Friday Job Announcements

Job vacancies are posted on Friday. Some announcements might still appear throughout the week. If you would like your Indian law job posted on Turtle Talk, please email

Lower Brule Sioux Tribe

Tribal Court Public Defender, Lower Brule, S.D. The chosen applicant will have a law degree from an ABA accredited law school and be a member in good standing of the bar of any state (South Dakota licensure preferred). Must never have been convicted of a felony. Provides legal counsel and representation to adults accused of criminal offenses and juveniles accused of delinquent acts. Examines evidence and prepares and presents cases for the defense in criminal actions/delinquency actions.   Review police reports. Draft motions, legal memorandums, and other pleadings. Conducts client and witness interviews. File pretrial motions. Identifies appropriate sentencing alternatives for clients and assists with getting clients into treatment. Appear in court on a daily basis. Knowledge of federal Indian law, criminal law, criminal procedure, juvenile law and procedure; and drug court or alternative courts process and procedures. Ability to argue legal positions effectively and persuasively, recognize, formulate and implement viable case defense theories, investigations and litigation strategies. Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, multi-task, prioritize assignments, and remain organized. Work effectively with others. Code writing (such as updating or amending tribal laws). Assist with grant writing. Be a contributing asset to the office and welcome the opportunity to promote justice on the reservation. Other duties as may be assigned by Chief Judge. Salary: Negotiable, depending on experience. Closing Date: Until filled. Applications shall be in writing, to include a professional resume, legal qualifications and any other submissions at the option of the applicant. Native American preference applies. Applications may be obtained from the LBST Personnel Office, Lower Brule, South Dakota (phone:  605-473-5561) or by contacting or Chief Judge Lorrie Miner at 605-473-5528.

Pueblo of Pojoaque

General Counsel, Santa Fe, N.M. Position open until filled. Email

Alaska Legal Services Corporation

Tribal Court Support Attorney, Bethel, A.K. Provide legal advice and representation to YK Delta tribal governments to enhance and develop tribal justice systems handling matters related to child protection and community and family safety.

ICWA Staff Attorney, Bethel, A.K. This position primarily involves representation of tribal clients in state child welfare proceedings and enforcing the Indian Child Welfare Act, and may also involve litigating other Native law matters on behalf of AVCP Tribes and tribal members.

Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

SDVCJ Project Coordinator, Peshawbestown, M.I. Open until filled. GTB Application.

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

RFP Will & Estate Planning Attorney Services, Pendleton, O.R. Submissions must be postmarked no later than March 24, 2017.

Cherokee National Historical Society

Executive Director, Park Hill, O.K. Primary responsibility for leading the organization’s strategic planning and fundraising efforts, managing the day-to-day operations and directing the work of a professional staff, and serving as the primary spokesperson for the organization

D. N.M. Denies Motion to Amend Judgment in Water Rights Settlement

Here are the materials in the matter of New Mexico et al v. Aamodt el al, 66-cv-00639 (D. N.M. Sept. 9, 2016):

Doc. 9972 – Response in Opposition to Motion to Approve Settlement Agreement and Entry of Proposed Partial Final Judgment and Decree

Doc. 10543 – Memorandum Opinion and Order Approving Settlement Agreement

Doc. 10567 – Opposed Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment Pursuant to Rule 59(e)

Doc. 10581 – Plaintiffs-In-Intervention the United States, Pueblo de Nambé, Pueblo de Pojoaque, Pueblo de San Ildefonso, and Pueblo de Tesuque’s Response in Opposition to Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment Pursuant to Rule 59(E)

Doc. 10632 – Reply in Support of Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment Pursuant to Rule 59(e)

Doc. 10858 – Memorandum Opinion and Order Denying Opposed Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment Pursuant to Rule 59(e)

Pueblo of Pojoaque Job Posting

Pueblo of Pojoaque

General Counsel – Governmental Affairs

The Pueblo of Pojoaque is accepting applications for a General Counsel to provide a full range of legal services requiring substantial knowledge and understanding of the Pueblo and its businesses, and a firm understanding of Indian law and tribal-federal-state relationships.

Under the direct supervision of the Chief General Counsel, primary practice areas include:  environmental, water and land use; water rights adjudication and acequia water rights and uses; and infrastructure development and land management.

JD and state bar licensure required. Must be capable of being admitted to the Pueblo of Pojoaque Tribal Court.

Below you will find a Vacancy Announcement.  Resumes should be sent to and to  The position will remain open until filled.

Pueblo of Pojoaque Job Vacancy Announcement

New Mexico SCT Holds Cross-Deputized Tribal Officer Covered by New Mexico Tort Claims Act When Enforcing State Law

Here is the opinion in Loya v. Gutierrez.

An excerpt:

Given New Mexico’s highways that traverse both state and tribal lands, it is not uncommon that a tribal police officer patrolling those highways may be commissioned as a deputy county sheriff to arrest non-Indians and prosecute them in state court when they commit state traffic offenses on tribal land. In light of those recurring facts, we determine a county’s legal obligation when a non-Indian, arrested by a tribal officer and prosecuted in state court for state traffic offenses, sues the arresting tribal officer for federal civil rights violations. More particularly, we decide when the county has an obligation under the New Mexico Tort Claims Act, NMSA 1978, §§ 41–4–1 to –29 (1976, as amended through 2009) (NMTCA), to provide that tribal police officer with a legal defense in the federal civil rights action. The district court as well as our Court of Appeals found no such legal duty, in part because it concluded that the tribal officer was not a state public employee as defined in the NMTCA. We hold to the contrary, finding clear evidence in the text and purpose of the NMTCA requiring the county to defend the tribal officer, duly commissioned to act as a deputy county sheriff, under these circumstances endemic to the New Mexico experience.

We now have the briefs (5/21/15):

County Answer Brief

Gutierrez Brief in Chief

Gutierrez Reply Brief

Gutierrez Response to NMAC Brief

Gutierrez Supplemental Authorities Letter

NMAC Amicus Brief

New Mexico COA Holds State Not Obligated to Defend Tribal Officer who Unlawfully Arrested Someone at Pojoaque Pueblo

Here is the opinion in Loya v. Gutierrez (N.M. App.).

An excerpt:

In this case, the issue before us is whether the County of Santa Fe (the County) has a duty to defend or indemnify a tribal police officer who, while exercising his authority as a commissioned County sheriff’s deputy, unlawfully arrested a non-Indian person within the exterior boundaries of the Pueblo of Pojoaque (the Pueblo). The district court concluded  that the County did not have a duty to defend and/or indemnify Officer Glen Gutierrez because he was not a “public employee” or “law enforcement officer” of a “governmental entity” as those terms are defined by the New Mexico Tort Claims Act (the TCA), NMSA 1978, §§ 41-4-1 to -30 (1976, as amended through 2013). See § 41-4-3. We agree with the district court and affirm.

Federal Court Orders Exhaustion of Tribal Remedies in Pojoaque Tribal Gaming Contract Dispute

Here are the materials in Fine Consulting, Inc. v. Rivera (D. N.M.):

DCT Order Granting Rivera Motion

Fine Consulting Complaint

Rivera Motion to Dismiss

Fine Consulting Opposition

Rivera Reply

If anyone doubts the impact of good Indian law scholarship, then look here. Sarah Krakoff’s excellent Colorado Law Review article Tribal Civil Judicial Jurisdiction Over Nonmembers: A Practical Guide for Judges is all over this opinion.

Dispute over Sexist Ads at Buffalo Thunder Concludes

Here is the news article in ICT by Rob Capriccioso. As many of us know, Pojoaque Pueblo is the home of the 2010 FBA Indian Law Conference.

SANTA FE, N.M – Noted legal scholar and Native American gender studies expert, Christine Zuni Cruz, has made her case against what she calls a striking case of sexism in the advertising of a Pueblo tribe’s casino. And she’s won.

On July 21, Zuni Cruz sent a fax to George Rivera, governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque in northern New Mexico, in which she labeled a recent round of advertising for the tribe’s Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino as sexist and culturally inappropriate.

The advertising contained questionable images of what looked to be female tribal members, which Zuni Cruz, a member of the Isleta Pueblo, said “demean the self-esteem of Native women.”

In the ads – which appeared on the Web and on billboards – the women were depicted in stylized poses next to a Mercedes as part of a casino promotion. In one ad, the Mercedes emblem was part of the earring of one of the women.

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