Jo David, ‘14  “When Borders Cross O’odham: Maintaining Connections During Active Conquests to Divide Our People”

March 14 3-4pm MSU Library Digital Scholarship Lab, 2nd Floor West Wing


program draft

2020 TICA Conference CFP due March 1

The 17th Annual Indigenous Law Conference proposal submission form and other conference details can be found at

Proposals due March 1, 2020

Join us November 5-6, 2020

CFP TICA 2020 web banner_02


Additionally, please share the call for art:

CFP TICA 2020 web banner_03