2018 TICA/ILPC Conference Nov. 14-16: Agenda and Registration

The time has come yet again! The best conference around, held in beautiful East Lansing, Michigan during the best time of year, is now accepting registrations!

The conference page is here, which includes the tentative agenda and a link to registration. TICA’s website is here.

In addition to two days of excellent presentations, this we have applied for CLE credits, including ethics and elimination of bias credits.  Also new this year is a bonus Title IV-E Families First panel on Wednesday, along with an in-house ICWA attorney meeting. Also on Wednesday is an open house/meet and greet for for tribes to recruit summer legal interns, and our welcome reception. Check out the agenda for details.

Our artist this year is Peter Boome.

Sponsors already include: Kewenvoyouma Law PLLC, Kogovsek & Associates, Hogen Adams, PLLC, Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton LLP, Woodsum Drummond, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry LLP, Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP, and Casey Family Programs. If you are interested in sponsoring a panel (or three), contact Kate Fort or Doreen McPaul (fort@law.msu.edu or Doreen.McPaul@pascuayaqui-nsn.gov). We absolutely cannot do the conference without these donations, and we are very thankful for them.

Follow us here, on Twitter, and especially on Instagram for updates, and additional acknowledgments of our sponsors! We are @ilpc_turtletalk

Posted in Announcements, Author: Kate E. Fort, Research | Tagged , , , , , ,

DOJ Justice Manual — Indian Country Provisions

Earlier this week the Department of Justice replaced the US Attorneys’ Manual with the new Justice Manual. [Miigwetch to Chris Chaney for the tip.]


Indian Jurisdiction
Indian Country—Introduction Criminal Resource Manual at 674
Investigative Jurisdiction Criminal Resource Manual at 675
MOU re Indian Law Enforcement Reform Act Criminal Resource Manual at 676
Indian Country Defined Criminal Resource Manual at 677
The General Crimes Act—18 U.S.C. § 1152 Criminal Resource Manual at 678
The Major Crimes Act—18 U.S.C. § 1153 Criminal Resource Manual at 679
Lesser Included Offenses Under 18 U.S.C. § 1153 Criminal Resource Manual at 680
Indian Jurisdiction—Tribal Options Criminal Resource Manual at 681
Successive Prosecutions Criminal Resource Manual at 682
“Victimless Crimes” Criminal Resource Manual at 683
Memorandum for Benjamin R. Civiletti Re Jurisdiction Over “Victimless” Crimes Committed by Non-indians on Indian Reservations Criminal Resource Manual at 684
Exclusive Federal Jurisdiction Over Offenses by Non-Indians Against Indians Criminal Resource Manual at 685
Who is an “Indian”? Criminal Resource Manual at 686
Tribal Court Jurisdiction Criminal Resource Manual at 687
State Jurisdiction Criminal Resource Manual at 688
Jurisdictional Summary Criminal Resource Manual at 689
Embezzlement and Theft from Tribal Organization Criminal Resource Manual at 690
Indian Gaming Criminal Resource Manual at 691
Posted in Author: Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Criminal, Research | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Sturgeon v. Frost II Background Materials

Merits Briefs:

Petitioner’s Brief

States’ Amicus Brief

Respondents’ Brief

Alaska Amicus Brief

National Parks Conservation Association Amicus Brief

Law Professors’ Brief

Alaska Native Subsistence Users Amicus Brief

Cert Stage Briefs:

Cert Petition

Alaska Amicus Brief in Support of Cert Petition

Federal Brief in Opposition to Cert

Cert Stage Reply

Lower court materials:

Opinion in Sturgeon v. Masica.

Alaska Brief

Enviro Groups Brief

Federal Brief

Mentasta Traditional Village et al Brief

Sturgeon Brief

Materials in Sturgeon v. Frost I:

SCOTUS Opinion


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

Federal Court Dismisses NEPA Suit re: Osage Mineral Estate

Here are the materials in Persimmon Ridge LLC v. Zinke (N.D. Okla.):

18 Amended Complaint

21 US Motion to Dismiss

25 Persimmon Response

28 Reply

42 DCT Order

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

Federal Court Allows FTCA Suit re: Navajo Nation Police Vehicle Accident to Proceed

Here are the materials in Stearney v. United States (D. Ariz.):

59 Amended Complaint

92 US Motion for Summary J

108 Response

118 Reply

119 DCT Order

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

National Indian Law Library Bulletin (9/19/2018)


The National Indian Law Library added new content to the Indian Law Bulletins on 9/19/18.

Law Review & Bar Journal Bulletin (contact us if you need help finding a copy of an article)

  • HB-2951: Increasing services to report and investigate missing Native American women.
  • Exercising sovereignty through tribal courts.
  • Eluding the proper scope of federal jurisdiction: United States v. Johnny Smith and the Assimilative Crimes Act.

Federal Courts Bulletin
Pakootas v. Teck Cominco Metals, LTD. (Hazardous Waste)
Oglala Sioux Tribe v. Fleming (Indian Child Welfare Act)

State Courts Bulletin
In re Beers (Michigan Indian Family Preservation Act; Indian Child Welfare Act – Termination of Parental Right)

News Bulletin
In the Recognition and Enrollment section, we feature an article about Little Shell tribal recognition progress.

U.S. Legislation Bulletin
The following resolution was added:
S.Res.631: A resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the Indian Civil Rights Act and voting rights for American Indian and Alaska Native communities across the country.

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

Federal Court Dismisses ICRA Habeas Petition Brought against Kewa Pueblo/Pueblo of Santo Domingo

Here are the materials in Aguilar v. Rodriguez (D.N.M.):

12 Objections

13 Motion for Immediate Release

16 Response to 13

18 DCT Order

Prior post here.

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

Oklahoma Bar Association Indian Law Section CLE Event(Oct. 12, 2018)

Here (PDF):

ILS Save the Date 2018

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

Arizona SCT Oral Argument Video in Hopi Tribe v. Arizona Snowbowl


Prior posts here.

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

Chris Chaney on Data Sovereignty in Tribal Governance

Christopher B. Chaney has published “Data Sovereignty in Tribal Governance” in TribalNet Magazine.

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

Eighth Circuit Dismisses Oglala Sioux v. Fleming Under Abstention Doctrine


This is the long running (initiated before Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl) case that is attempting to address the due process and ICWA violations against Native families in Pennington Co., South Dakota. Brought by Oglala Sioux, Rosebud Sioux and two individual tribal citizen mothers on behalf of a class of similarly situated parents, this case has highlighted the disturbing practices of the county (which, even more disturbingly, are not that surprising to trial level practitioners in our child welfare system). The District Court had found for the plaintiffs at each stage, and found specifically that abstention/Younger doctrine did not a apply to this case. The Eighth Circuit found differently.

Setting aside the due process claims for the sake of this point, ICWA itself creates a right of action under 25 USC 1914 (a parent, custodian, or tribe may petition a court of competent jurisdiction to invalidate any cases in violation of 1911 [jurisdiction], 1912 [notice/active efforts/burden of proof], or 1913 [voluntary proceedings]). This right, however, has often been limited by federal courts under abstention doctrines, which means the state courts that are causing the abuses of the law are the only places to address the abuses of the law. As the Court states, “Although the plaintiffs complain that state court proceedings do not afford parents an adequate opportunity to raise broad constitutional challenges under the Due Process Clause, they have not established that South Dakota courts are unwilling or unable to adjudicate their federal claims.” There are a number of federal cases on ICWA–that is, ones that are attempting to demonstrate a violation of the law–that end up with a hollow 1914. See Yancey v. Bonner, 2008 WL 4279760 (W.D. Okla. 2008), Navajo Nation v. LDS Family Services, 2006 WL 3692662 (D. Utah 2006), Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma v. Rader, 822 F.2d 1493 (10th Cir. 1987)

I’d also note while the Court said “[t]he relief requested would interfere with the state judicial proceedings by requiring the defendants to comply with numerous procedural requirements at future 48-hour hearings,” those procedural requirements are ones required by both the Constitution and the Indian Child Welfare Act.

The ICWA Appellate Project filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Navajo Nation, Cherokee Nation, the ICWA Law Center, NICWA and NCAI in this case.

Posted in Author: Kate E. Fort, ICWA | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment