ILPC Event March 30, 2015: “Guiding Indian Law” with Dean Nell Newton, Sam Deloria, Tom Gede, and Chris Coppin

Please join us!


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ILPC Event: Guiding Indian Law

Chris Coppin, Tom Gede, Sam Deloria, and Dean Nell Newton


Deskbook of American Indian Law


Cohen Handbook of Federal Indian Law


Dean Joan Howarth


MSU NALSA early birds


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Brian Upton on the Tribal Self-Governance Partnership at the National Bison Range

Brian Upton, an MSU alum, has published “Returning to a Tribal Self-Governance Partnership at the National Bison Range Complex: Historical, Legal, and Global Perspectives” (PDF) in the Public Land & Resources Law Review.

An excerpt:

The National Bison Range (Range) is an unforgettable place for many reasons. Home to its namesake bison as well as to a variety of other wildlife, it is one of the nation’s premier wildlife refuges. Established over one hundred years ago in western Montana, it was among the first such refuges in the country—predating the present-day National Wildlife Refuge System (Refuge System) of which it is now a part. The Range is further distinguished by its location in the center of the Flathead Indian Reservation (Flathead Reservation), where the spectacular scenery includes mountain ranges in every direction. The Range bison descend largely from wild bison that had been saved by members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) at a time when the animals were on the verge of extinction.


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2015 Indian Law Issue of the Federal Lawyer

The annual Indian Law issue of the Federal Lawyer — which includes an article on Native veterans-active duty servicemembers by Kate Fort and Peter Vicaire — is here:

April 2015

  • Hon. William D. Johnson
    Chief Judge, Umatilla Tribal Court Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation,
    Pendleton, Oregon


40 Years of U.S. Supreme Court Indian Law Cases: The Justices and How They Voted
The list that follows tells you the Indian law cases the Supreme Court decided in the 40 years of the Indian Law Conference, the citation, whether it favors or is adverse to Indian interests, who wrote the majority opinion, and how the other justices voted.
The Human-Rights Era of Federal Indian Law
What is the future of federal Indian law? The rise of modern Indian nations took place over the past 45 years. During the Indian self-determination era since 1970, hard-fought nation-building advances were achieved within the framework of federal Indian law. It is fitting to commemorate those formative years, especially on the 40th anniversary of the FBA’s Annual Indian Law Conference. We cannot reflect on those years without asking: Where do we go from here?
The Invisible Families
Child Welfare and American Indian Active–Duty Service Members and Veterans
Professor Sarah Deer: MacArthur Fellow
Learn about the life of this MacArthur Fellow.
As Long as the Water Shall Flow
Water has enabled tribes to survive for thousands of years. Indeed, the reverence for water and its blessings continue to support and shape the tribal political, social, economic, and cultural climate in Indian communities throughout the United States. Today, water remains vital for tribal self-sufficiency, economic development, and providing security for present and future generations.
The Precarious Sovereign Immunity of Tribal Business Corporations
With increasing frequency, Indian tribes form wholly owned corporations for economic development purposes. Tribes often assume these entities are immune from suit, but they may be wrong.
Suffer No Tyranny
How State-Tribal Relations Might Evolve in the Light of the Supreme Court’s Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian CommunityReluctance to Referee Intergovernmental Disputes
For Native American Attorneys, Groundbreaking NNABA Study Reveals Devastating Lack of Inclusion in the Legal Profession at Large
To raise the visibility of Native American attorneys in the legal profession at large, to effectuate lasting reforms in the legal community, and to help build a better pipeline to law school, the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) conducted the first-of-its-kind study of Native American attorneys.
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Northern Express Article on the Burt Lake Burnout and Burt Lake Band

Here is “Burnout.” (PDF)

More details about the burnout here.

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

Navajo Legislator’s Proposal to Remove Navajo Nation Supreme Court Chief Justice


Proposed removal of Navajo Nation Chief Justice


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Ninth Circuit Opening Briefs in Challenge to EPA Permit for Navajo Generating Station


Environmental Groups Opening Brief

To’ Nizhoni Ani Opening Brief

Yazzie Opening Brief

A second appeal involving the Hopi Tribe’s challenge has been severed from this consolidated appeal:

CA9 Order


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Federal Court Orders Arbitration in Western Sky/CashCall Payday Lending Dispute

Here are the materials in Kemph v. Reddam (N.D. Ill.):

51 CashCall Motion to Dismiss-Compel Arbitration

58-1 Plaintiffs’ Response

91 DCT Order

An excerpt:

Plaintiffs’ argument that the loan agreements are unconscionable because JAMS and AAA would never agree to preside over the arbitration is speculative and unconvincing. (See Resp. at 2—3, 13—14; Sur-Reply at 1—3.) Although the arbitration agreements provide that “the arbitrator will apply the laws of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Nation,” (Agreement at 5), the arbitrator, once chosen, would have the authority to determine whether that choice-of-law provision is valid. See Nitro-Lift Technologies, L.L.C. v. Howard, 133 S. Ct. 500, 503 (2012) (holding that once the court determines the validity of the arbitration provision, the remainder of the contract is left for the arbitrator to decide); Vimar Seguros Y Reaseguros, S.A. v. M/V Sky Reefer, 515 U.S. 528, 541, 115 S. Ct. 2322, 2330 (1995)(ruling that the arbitrator should decide choice-of-law in the first instance); CNA Reinsurance Co. v. Trustmark Ins. Co., No. 01 C 1652, 2001 WL 648948, at *6 (N.D. Ill. June 5, 2001); see also Prostyakov v. Masco Corp., 513 F.3d 716, 725 (7th Cir. 2008)(upholding the arbitrator’s interpretation of the choice-of-law clause because it was not the court’s “place to determine whether [the arbitrator’s] interpretation was correct as a matter of law”). This is particularly true because, as discussed, the loan agreements explicitly provide that the arbitrator can decide “any issue concerning the validity, enforceability, or scope of . . . the Arbitration agreement,” which includes [18]  the enforceability of the choice-of-law clause. (Agreement at 4.) Therefore, potential arbitrators need not refuse the dispute in order to comply with internal due process standards. Nor would they be required to violate Illinois public policy by applying tribal law if they chose to accept it. They could instead accept the dispute, find the choice-of-law provision is unenforceable, and determine what default law should apply.

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32nd Annual Michigan State University Powwow: April 18, 2015

Here is the flyer:


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Indian Groups Persuade Federal Court to Preserve Judge Cebull Emails

Here are the materials in Four Directions v. Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability of the Judicial Conference of the United States (N.D. Cal.):

34 Petition to Preserve Evidence

35 Opposition & Motion to Dismiss

38 Response to 35

39 Reply in Support of 35

53 DCT Order

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GAO Report on Tribal Title IV-E Programs


Link here.

Indian tribes developing title IV-E foster care programs faced resource constraints and reported challenges adopting some program requirements. According to GAO’s interviews with tribal and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials, the resource constraints faced by tribes include limited numbers of staff and staff turnover. While the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Fostering Connections Act) allows tribes to administer a title IV-E foster care program, it generally did not modify title IV-E’s requirements for tribes. By contrast, some other programs administered by HHS offer tribes additional flexibilities, provided they are consistent with the objectives of the program. Given tribes’ resource constraints and cultural values, adopting some title IV-E requirements has been difficult. For example, officials from 6 of 11 tribes developing title IV-E programs that GAO interviewed said that the requirement to electronically submit case-level data on all children in foster care was challenging. In addition, 7 of these 11 tribal officials reported that incorporating termination of parental rights—which severs the legal parent-child relationship in certain circumstances—into their tribal codes was challenging because it conflicts with their cultural values. HHS recognizes that termination of parental rights may not be part of an Indian tribe’s traditional beliefs; however according to the agency it lacks the statutory authority to provide a general exemption for tribal children from the requirement.

Report here (pdf, 47 pages)

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