Fredericks Peebles & Morgan Litigation Attorney Posting


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

Press Release: Interior Announces $1.2 Million to Be Awarded to Tribes to Take Control, Operate Their Bureau of Indian Education-Funded Schools

As part of the Obama Administration’s historic commitment to ensure that all students attending Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)-funded schools receive a world- class education, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn today announced that six federally recognized tribes have been awarded $1.2 million in Sovereignty in Indian Education (SIE) enhancement funds to promote tribal control and operation of BIE-funded schools on their reservations. The funds implement a recommendation contained in the Blueprint for Reform of the Bureau of Indian Education issued on June 13, 2014, by the American Indian Education Study Group convened by Secretary Jewell and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

“Increasing tribal control over BIE-funded schools not only promotes tribal self-determination, but also provides greater tribal discretion in determining what American Indian children should learn, increasing accountability throughout the school system,” Secretary Jewell said. “With school management authority, these communities will have more power to create lessons with tribal cultural values and Native languages, both of which can ensure their children stay connected to their heritage and help them to succeed in the future. These enhancement funds can make the difference in an effective, relevant and rigorous education for American Indian children.”

The following tribes will receive enhancement funding:

  • Gila River Indian Community, Sacaton, Arizona
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Fort Yates, North Dakota
  • Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Belcourt, North Dakota
  • Tohono O’Odham Nation, Sells, Arizona
  • Navajo Nation, Window Rock, Arizona
  • Oglala Sioux Tribe, Pine Ridge, South Dakota


Full press release here.

Posted in Author: Victoria Sweet, Education | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

MIFPA/ICWA Expert Witness and Active Efforts Case out of Michigan COA


The court conditionally reversed the trial court because of a lack of proper expert witness testimony (citing ICWA, MIFPA and the Guidelines). It also finds that the agency made active efforts–even if there was no testimony for each element in the MIFPA definition of active efforts.

Interestingly, this case also addresses what child protective orders may be appealed (or not) in Michigan, and advises the Michigan Supreme Court to revise the Michigan Court Rules to allow for an appeal of right of a removal of a child:

We also suggest that the Supreme Court consider modifying MCR 3.993 in order to permit a parental appeal of right, at least under some circumstances, from removal order when a child is removed from his or her parents at a stage prior to adjudication. Where a parent’s action or neglect threatens a child’s safety sufficient to justify removal at the outset of a child protective proceeding, it is neither surprising nor objectionable that such removal would correlate with a higher likelihood of termination. However, as several recent cases have shown, the decision to remove a child can substantially affect the balance of the child protective proceedings even where the initial concerns are eventually determined to have been overstated.

In such cases, the parent may find his or her parental rights terminated not because of neglect or abuse, but because of (1) a failure to adequately comply with the Department’s directives and programs and (2) a loss of bonding due to a lack of parental visitation.

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

Omaha Tribe Judge and Prosecutor Postings

Reposting upon request:


POSITION                           :                   Chief Tribal Judge

SALARY                               :                   Negotiable

OPENING DATE                 :                   September 02, 2014

CLOSING DATE                  :                   Until Filled

LOCATION                          :                   Omaha Tribal Court

Omaha Tribe of Nebraska

Macy, NE  68039

Continue reading

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, jobs, tribal courts | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Navajo Nation Supreme Court Decision in Tsosie v. Deschene

Opinion here.

Based on the foregoing, by majority decision, the Court hereby enters a Permanent Writ of Mandamus against the Respondents. Under its administrative duties to implement the Election Code, the NEA is ordered to comply with 11 N.N.C. 44. The ballots are to be immediately reprinted without the name of the disqualified candidate, Christopher C. Deschene. It is unavoidable that the November 4, 2014 election must be postponed as agreed to by the Chief Legislative Counsel, and as permitted by 11 N.N.C. 3 to ensure a valid election.

Briefs posted here.

Posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, Language, tribal courts, tribal election | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn to Keynote MSU ILPC’s 2014 Annual Conference: “Dismantling Barriers in American Indian Education” — Nov. 20, 2014

We are pleased to announce that Interior Dept. Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn will serve as our keynote speaker for our 2014 annual conference.KKW

Anita Fineday will serve as our lunchtime speaker.

Our agenda is as follows:

November 20th, 2014

Castle Board Room

8:00am Continental Breakfast

8:30 am Welcome, Dean Joan Howarth

9:00 am Keynote Speaker: Asst. Sec. Kevin Washburn

10:00 am- 11:00 am Boarding School and Intergenerational Trauma: Dr. Suzanne Cross (MSU), Hunter Genia, Saginaw Chippewa Tribe

11:15am-12:15pm Historical and Legal: Nicole Blalock (ASU), Melody McCoy (NARF), April Day (Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton) Moderator, Kristi Bowman (MSU Law)

12:30pm – 1:15pm Lunch, Anita Fineday, Casey Family ProgramsAnita Fineday

1:30pm- 2:30pm Sovereignty and Education: Treena Metallic (First Nations Education Council), Eric Hemenway (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), Moderator, Tiffani Darden (MSU Law)

2:30 pm – 3:15 pm Youth Leadership and Outreach: Estrella Torrez (MSU), Emily Proctor (MSU Extension, Little Traverse), Christine Marie Dewey (Little Traverse student), Moderator Jennifer Rosa (MSU Law)

3:30pm – 5:30pm Higher Education Native Student Services: Dr. Tawa Sina (MSU), Dr. Angelique Day (Wayne State), Shelly Lowe (Harvard), Rose Petoskey (Cornell), Melvin Monette (American Indian Graduate Center & National Indian Education Association), Dr. Suzanne Cross (MSU), Moderator, Matthew L.M. Fletcher (MSU Law)

Our conference page is here.

Our conference will follow the day after the School Environment Listening Tour for Native American Students on November 19, 2014.


Posted in Announcements, Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Education, Michigan Indian, Symposia | Tagged , | 1 Comment

MSU ILPC to Host Dept. of Education School Environment Listening Tour for Native American Students — Nov. 19, 2014

The US Dept. of Education’s White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education will be conducting a listening session on Native American students’ educational environment. They will make a stop at MSU’s Kellogg Center Auditorium on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. Events begin at 9 AM.

The listening sessions are focusing on school environment issues — bullying, student discipline and offensive imagery and symbolism. The White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education is gathering feedback during the tour and will consider how it can inform future action to ensure Native American students receive a high quality education.

The media advisory is here.

Interested persons may register here (click EAST LANSING). Registration will allow you to be kept informed on the agenda and other details.

Native students are strongly encouraged to attend!


Posted in Announcements, Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Education, Michigan Indian | Tagged | 1 Comment

Third Circuit Holds NAGPRA Does Not Require Repatriation of Jim Thorpe’s Remains

Here is the opinion in Thorpe v. Borough of Jim Thorpe:

Jim Thorpe Opinion [Update -- the clerk has withdrawn this version of the opinion for quality control.]

An excerpt:

Thorpe’s remains are located at their final resting place and have not been disturbed. We find that applying NAGPRA to Thorpe’s burial in the Borough is such a clearly absurd result and so contrary to Congress’s intent to protect Native American burial sites that the Borough cannot be held to the requirements imposed on a museum under these circumstances. We reverse the District Court and hold that the Borough is not a “museum” under NAGPRA for the purposes of Thorpe’s burial.

Briefs here and here. Oral argument audio here.

Lower court materials here.

Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, cultural resources, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Multi-Jurisdictional Law Enforcement Conference — November 5-7, 2014

Here (PDF):


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

Ninth Circuit Briefs in State of Arizona v. Tohono O’odham Nation


Arizona Brief

Salt River & Gila River Brief

TON Answer Brief

Arizona Reply Brief

Salt River & Gila River Reply Brief

Lower court materials here.


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