Winter 2018 Gavel Winter 2018 Gavel - Page 31

SECTION HIGHLIGHT Indian Law Section The Indian Law Section was initiated in 2016 after SBAND recognized the need for a section that promoted the practice of Federal Indian Law and Tribal Court practice. North Dakota is home to five federally-recognized Indian tribes and a growing Native American population. The Indian Law Section provides a forum for discourse and education about Federal Indian Law and tribal legal issues. The section provides professional development and networking opportunities for Indian Law attorneys; serves as a resource on Indian law issues; and promotes recruitment of Native Americans to law school and SBAND. “As a practicing attorney in North Dakota, it is likely you will encounter an issue involving Indian Law, regardless of what area of law you practice. Membership in the Indian Law Section can provide North Dakota attorneys with the resources and connections they may need to competently address these issues,” says Erin Shanley, former chairperson. “It is a great group of people involved in promoting an important area of law in our state.” Since its formation, the section has co- sponsored two Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars. “Resistance, Resilience & Reconciliation: Indigenous Environmental Justice” was held at the University of North Dakota (UND) School of Law in April 2017. “Tribal Civil Jurisdiction” was held during the United Tribes Technical College (UTTC) Leadership Summit in September 2017. The CLEs provided valuable information about current issues in Indian Law. The section has also developed a relationship with the state’s tribal colleges, inviting them to participate in events at UND and collaborating with them to provide informational sessions about law school and the practice of law. The section co-sponsored a CLE event with the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission (NDIAC) as part of NDIAC’s larger event titled, “Strengthening Government-to-Government Relationships and Partnerships.” The CLE, a plenary panel discussion on the topic of Tribal Consultation, was held on Jan. 31, in Bismarck. The panel was moderated by Professor James Grijalva of the UND School of Law, with panel members including Supreme Court Justice Jerod Tufte, Standing Rock Tribal Attorney Dean DePountis, Governor Doug Burgum’s General Counsel Leslie Bakken Oliver, and District Judge Donovan Foughty. Currently, the section has approximately 50 members, which includes both lawyers and non-lawyers. Officers include Sharon Thompson, chairperson; Rachel Egstad, chair-elect; and Erica Wondrasek, treasurer/secretary. “Being a part of this section would be a great opportunity for any professional in this state to make connections with others who frequently practice and/ or work in tribal courts and/or Federal Indian Law,” says Shanley. “Tribes have a unique status within our federal government and within the state of North Dakota, and it is important that as attorneys, we all know how best to represent them in any forum, whether it be state, federal, or tribal.” Security for Today and Tomorrow. LSS GUARDIANSHIP OPTIONS Guardianship & Conservatorship Power of Attorney Personal Representative of the Estate LSS POOLED TRUST Now Available in Minnesota & North Dakota Special Needs Pooled Trust Supplemental Needs Pooled Trust 888.806.6844 lssmn.org/protectyourassets WINTER 2018 31