December 2, 2010

New book on employment law in Indian country

Attorney Kaighn Smith Jr. and the Native American Rights Fund have teamed up on a new book covering labor and employment issues in Indian Country. This book is due out in January, 2011 but can be pre-ordered.
This title will fill a void in this important area of Indian law and is scheduled for periodic updates. See more information about the book at the Turtle Talk Blog.

October 5, 2010

Tribal Court's Authority Confirmed by U.S. Supreme Court

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the State's appeal in the case of Hogan v. Kaltag Tribal Council, thus effectively ending the case and clearly reinforcing the rule that tribal courts have authority to initiate and fully adjudicate children's cases.

See NARF's press release on this case.

See also case information at the National Indian Law Library's Supreme Court Bulletin.

September 7, 2010

NARF's 40th Anniversary Celebration to be held October 29th

September 1, 2010 will mark 40 years since the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) opened its doors in 1970 to tackle a little known area of law – "Indian law" – that was composed of treaties, court decisions, federal statutes, regulations and administrative rulings. Forty years later, NARF has left its mark on over 250 tribes in 31 different states in establishing and protecting their sovereign rights. The survival and strengthened sovereignty of this nation's tribes are due, in no small measure, to the battles waged and won by NARF.

Please join us at our 40th Anniversary Celebration to be held October 29th, 2010 hosted by the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma and the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma. Click here for event details and tickets!

Thank You 2010 NARF Summer Law Clerks

Each summer NARF hosts the summer clerkship program, a ten to twelve week program for second year law students. Law clerk projects consist mainly of legal research and writing. The projects are extremely challenging because NARF practices before federal, state, and tribal forums, and because most of its cases - whether at the administrative, trial, or appellate level - are complex and involve novel legal issues. This year the law clerk program was supported by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians through the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund, University of Denver-Sturm College of Law and the Ungar Foundation/Smith, Shelton, and Ragona LLC.

Meet the clerks who worked with us this summer : Daniel Cordalis, Shannon Michael, Mariah Thompson, Colleen Lamarre and Jaimie Park.

NILL Law Librarian Receives National Award for Public Service

David Selden, NILL Law Librarian, has been awarded the 2010 recipient of the Roy M. Mersky Spirit of Law Librarianship Award for Public Service Committee. The award, was created in order to give special recognition to individual law librarians engaged in significant acts of charitable work or community or social service. David was selected for this award for his commitment to environmental sustainability. " The primary focus of his work concerns encouraging communities, organizations and individuals to develop day to day practices that eliminate waste and reduce carbon emissions, " stated the award announcement. Read more about this award.

National Indian Law Library Receives Facelift from Local Volunteers

Over twenty members of the Boulder Valley Christian Church donated three weekends to give the National Indian Law Library a facelift. This 170 hour volunteer project included caulking, painting of the eaves, windows and trim and installing aluminum coverings on horizontal trim around the building. The Native American Rights Fund and the National Indian Law Library would like to thank these volunteers for their time and talent.

NARF Attorney Appointed as Colorado Indian Commission Member

Steve Moore, NARF staff attorney, will serve as an at-large member of the Colorado Commission on Indian Affairs (CCIA) for a one-year appointment.

Read the full story

August 27, 2010

Resources on the Tribal Law and Order Act 2010

We have published a web page on the Tribal Law and Order Act. It includes summaries, analysis, commentary, and legislative history on the Act. This page will be updated on a regular basis - as new information becomes available. Please let us know if you have suggestions for additional resources to include on this page.

June 28, 2010

EPA Seeks Comments on Consultation Policy with Indian Tribes

EPA Seeks Comments on Consultation Policy with Indian Tribes
Follow this link to information about opportunities to comment on and view a proposed policy. Telephone conferences are set for July 8 and 19.

June 16, 2010

Shinnecock Nation is Formally Recognized

The Shinnecock Nation received official recognition on Tuesday, 6/15/2010 from the Federal Government. Read about this development in the articles listed below:

U.S. Recognizes and Indian tribe on Long Island, clearing the way for a casino (NYTimes) 6/15/10.

Shinnecock Tribe formally recognized by Federal Government (New York Magazine) 6/15/10.

Shinnecocks receive final word on federal recognition (Southampton Press) 6/15/10.

April 15, 2010

EPA Announces New Office of International and Tribal Affairs

As reported by Indian Country Today 4/9/10:
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who has highlighted strengthening tribal partnerships as a top priority during her tenure, recently announced an internal restructuring that brings EPA’s international and tribal programs together under one umbrella organization called the Office of International & Tribal Affairs. This restructuring was initiated in response to a request from the tribes to reconsider the proper location of the American Indian Environmental Office....

Read more from Indian Country Today

February 17, 2010

2/17 - U.S. Dept. Justice Unveils Plan for Consultation with Tribes

From a DOJ press release:

Justice Department Unveils Plan of Action for Consultation and Coordination with Tribes

Responds to Presidential Memorandum

The Justice Department today made public its plan of action, submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to improve consultation and coordination between the Justice Department and tribal nations, as directed by President Barack Obama’s Memorandum on Tribal Consultation. The Presidential Memorandum, signed on Nov. 5, 2009, at the White House Tribal Nations Conference, directed each federal agency to submit to OMB within 90 days a plan of action to implement President Clinton’s Executive Order 13175 on Consultation and Coordination with Tribal Governments. The Justice Department’s plan was submitted to OMB on January 27, 2010.

See the plan at:

February 4, 2010

State of Indian Nations Address - NCAI

The National Congress of American Indian delivered their 2010 "State of Indian Nations Address" on 1/29/10. Find the text and link to webcast at: