Consultation Webinar Announcement

Defending Tribal Sovereignty: The Ongoing Battle Over “Meaningful Consultation” and Self-Governance Over Natural and Cultural Resources

May 23, 2018

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EST

Non-CLE Webinar


(direct link:

The Dakota Access Pipeline, Bears Ears National Monument, de-listing of the gray wolf and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Grizzly Bear, and the Bureau of Land Management’s rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on Federal and Indian land. These high-profile courtroom dramas are about more than the protection and use of natural resources: they encapsulate the ongoing struggle between tribes and federal agencies over the government’s obligation as trustee to engage in “meaningful consultation” about actions impacting Indian Country. These developments are just the latest in a centuries-long debate about the meaning of tribal sovereignty, and they offer an indigenous perspective into the promise of true environmental justice.

Government-to-government consultation is an amorphous concept, cobbled together from executive actions, statutes protecting historic and cultural artifacts, and assorted agency-driven policies and directives. It is even the subject of proposed legislation to clarify, once and for all, the federal government’s responsibility to involve the nation’s 573 tribal governments in agency decision-making that directly affects their rights, lands, and values. This is an issue that cuts across multiple practice areas—administrative law, environmental law, civil rights, and the federal government’s trust responsibility to Indian tribes.


Join our expert panelists as they discuss the key concepts of government-to-government consultation and its sources in Executive Order 13175, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the federal government’s trust obligation. Our panel will evaluate the latest developments and offer perspectives on how tribes can take the lead in defining meaningful consultation and building their own capacity.




Sarah Krakoff, Raphael J. Moses Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School, Denver, CO



Robert A. Hershey, Professor Emeritus, Indigenous Law & Policy Program, The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Tucson, AZ

Claudia Nissley, President, Nissley Environmental, Inc., Longmont, CO

Jeremy J. Patterson, Partner, Fredericks, Peebles & Morgan LLP, Louisville, CO


Sponsored by:

Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, and the Section’s Committee on Native American Resources.

Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the Section’s Environmental Justice Committee


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