NPR Story on Indian Child Welfare Human Rights Crisis in South Dakota

Here is “Justice Department Supports Native Americans In Child Welfare Case.”

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Child Welfare, ICWA, News | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Free MIFPA Training — Sept. 25, 2014

Here: 092514 PA Final

SCAO-Child Welfare Services is hosting a FREE live training program, The Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act Changes the Game: Turning ICWA from Chess to Checkers, in Grand Rapids on Thursday, September 25, 2014.

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

Michigan Indian Legal Services Fall-Winter 2014 Newsletter

Here:

MILS Fall-Winter 2014 Newsletter

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

Update in Massachusetts Suit over Gaming on Martha’s Vineyard

Here are the new materials in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) (D. Mass.):

37 Aquinnah Community Association Motion to Intervene + Proposed Complaint

39 Town of Aquinnah Motion to Intervene

41 Wampanoag Opposition to Town Motion

42 Wampanoag Opposition to Community Association Motion

48 Town Reply

50 Aquinnah Reply

60 Tribe Motion to Dismiss

62 Tribe Rule 19 Motion to Dismiss

Prior posts here and here.

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

Update in Massachusetts Suit over Gaming on Martha’s Vineyard

Here are the new materials in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) (D. Mass.):

37 Aquinnah Community Association Motion to Intervene + Proposed Complaint

39 Town of Aquinnah Motion to Intervene

41 Wampanoag Opposition to Town Motion

42 Wampanoag Opposition to Community Association Motion

48 Town Reply

50 Aquinnah Reply

60 Tribe Motion to Dismiss

62 Tribe Rule 19 Motion to Dismiss

Prior posts here and here.

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

Federal Court Dismisses & Remands Silvia Burley/California Miwok Challenge to Foreclosure of Tribal Building

Here are the materials in Burley v. OneWest Bank (E.D. Cal.):

14 Onewest Bank Response to Order to Show Cause

15 Burley Response to Order to Show Cause

17 DCT Order

Prior post with materials here.

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

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Interior and Lower Klamath River Tribes in Water Dispute

Here are the materials in San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority v. Jewell (E.D. Cal.):

95 First Amended Complaint

113 Water Districts Motion for Summary J

116 Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman Opposition

118 Hoopa Opposition

119 Yurok Opposition

120-1 US Opposition

122 California Amicus Opposition

125 Water Districts Reply

132 Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen Reply

133 Hoopa Reply

134 Yurok Reply

135 US Reply 

175 DCT Order

News coverage here: “Judge won’t stop emergency water releases helping Klamath Basin salmon.”

 

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

In-House Tribal Attorney Posting: Stillaguamish Tribe

STILLAGUAMISH TRIBAL ATTORNEY

The Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, a sovereign, federally-recognized Tribe, is looking to hire an in-house Tribal Attorney with a minimum of three years’ experience in federal Indian law, to serve the Tribe as it collectively defines its future for generations to come.

The in-house legal work is very diverse and challenging, but the primary focus of this position will be on employment law in Indian Country, commercial transactions, Indian Gaming, Tribal economic development, and realty.
The Tribe is looking for someone with excellent people skills and the ability to work collegially, flexibly and creatively. An interest in conflict transformation and alternative dispute resolution would be a plus. A strong ethical character and an egalitarian willingness to work hard as part of a small legal department team is important. A sense of humor, a flexible temperament, a practical sensibility, creativity and intellectual and philosophical curiosity are also highly desired!

Indian preference will be exercised in the hiring of this position in accordance with the Tribe’s Personnel Policies.

APPLICATION: The Tribe would like to hire someone for this position as soon as possible, but will take the time it needs to find the right candidate. Please submit the following:
Application for Employment (you may request this application on the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians website: http://www.stillaguamish.com/)
Cover letter including salary requirements.
Résumé or CV with the names of at least three professional references.
Legal writing sample.

Please send the above to Human Resources at the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, PO Box 277, Arlington, WA 98223 and a copy addressed to the Director, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians Legal Department, PO Box 277, Arlington, WA 98223. Phone: Human Resources Department at 360-652-7362.

Posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, jobs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Navajo Boy Sent Home for Having Long Hair on First Day of School

Here is one of many articles.

And here is what the Fifth Circuit has already said about such nonsense regarding the treatment of another 5-year-old in Texas:

A Native American boy and his parents challenge a school district’s requirement that he wear his long hair in a bun on top of his head or in a braid tucked into his shirt. We agree with the district court that the requirement offends a sincere religious belief and hold it invalid under Texas law.

And as @NativeApprops pointed out, one might also check out the name of the district and the mascot where this happened.

Posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, Child Welfare, cultural resources, Education | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

New Papers on Tribal Federalism, Native Voting Rights, and Bay Mills

Please take a look:

Tribal Disruption and Federalism
This paper is prepared for the 2014 Honorable James R. Browning Symposium hosted by the Montana Law Review (2015 Forthcoming)
Matthew L. M. Fletcher
Michigan State University College of Law
Abstract:

The very presence of Indian nations within the borders of the United States and its territories has always been, from the Founding, disruptive. Indian nations are disruptive, but as I will argue, they are disruptive in the best possible manner. This paper will describe several ongoing tribal-state disputes throughout the nation, acknowledging that the tribal claims are disruptive, but that tribal disruption is not inherently harmful.

Native Voting Rights
This short paper is prepared for the University of Texas/Mexican Electoral Tribunal Workshop (September 5-6, 2014).
Matthew L. M. Fletcher
Michigan State University College of Law
Abstract:

American Indians’ status as citizens of federal, state, and tribal nations has been riddled with ambiguity since the Founding of the American Republic. This short paper surveys the history and law of Native political rights in the American constitutional structure before concluding with a discussion about special problems in tribal elections.

Rights Without Remedies
Matthew L. M. Fletcher
Michigan State University College of Law
Abstract:

In Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, the Supreme Court issued a critically important decision on tribal sovereign immunity denying Michigan a forum to enforce its alleged rights under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and under state law. The decision reminds me of Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Citizen Potawatomi Nation, where the Court held that Oklahoma could tax tribal smokeshops, but could not sue the tribe to force remittance of the tax revenue. And so for the second time in recent decades, the Court issued a decision that a state had a right under federal Indian law that was unenforceable against an Indian tribe due to sovereign immunity – in other words, a right without a remedy.

The Supreme Court’s primary reasoning in the Bay Mills matter directly focuses the resolution of these kinds of disputes on Congress. Bay Mills did not simply reaffirm tribal immunity – the Court strongly reaffirmed something known as the clear statement rule. The reaffirmation of the clear statement rule could impact many areas of tribal governance beyond tribal sovereign immunity, including labor relations, treaty rights, tribal court jurisdiction, and of course Indian taxation. This paper parses out where the clear statement rule can by utilized by tribal interests for maximum effect, and where reliance upon the rule could generate signals to Congress.

I conclude by identifying the logical outcome of reliance upon the clear statement rule – Congressional reconsideration of tribal immunities. Indian country’s focus on litigation may be forced to give way to the legislative arena. There, tribal interests may be confronted with the rhetoric of rights without remedies.

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