Federal Court Dismisses Pawnee Effort to Challenge Oil and Gas Leases

Here are the materials in Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma v. Zinke (N.D. Okla.):

19 Motion to Dismiss

20 Opposition

21 Reply

27 DCT Order

Donuts and Deep Thoughts with Walter Echo-Hawk Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig LLP – Friday, April 11 at 7:15 a.m., Buffalo Thunder

Friends –

Please join Greenberg Traurig LLP for “Donuts and Deep Thoughts with Walter Echo-Hawk” at 7:00 a.m. on Friday April 11 at the Buffalo Thunder Resort at Pojoaque Pueblo, in the Vista Room. GT will be welcoming early risers participating in the Federal Bar Association Indian Law Conference with the chance to hear from Walter Echo-Hawk about his latest book, In the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Donuts and coffee will be free and Walter will speak probably around 7:30 a.m. Friday morning. Please come join us and warm up for a great day at the Conference!

New Book by Walter Echo-Hawk, “In the Light of Justice,” Out This Summer

Walter Echo-Hawk’s new book, In the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America & the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, with a foreword by James Anaya, will be published this August.

Echo-Hawk and Anaya are doing a book launch event on June 12 at the annual conference of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums held at Santa Ana Pueblo.

James Botsford Reviews Walter-Echo-Hawk’s “Ten Worst Cases”


By James Botsford

Finally someone has written a book that shines a light into the dark corners of the Supreme Court’s thievery of the rights of Native America.  Did you ever wonder by what quiet sleight-of-hand huge dimensions of the inherent rights and cultures of Native people disappeared or were radically reduced?  Turns out some of the worst damage ever done to the original people came from the highest level of the judicial branch… the  Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court who historically have enjoyed (and cultivated) the perception that they are objective, neutral and above the fray of politics and ideology. Oh, if only it were true.

The book is In the Courts of the Conqueror, The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided. And this book isn’t written by just any old someone.  It was painstakingly researched and written by Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee) who Vine Deloria Jr. once referred to as “the best Indian law attorney in America.”   Echo-Hawk earned his chops as a staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund for 35 years where he was personally involved in many of the biggest Indian rights issues of our time.

Echo-Hawk sets the bar high when it comes to intellectual honesty, cultural values and the ethics of legal analysis.  From that perspective he walks us through what he believes are the ten worst Indian law cases ever decided.  Scholars and activists will quibble over a few of his top ten (or is it bottom ten?), but they’ll risk missing the bigger point, which is the devastation of these decisions as they change the course of history.

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Top Ten Indian Law Stories of 2010

Based on numbers of hits, and a nice review of the year, here is the First Top Ten Indian Law Stories of the Year:

  1. Wells Fargo v. Lake of the Torches EDC. The effort by the bank to force Lac du Flambeau to pay its obligations had been shut down by the conclusion of a federal court that the trust indenture was a gaming management contract. A Seventh Circuit appeal was briefed and argued, and is pending. Posts are here and here.
  2. Tribal Law and Order Act. Congress finally passed a piece of legislation geared at dealing with a national problem — the incredible rise of violent crime in Indian Country, and most especially violence against Indian women. Top posts are here and here.
  3. Challenges to the PACT Act. Congress’s effort to destroy what remains of Indian country tobacco sales over the internet was initially enjoined, but that injunction was lifted. The cases are now pending in the Second Circuit. Top posts here and here.
  4. Gun Lake Band Casino news. The Gun Lake Band finally began construction on its casino after more than a decade of legal challenges, only to face a difficult financing market. Posts are here and here.
  5. Bay Mills Indian Community opens casino in Vanderbilt, MI on fee land. Would probably be number 1 or 2 if it happened earlier in the year. Posts here and here.
  6. Chief Justice Roberts dissent in North Carolina v. South Carolina. Mountain out of a molehill? Maybe, but still…. Post here.
  7. Bloomberg report on Foxwoods default. Old news, but continuing to be important. Post here.
  8. Elena Kagan Appointment to Supreme Court. Plenty of speculation here on her (lack of an) Indian law record. Top posts here and here.
  9. Supreme Court 2010 October Term Preview. Here.
  10. Possible Keith Harper Appointment to Tenth Circuit. Here.

Honorable mentions include the indictment of former Sault Ste. Marie tribal official Fred Paquin; Walter Echohawk’s new book; federal court challenges to consecutive sentences by tribal courts; the Saginaw Chippewa reservation boundaries settlement, and the passing of Phil Frickey.

Update (2:30 PM): Obviously, as Alex Skibine noted in the comments section, the Cobell settlement was a huge story for the year, while probably happening too late in the year to generate enough hits to make the top ten list. Same goes for President Obama’s announcement of support for the UN DRIP.

Walter Echo-Hawk book Talk at OKC Oklahoma Heritage Museum: Sept. 21

Oklahoma City, OK – Acclaimed Pawnee attorney, activist, and author Walter R. Echo-Hawk will present his book In the Courts of the Conqueror:  The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided, at a book talk on Tuesday, September 21, 6:00 pm, at the Oklahoma Heritage Association Museum, 1400 Classen Boulevard, Oklahoma City.  The program is co-sponsored by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums, Crowe & Dunlevy, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, the Oklahoma Museums Association, and the Oklahoma Heritage Association.

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Native America Calling Interview of Walter Echo-Hawk

From NAC:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010– Book of the Month: In the Courts of the Conqueror: The Ten Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided: (listen)
Time and time again it has been proven that the legal system has formed the world we live in today as Natives. One Native author traces how our Native life has been shaped and at times eaten away by the legal system. In the Courts of the Conqueror: The Ten Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided, Walter Echo-Hawk explores how several court decisions have affected Indian Country. Do you believe the goal of the legal system is to achieve a universal measure of truth and justice? Guests include Pawnee author Walter Echo-Hawk, Counsel to the Crowe & Dunlevy law firm.