Between hosting the Navajo Nation Supreme Court, co-sponsoring events with the Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) and preparing for the National NALSA Moot Court Competition, the Native American Law Program has been active in providing educational opportunities on campus and beyond. This newsletter highlights events from 2013 and 2014.
March 28, 2014, University of Idaho College of Law Annual Native American Law Conference
The Indian Law Section of the Idaho State Bar and the University of Idaho College of Law are co–hosting this year’s annual Native American Law Conference–Idaho Indian Law Basics. The conference will be held at the College of Law’s Courtroom in Moscow, Idaho. This event is open to the public. For more information, please visit our Native American Law Conference webpage.
Spring 2014 Event
February 28–March 1, 2014, National NALSA Moot Court Competition
Rhylee Marchand (Colville Tribes, 2L) and Samantha Hammond (Salish–Kootenai Tribes, 2L) represented the College of Law at the annual National NALSA Moot Court Competition hosted by the University of Oklahoma College of Law in Norman, Oklahoma. This is the fifth time the UI NALSA chapter has competed in the national competition. The team did well in the preliminary rounds and received a brief score of 62 out of 75. Although they did not advance to the finals, they did a great job overall in representing the College of Law.
Fall 2013 Events
November 5, 2013, Native American Heritage event
For Native American Heritage Month, NALSA and the Environmental Law Society (ELS) co–hosted the March Point film viewing event. March Point is a documentary about three teens from the Swinomish Tribe who investigate how two oil refineries in coastal northwest Washington have impacted their homeland. After the documentary, Larry Campbell Sr., the Swinomish Tribe’s Historical Preservation Officer, provided remarks and answered questions. One of the undergraduate American Indian Studies classes also attended.
October 21, 2013, Coeur d’Alene Tribal CASA Program
The Native Law Program offered a Tribal CASA Training course with the Coeur d’Alene Tribal CASA program. After successful completion of the course, each student received one credit hour and was assigned to minor–in–need of care cases before the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Court. During the fall 2013 semester, five law students were sworn in to the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Court as CASA members.
October 15, 2013, College of Law Native American Recruitment Event
In October, the Native Law Program hosted a recruitment day partially funded by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe 2013 Education Donation to the Native Law Program and the LSAC Discover Law funding for Native Americans interested in the law. Potential applicants participated in a day–long event at the University of Idaho College of Law that included a panel of four law students: Adam Harper (2013); Neomi Gilmore (Navajo Nation, 3L); Ashley Ray (Muscogee Creek Nation, 3L); and Rhylee Marchand (Colville Tribes, 2L).
September 20, 2013, Northwest Tribal Judges Panel
Four Tribal Judges visited Professor EagleWoman’s Native American Law class. The Tribal Judges panel included Nez Perce Chief Judge Bruce Plackowski, Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Chief Judge Cindy Jordan, and Tulalip Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jane Smith. The judges spoke about the practice of tribal law, the central role of Tribal Courts in tribal communities, and recent federal law changes, such as the Tribal Law and Order Act. After the presentation, the judges joined the NALSA officers and members for a luncheon.
Spring 2013 Events
April 11–12, 2013, Federal Bar Association’s 38th Annual Indian Law Conference
Pictured: Priscilla Portillo (3L), Ashley Ray (Muscogee Creek Nation, 3L), Micah Runnels (Cherokee Nation, 2013), and Shanna Knight (2013).
The Federal Bar Association’s 38th Annual Indian Law Conference was held at the Buffalo Thunder Resort in the Pueblo of Pojoaque in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Professor Angelique EagleWoman served as one of the four national co–chairs for the conference. The event was a way for students in the UI College of Law Native Law Program to network with Tribal judges and attorneys in the field of Native Law. The University of Idaho’s NALSA members would like thank the Coeur d’Alene Tribe for sponsoring six law students so that they could to attend this conference.
March 21, 2013, Navajo Nation Supreme Court Visit
The University of Idaho College of Law was honored to host the Supreme Court of the Navajo Nation. The Court consisted of Chief Justice Herb Yazzie, Associate Justice Eleanor Shirley, and Associate Justice by Designation William Platero. The Navajo Nation Supreme Court heard an oral argument in the case Neptune Leasing, Inc. v. Mountain States Petroleum Corporation and Nacogdoches Oil and Gas, Inc., No. SC–CV–24–10. During the afternoon, the Navajo Nation Justices discussed “The Operations and Principles Guiding the Navajo Nation Supreme Court” in the College of Law Courtroom. Both sessions were open to the public. This was a historic visit by the Navajo Nation Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over the largest tribal land base and tribal population in the United States.
March 20, 2013, The Idaho Tribal–State Court Forum
The Forum was co–sponsored by the Idaho Supreme Court and University of Idaho College of Law. The opening session highlighted the history of the Idaho Tribal State Court Forum followed by remarks from Chief Justice Herb Yazzie, Navajo Nation Supreme Court. Chief Justice Burdick of the Idaho Supreme Court welcomed the forum participants, including judges and practitioners on the tribal, state, and federal levels. There were sessions on the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA), the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).
February 8, 2013, Coeur d’Alene Tribe Education Donation Funding the Native Law Program and NALSA
The Coeur d’Alene Tribe donated $5,000 to the UI College of Law Native Law Program for the second year in a row and donated $5,000 to the Native American Law Student Association. The Tribal Chairman, Chief Allan, addressed those gathered at the Breakfast Award Ceremony and spoke of his faith in education in the region. He specifically mentioned Tiffany Justice (Coeur d’Alene Tribe, 3L) as an example of the Tribe’s commitment to funding educational programs. The Tribe has voluntarily dedicated 5 percent of gaming earnings to educational programs since 1994 and has remained committed to supporting the UI College of Law Native Law Program.
Ashley Ray (3L) is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Co–Chair of Idaho’s NALSA chapter. Ray was elected during the Federal Indian Bar Conference as the Area–7 Representative for the National NALSA Executive Board. Her duties include answering questions and communicating with members or prospective members of NALSA, maintaining local membership lists, and serving as a liaison for the NALSA chapters in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. In addition to being on the National NALSA Board, Ashley was recently selected by the American Bar Association and featured as “Head of the Class” for the December issue of Student–Lawyer magazine. The article highlighted her work with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Idaho. Recently, Ray’s article Preservation Over Profits: The Conflicting Interests of Hickory Ground was selected for publication in Seattle University’s American Indian Law Journal.
Professor Angelique EagleWoman
In the field of Native American Law, Professor Angelique EagleWoman has written extensively in two primary areas: the legal aspects of Tribal Economics and the advancement of international Indigenous legal principles. Professor EagleWoman recently published a Native Law text titled: Mastering American Indian Law (co–authored with Dean Stacy Leeds, Arkansas Law).
Sally Butts '10
Greetings from a Native Law Program graduate. My name is Sally Butts, and I graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law and Native Law Program in 2010. I was raised in Lewiston, Idaho, and prior to law school worked as a wildlife biologist in western Washington for the Quinault Indian Nation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Now I work for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Washington, D.C. My responsibilities include writing natural resource policies and working on complex issues, such as wildlife adaptation to climate change.
Recently, the BLM began the process of updating its tribal relations and consultation policy following Secretarial Order 3317–Department of the Interior Policy on Consultation with Indian Tribes. My role is to clarify how this updated tribal policy intersects with the BLM’s natural resource policies and to ensure we are correctly and appropriately describing the relationship between the BLM and Indian Tribes.
Virtually all of my work has a tribal connection. I am the BLM’s representative on the newly formed Joint Implementation Working Group to implement the National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. Congress directed the Council on Environmental Quality and the Department of the Interior to develop this intergovernmental (Federal, State, and Tribal) Strategy to “inspire, enable, and increase meaningful action that helps safeguard the nation’s natural resources in a changing climate.” I am so fortunate that I was able to be part of the University of Idaho’s Native Law Program. The opportunities for specialized education and the unique access to Native Law practitioners enhanced my understanding of complex laws and issues that I am able to apply to my work.