Black Ash Basket — EAB Conference 2014

Black Ash Basket- EAB Conference 2014
“Sustaining Traditions”

WHEN: October 30th, 2014 – THURSDAY
8:30am – 5:00pm EAB/Black Ash Conference
6:00pm – 9:00pm Basket Making, Working with Logs

WHERE: BEST WESTERN PLUS Hotel and Conference Center
6820 S. Cedar Street
Lansing, MI 48911
Phone: 517-694-8123
Toll Free: 800-528-1902
***A block of rooms has been set aside and can be reserved by calling the hotel directly for $88.50 per night plus tax. Please mention for this rate: Ash Conference
(This does not include breakfast)
*Reservations can be made beginning April 30th, 2014
thru September 30th, 2014.

TRAVEL: The Capital City Airport is located in Lansing, Michigan and the hotel has shuttle transportation that can be arranged by calling the hotel 48 hours in advance. There are also Taxis available, but the hotel shuttle is complimentary.
Easy access off of I-96 for those driving in.

PARKING: There is plenty of free parking onsite.
DINING: There is a restaurant and lounge onsite, and a Wendys, and Burger King within .10 of a mile. There are also other eateries such as Applebees within one mile.

REGISTRATION: You can register by printing out the registration form and sending back with check or money order to: Kelly Church PO Box 118 Hopkins, MI 49328
Registration DEADLINE: September 30th, 2014

Posted in Announcements, Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, cultural resources, Michigan Indian | Tagged | Leave a comment

Nottawaseppi Huron Band Legal Dept. Seeks Law Student Workers (Summer and School Year)


Legal Intern

Contact info:

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Final Notice of NNABA Survey


The National Native American Bar Association (NNABA), in conjunction with the research and consulting firm Nextions, has embarked upon a comprehensive research study designed to explore the perspectives and experiences of Native American attorneys. This research will result in the first-of-its-kind study, and the findings from this study will be used to develop educational materials and programming that will help improve the retention and advancement of Native American attorneys in every corner of the legal profession.

A secure and confidential survey has been distributed and can be taken by any attorney that identifies as American Indian/Native Alaskan. If you have already filled out the survey, we thank you for your time! If you have not yet filled out the survey, please take the time to do so as soon as possible. The survey can be taken at the link below and will be closing on April 30th, 2014. We need your voice!

If you would like the convenience of completing the above survey via telephone, you may do so in one of two ways:
1. By contacting Nextions (312-922-0226) any Wednesday or Friday through the end of April between 10:00am-4:00pm CDT to be directed to someone who will facilitate the delivery and completion of the survey. Telephone surveys are completely confidential and should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete.
2. By contacting Nextions (312-922-0226) or Nextions’ lead research associate, Jessica Shoemaker ( to schedule a telephone survey for any time, including nights and weekends. While scheduling a specific time to participate in a telephone survey will necessitate the need for you to share your contact information, your survey responses will remain completely confidential.

Nextions will also be conducting a series of individual telephone interviews. The goal of the interviews is to deepen our understanding of the survey data by adding a qualitative component to an already rich body of information. Interviews will take no longer than 30 minutes and are absolutely and completely confidential. To schedule an interview, please forward your name, contact info and 2-3 preferred interview times to Jessica Shoemaker ( | 312-922-0226).

Respondents are encouraged to participate in both the survey and interview process. If you have questions about either the survey or the interview process, please do not hesitate to reach out to Nextions ( | 312.922.0226) or the National Native American Bar Association ( Thank you in advance for your thoughtful participation!

For more information contact 480-727-0420 or visit

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher | Tagged | Leave a comment

Ugh! No Bay Mills Decision Again This Week

No news again. Not sure what that means, but likely it means the Court is fractured. But then again, they usually are so that conclusion isn’t helpful.

SCOTUSblog data tells us that Justices Ginsburg and Kagan have not yet written for the December sitting, which is when the Court heard the Bay Mills argument. Usually, to balance workload, each Justice is assigned one opinion per sitting. But the Court heard 11 arguments in December, so at least two Justices will have two assignments. Justice Scalia, we know after today, has written twice for December, so we can say with some limited certainty that he will not be the author of the majority opinion in Bay Mills. In other words, it could be anyone.

I’m hoping for Justice Kagan (see my commentary on the argument). Her questions at oral argument suggested a narrow, statute-based view of the matter, though I am doubtful she would find in favor of the tribe. Justice Ginsburg dissented in Kiowa, and her opinion would likely go against the tribe in this one, too. The question there is how far she would go.

But it’s very possible neither Kagan nor Ginsburg write, which means that anyone could.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Michigan Indian, Research, Supreme Court | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Impact of Resource Extraction on Inuit Women and Families in Nunavut

A Report for the Canadian Women’s Foundation was released in January 2014, outlining the impact that resource extraction is having on the Inuit women and families living in Qamani’tuaq, Nunavut. The report contains a literature review and qualitative data as well as a series of recommendations based on the collected data. While much anecdotal information is available about the impact that the extractive industry is having on indigenous peoples around the world, it is nice to see some data that can be used to support anecdotal accounts.

The full report is available here.

The research looked at the following areas:

  • The Work Environment (including issues like sexual harassment and employment opportunities)
  • Material Well-Being/Income
  • Family Relations
  • Addictions
  • Socio-Cultural Concerns

A few excerpts from the report:

Mining is one of the oldest occupations on the planet. It is an industry whose activities, especially in the case of open-pit mining, are very visual. The impacts of these modifications to the landscape also introduce serious environmental risks. It is therefore not surprising that since the early 1970s, a wealth of literature on the topic of mining, extraction industries and sustainable development has been produced. There are far fewer sources that specifically cover the social and gendered impacts of mining—even less that focus explicitly on Indigenous people. Very little material is Inuit-specific. . . .

There is very little evidence in the literature on Indigenous peoples and mining that identifies resource extraction that has been done with thoughtful consultation, support and that has contributed fairly to nearby communities, with little impact on the land, water and people.1

Despite some benefits and exemplary cases,2,3 the majority of sources cite people’s dissatisfaction with the mining process; from discussion, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, to the closure of mines.4,10 The imposition of economic and political structures, Western values and beliefs, displacement, dispossession of lives and culture at considerable social costs are all cornerstones of what many authors describe, in reference to mining and Indigenous peoples, as capitalist and colonial relations.5, 6 Many authors make reference to complicity between the State and extractive industries.1, 10 Although people are identified as having greater access to some degree of income security, the benefits of mining projects are not distributed equally between industry and the people directly affected. 7, 8, 9 Mining projects in the Canadian North have become part of a social and political attitude that can be described as ‘new frontierism’,10 where a great expanse of land and resources are waiting to be discovered and profited from, the benefits of which will ‘trickle down’ to those framed as ‘tragically destitute’. The “anxious”3 arguments for territorial and extractive expansion are reminiscent of a very familiar paternal discourse that associates the Canadian Arctic with Canadian identity and opportunity, in a rhetoric that often leaves out Inuit altogether. ‘The north serves, primarily, “our”—easily understood to mean southern Canadian—interests and aspirations.11 . . . .

The Canadian economy has been, historically, and continues to be focused on resource extraction and development. These activities cannot be viewed without attention to environmental, historical, political, economic and social interconnections. Resource extraction has, and continues to generate considerable controversy and debate among Canadians. Over the past year Canadians have seen 2.5 million rivers and lakes protected by the Navigable Waters Protection Act drop to only 160 with the passing of Omnibus Bill C-45. Proposals for the twinning and expansion of pipelines for the transportation of crude oil across the continent have been moving forward in the presence of oil spills in Alberta and British Columbia and the Lac-Mégantic explosion in Québec. The Alberta tar sands are seen by many to contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and thus global warming; a concern with regard to the environmental and social consequences for Arctic Canada. These developments generate controversy, with some politicians, business people, economists and members of the public focusing on the economic advantages – the contribution of oil sands development to employment and the Canadian economy. The Canadian economy is heavily reliant on the export of resources. In 2010, the energy, forest, agriculture and mining sectors accounted for 60.8% of the country’s exports. Total exports accounted for about 30% the country’s GDP.13 Internationally, countries struggling with poverty increasingly see the export of their mineral wealth as a means for lifting themselves out of poverty and as a way of participating in a globalized capitalist economy.14, 15 Since World War II mining has played an increasingly important critical role in fueling capitalist growth and expansion.14, 16, 17

A growing concern in all economies—increasingly in western European as well as ‘south’ countries—is growing economic inequality and the long-term implications for social well-being and the functioning of civil society. Cheap labour facilitates the accumulation of capital for development.18 The role of resource development in the creation of unequal outcomes and the dispossession of some to the advantage of others is an international concern related to mining and resource development.12 Colonial expansion—internationally—has strong ties to the history of the development of gold and other minerals.19 The history of gold mining—including its recent history—is full of intrigue and controversy. Naylor provides a trenchant portrayal of the recent history of international gold mining, including attention to the technology and environmental implications of the chemicals and processes used to extract gold from ore, and the impact of gold mining on Indigenous peoples.20 Internationally, gold mining continues to generate considerable opposition from Indigenous peoples whose traditional lands – from Papua New Guinea, to Latin America, Australia and Canada—continue to be subject to considerable pressure from the ebb and flow of international desires for ‘glamorous gold’.16

At the same time, there are individuals in the mining industry and companies that are clearly attempting to ‘do things differently’. This is not always possible as mining companies, heavily dependent upon investment and sensitive—as are all corporations—to their share price on Canadian and international stock exchanges, must still live with attention to the ‘bottom line’. Depending on the values, orientation and pressures acting on those responsible for decision- making, the promises made in an impact benefit agreement may get compromised, environmental protection, in an attempt to save money and remain competitive, may be compromised. The pressures operating on management decisions in the mining industry are many. The literature dealing with the social and environmental impacts of mining is overwhelmingly concerned with these realities.

The history of the relationship of Canadians to the Arctic pre-dates confederation and the transfer of lands and resources under the control of the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Arctic islands under the control of Great Britain to the newly formed Canadian state. The colonization of northern lands, peoples and resources proceeds in a fashion that paralleling settlement of eastern and then later, western Canada. Displacement is literally and symbolically critical to capitalist expansion and colonial initiatives.10, 12, 21, 22 Incorporating colonial subjects into developing economies has been a concern related to colonial expansion since the early 1800s. In the Canadian Arctic, Inuit were first employed in the whaling industry. With its collapse just before the First World War, they were integrated into the fox fur trade of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The collapse of the fur trade following the Second World War introduced a period of welfarism with Inuit increasingly dependent for sustenance and survival on the newly-developed liberal welfare state. It was a period where Inuit struggled with an epidemic of tuberculosis, the residential and day schooling of Inuit children, a move from hunting camps to consolidated settlements and, in general, phenomenal social, cultural and economic change. 23

These events had devastating and long-lasting impacts on people’s livelihoods, cultural vitality, self-esteem and both physical and mental health.18, 23 Increasingly, efforts were made to integrate Inuit with the Canadian industrial economy, commencing with employment at the North Rankin Nickel Mine operating on the west coast of Hudson Bay from 1957 to 1962 and the construction of the Distant Early Warning (D.E.W.) Line (1956-57). These efforts are also evident in the development of Nanisivik, a lead-zinc mine developed near the Inuit community of Arctic Bay on the northern tip of Baffin Island. Planning commenced in the early 1970s and the mine operated from 1978 until 2002. It employed around 200 people from neighbouring communities and, along with the Polaris Mine operating on Little Cornwallis Island in the high Arctic, introduced many Inuit to wage employment for the first time.24 Studies have revealed that the long-term or sustainable benefits of these projects for Inuit were few—if any.24 They neither benefited from the infrastructure associated with the mines, nor were investments made in alternative income-generating activities that would sustain Inuit families after the mines were shut down.

Posted in Aboriginal Rights, Author: Victoria Sweet, Canadian Indian, economic development, Environmental, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quileute Tribe Sues Merchandising Company for Violation of Indian Arts and Crafts Act Related to “Twilight” Movies

Here is the complaint in Quileute Tribe v. National Entertainment Collectibles Association (W.D. Wash.):

1 Complaint

An excerpt:

1. The Quileute Tribe brings this Complaint against National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc. (“NECA”) for unfair competition and for violation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. In this action, the Quileute Tribe seeks to protect its heritage from Defendant’s improperly marketed and advertised products, and to ensure that consumers are no longer deceived, confused or misled in their pursuits to find and acquire authentic and genuine Quileute products.

2. The Quileute people have lived on the Olympic Peninsula for thousands of years, and have their own unique language, art and folklore. Quileute art and artifacts are prized for their distinctive character, and are displayed in museums throughout Washington.
3. As alleged herein, NECA has advertised, promoted, and sold its goods under the “Quileute” name on the Internet and in various retail stores across the United States. Defendant’s conduct is designed to convey to consumers a false association or affiliation with the Quileute Tribe, and to unfairly trade off of the fame, reputation and goodwill of the Quileute Tribe.
4. Consumers have been misled as to the source, origin, sponsorship, or affiliation of Defendant’s products sold under the “Quileute” name. If Defendant is permitted to continue to market and retail its products, many consumers will conclude that the goods sold by NECA were originated from, jointly developed by, licensed, certified, supported by or are otherwise affiliated with the Quileute Tribe, which they are not.
5. In addition, NECA sells its goods by falsely suggesting they are the product of the Quileute Tribe, are Indian-produced or are the product of an Indian Tribe, in violation of the Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

6. The Quileute Tribe accordingly brings this action, seeks damages, and seeks to enjoin NECA from using the “Quileute” name for the marketing and sale of goods.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, cultural resources, Research | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cert Opposition Briefs in Village of Hobart v. Wisconsin Oneida


US Opposition Brief

Oneida Tribe TK

Petition is here.

Lower court materials here.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, fee to trust, Research, Supreme Court, taxation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Skull Repatriated to Grand Traverse Band

News coverage:

Indian man’s skull turned over to tribe

Northern Michigan tribe receives Indian man’s skull that Leelanau County family had for years

Indian man’s skull turned over to Michigan tribe

Native American skull returned to tribe more than 100 years later


Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, cultural resources, Michigan Indian, News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Please Read Justice Sotomayor’s Dissent in Schuette v. BAMN


An excerpt:

The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.


Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Research, Supreme Court | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Amicus Brief Filed in United States v. Zepeda


Criminal Defense Attorney Amicus

Prior posts here (order granting en banc review), and links to briefs here.


Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Criminal, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment