Summer Indian Law

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June 1 - July 24, 2015

Spend the summer in beautiful Missoula, Montana studying Indian Law! The University of Montana, School of Law invites you to participate in the eighth annual American Indian Law Summer Program, June 1 - July 24, 2015. This year we will be offering eight courses taught by a faculty comprised of expert Indian law scholars and practitioners from around the country. Participants in the American Indian Law Summer Program can choose from any of the eight courses or take them all! Courses will be offered for Law credit (for matriculated law students) and cross-listed for graduate credit. CLE credits are also available and currently pending approval.

Registration Information

University of Montana Law and Graduate Students

Current law and graduate students at the University of Montana may register for Summer Indian Law courses as they normally would through cyberbear.

Visiting Students

Law students currently enrolled at other institutions should contact Lori Freeman, Director of Admissions, at or (406) 243-2698 for enrollment and registration information. A summer application for admission will need to be submitted.

Registration for CLE Credit

CLE credit is pending approval.  Lawyers who attend earn 15 CLE credits per course. Names of those attending for CLE credit will be submitted to the State Bar of Montana.

Attorneys who are not already enrolled for academic credit, must pay $375 per course to earn CLE credit. Click here to download CLE registration form and fax the form to Jennifer Ford, 406.243.2576.

Registration and payment can be made on the first day of the course via credit card or check made payable to The University of Montana School of Law. Courses have a varied numbers of seats open for attorneys. Please see individual descriptions below. To pre-register for a course, please email Jennifer Ford.  Attorneys may register up to the first day of class. Attendance at all sessions is required for full CLE credit.

2015 Course Information

All courses are offered for 1 academic credit.

Indian Law Research

Professor: Stacey Gordon
Dates: June 1 - 5
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Law 611, Sect. 00

Because tribes are sovereign governments, the field of Indian Law encompasses distinct legal issues and legal sources. Researching both federal Indian law (the law of the relationship between tribal governments and the U.S. government) and tribal law (the law of individual tribes) requires an additional set of tools and research skills to those students are introduced to in a basic legal research course. In this course, students will learn the skills and sources necessary to research general Indian law issues as well as the very specialized skills and sources used in researching the legal history of a tribe, including reserved treaty rights. The course will cover researching treaties, Indian land claims, statutory and case law, and tribal law. Students will actively participate in creating a tribal legal history throughout the course.

Voting Rights in Indian Country

Professor: Jim Taylor
Dates: June 8 - 12
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Law 000, Sect. 00

The purpose of this course is familiarize students with the voting issues in Indian country. The course will look at problems and remedies under tribal, state and federal systems. Following completion of the course, students will be familiar with voting rights issues and the options for addressing equity in representation issues within Indian country. This course will cover general Voting Rights issues; problems associated with voting rights in Indian country; and legislation and litigation concerning voting rights in Indian country.

Indian Child Welfare Act

Professor: Maylinn Smith
Dates: June 15-19
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Law 691, Sect. 00

This course looks at past federal policies that resulted in the removal of Indian children from their families and led to Congress passing the Indian Child Welfare Act. The course discusses the legal requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act, various aspects of working with Indian families, potential conflicts with state and other federal laws, and the difficulties in getting compliance with the Act.

Criminal Jurisdiction in Indian Country

Professor: Danna Jackson
Dates: June 22 - 26
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Law 000, Sect. 00

This course provides information about crime and criminal jurisdiction in Indian Country. Topics include an overview of the laws affecting criminal jurisdiction, some of the unique criminal problems affecting Indian Country, traditional methods of resolving unacceptable behavioral problems within tribal communities, and the evolution of current responses to crime within Indian Country. Following completion of the course, students should have a basic understanding of the foundational principles relating to crime and law enforcement in Indian Country.

Indigenous Cultural Preservation

Professor: Monte Mills
Dates: June 29- July 2
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Law 000, Sect. 00

This course is to familiarize students with Indigenous cultural preservation issues. Following completion of the course, students should be familiar with various legal and social efforts to promote and protect indigenous cultures around the world. The course will cover general information about impacts of colonization practices on Indigenous cultures; tribal, national and international efforts to addressing cultural preservation; U.S. federal laws and cases addressing cultural preservation issues; and remedies for protecting and promoting indigenous cultures.

American Indian Natural Resources Law

Professor: Dion Killsback
Dates: July 6 - 10
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Law 000, Sect. 00

American Indian Natural Resources is a growing, dynamic, exciting area of the law, involving important resources. The field includes transcendent issues, such as compensation for or restoration of lost resources, as well as pragmatic concerns, such as the ability to site or maintain major facilities, the allocation of water supplies and pollution control. Students will examine the unique contours of natural resource matters that arise in Indian country, specifically focusing on: land, environmental protection, natural resource development and water rights.

Indian Property Law

Professor: Deb Dumontier
Dates: July 13-17
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Law 000, Sect. 00

The purpose of this course is familiarize students with the unique issues relating to Indian lands and rights associated with the land. Following completion of the course, students will be familiar with various aspects of Indian lands and the restrictions and regulations governing these lands. This course will cover general information about Indian lands; regulation of Indian lands; limitations of Indian lands; probate issues; and land consolidation issues.

Constitutional and Code Drafting Issues Related to Indian Law

Professor: Maureen White Eagle
Dates: July 20-24
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Law 000, Sect. 00

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to distinct constitutional issues arising from and affecting Indian country. As extra-constitutional entities, the effect of the federal Constitution in Indian country is unique. The course will look at federalism issues in Indian country and discuss development and interpretation of tribal constitutions and codes. Following completion of the course, students will be familiar with the unusual relationship between tribal nations and the federal Constitution and the challenges associated with drafting constitutions and codes for tribal governments. This course will cover issues related to the Commerce Clause, Equal Protection, the Tenth Amendment and development of tribal constitutions and codes.