Miigwetch to our own Elaine Barr:
Miigwetch to our own Elaine Barr:
Materials are here.
Big case out of Michigan’s Court of Appeals on an adoption with a very complicated fact pattern. The case was argued by MSU Law/ILPC alum Karrie Wichtman. The case held that MIFPA’s placement preferences in an adoption hold, even while ICWA’s failed under Adoptive Couple. It should also be noted that this was the analysis Jack Trope & Addie Smith followed in their article on Adoptive Couple and state ICWA laws.
MIFPA differs from ICWA in that it does not give a preference to eligible parties over ineligible parties. Rather, MIFPA requires that, absent good cause, the adoptive placement must be either with a member of the child’s extended family, a member of the Indian child’s tribe, or an Indian family, in that “order of preference.” MCL 712B.23(2). The record demonstrates that the Arbutantes have no familial connection to KMN; they are not connected to the Tribe, and they are not an Indian family. Therefore, absent a good cause finding, MIFPA precluded the trial court from placing KMN with the Arbutantes.
Unfortunately, the COA did not reinstate the abuse and neglect petition that started the case in the first place, leaving the child in legal limbo.
Paul Spruhan has updated his timeline. It is posted in SSRN here.
Here is the FBA 2015 brochure (PDF). And the blurb:
40th Annual Indian Law Conference | April 9–10, 2015 | Talking Stick Resort | Scottsdale, Ariz.
If you are working with—or on behalf of—Native Americans, this is the largest annual law event designed for you. At this year’s conference, Forty Years Strong: The Indian Self-Determination Era Strengthening Tribal Sovereignty, attendees will hear scholars, federal appointees, and other community leaders discuss some of the most pressing issues related to Indian law and the future independence and health of tribal communities. Special events commemorating this landmark event include colorguard presentation and honor song during the Thursday luncheon and a celebratory round dance at the conclusion of the conference on Friday. Don’t miss this celebration 40 years in the making! Visit www.fedbar.org/IndianLaw15 today for more information about attending this premier Indian Law event.
Here is the agenda (PDF):
Here is the live stream link for the morning panel sessions:
And here is the link for the Keynote address:
The University of South Dakota School of Law Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) organized a Peace Gathering in honor of the 57 children from American Horse School on the Pine Ridge Reservation. These students, age 9 to 13, were attending a Rapid City Rush hockey game in recognition of their school accomplishments. Unfortunately, these students had beer poured on them and were subject to racial epithets. The alleged perpetrator was charged with a low level misdemeanor of disorderly conduct.
The gathering brought together almost 30 law students and faculty members into the courtroom. The Law School community was invited to write personal letters of encouragement and support to send to the students. NALSA’s goal is to send a strong message to the children so that they know we support them in their efforts to continue to strive and to grow from this negative and ugly experience.
Tysolake House, second year law student and Vice-President of NALSA, shared his thoughts on the incident. For Tysolake, this incident hit very close to home. He mentioned the obstacles he had to overcome dealing with racially charged issues as a child. He also expressed his sympathies for the children as he envisioned this situation potentially happening to his own children, who are the same age.
USD Law Professor Frank Pommersheim shared a few thoughts about how to move forward from this horrible incident. His remarks focused on the need for ‘solidarity,’ particularly from NALSA and the legal community, to show support for these young native students. These students need to know that there are many people of good will who want them to succeed.
Gene Thin Elk, Director of the Native American Cultural Center, also attended the Peace Gathering in support of the children from American Horse School. Gene expressed his support by sharing a few words about overcoming adversity and by singing a Lakota Song.
USD NALSA President
I am proud to announce the 2015 Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program projects that have been selected to receive an award. The National Native American Law Student Association Executive Board has chosen a project from Columbia Law School and the University of Michigan Law School! Columbia Law School will be working with Anishinabe Legal Services on three reservations in northwestern Minnesota to assist indigent program clients with civil needs, including a strong emphasis on domestic violence. Michigan Law School will be travelling to the Navajo Nation to work with DNA Legal Services to gain legal and practical skills, while also learning about Navajo life in Window Rock, Arizona. NNALSA has budgeted $1,000 for this year’s program, and each school will receive an award of $500! NNALSA would also like to recognize all program applicants for the high quality projects that were submitted. Congratulations to this year’s award winners!
In other news, Alex Kitson has made the difficult decision to resign from her duties as the Public Relations Director of NNALSA. On behalf of the Board of NNALSA, I would like to thank Alex for her time and commitment at helping NNALSA achieve its goals by helping to spread the word through numerous media outlets. Alex, you will be missed and good luck in all of your future endeavors.
The Executive Board took a vote and appointed P. Nelson Lambert to the PR Director position. Nelson entered NNALSA as the Area 5 representative. Because the Board appointed him to PR Director Area 5 is now vacant and we are looking to fill the position. If any member is interested in representing Area 5 please send an interest statement to email@example.com.
Be sure to keep a look out for future announcements because NNALSA has some wonderful events and opportunities coming up! Events such as the National Moot Court Competition at the University of Arizona, and “Fed-Bar” where the new future board members of NNALSA will be elected and where the best 1L, 2L, 3L, and Chapter of the Year awards will be given. I hope everyone is excited about the future of NNALSA, and the positive future we are trying to achieve for Indian Country.
J.D. Candidate, 2016
Charlotte School of Law
National NALSA Public Relations Director