Indian Law Week - Taking Care of Our Future - April 17-21, 2023


Lunch: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Room LAW 101 American Indian Religious Freedom Act and its impact on the future - Speaker: Majel Russell Click Here to View Recording

Blessing by Shirley Trahan, Séliš-Ql̓ispé Elder.

Evening: 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. LAW 101 Documentary "For Walter and Josiah" 

Lunch: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Room LAW 201 Little Shell Federal Recognition - Speaker: Gerald Gray Click Here for Audio Recording

Evening: 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Room LAW 101 Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Governance - Speakers: Maranda Compton and Helena constituent, Casey Lozar, Executive Director of the Center of Indian Country Development.  Click Here to Watch Recording

Lunch: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Indian Law Preview Day with lunch and panel. 

Inviting UM undergraduate students to audit Indian Law classes, take a tour of the law school, and enjoy a lunch while listening to Indian Law professors and NALSA panel.

Evening: 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Room LAW 101 PL-280 Withdraw and What it Means Moving Forward - Speakers: CSKT Attorney James Taylor, CSKT Police Lt. Louis Fiddler, Lake County Commissioner Gale Decker, and Lake County Sheriff Don Bell. Zoom Link

Indian Law Week, Taking care of our future, Join us for a discussion about the restoration of bison management from the national bison range to cskt in 2020, featuring Stephanie gillin information and education program manager for the cskt Natural Resources Department, Thursday, April 20 12-1 in law 101

Lunch: 12;00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Room LAW 101 Partnership with Environmental Law Group for Lunch, Bison range Restoration back to CSKT - Speaker: Stephanie Gillin 

Evening: Night with NALSA Event - Doubletree Hotel, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. 

Presentation of NALSA Awards, Dinner Provided, Social Hour 

Click Here to RSVP

Lunch: CLE by Indian Law Section Indian Law Section CLE Registration Link | Friday, April 21, 1:00 p.m.

The Indian Law Section Hybrid CLE will be Friday afternoon, April 21 from 1-5pm (register here), agenda attached.  Please register even if you plan to attend in person (room 201 of the law school).

Annual meeting will follow the CLE (Zoom link hereagenda here).

Evening: Start of Kyi-Yo Powwow!

NALSA Awardees


This award is presented to an attorney recognized for their active commitment to protecting tribal sovereignty. This year, we are honored to present the award to Professor Kekek Stark.

Kekek Stark is a Professor of Law with the Alexander Blewitt III School of Law at the University of Montana. In this capacity he is the Co-Director of the following programs: the Indian Law Program; the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic; and the American Indian Governance and Policy Institute. He is a Turtle Mountain Ojibwe and member of the Bizhiw (Lynx) Clan. Kekek is a former president of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, a forum Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and alumnus of Hamline University School of Law. Kekek worked as an assistant professor with the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Minnesota – Duluth as well as an adjunct faculty member at several institutions. In addition to his teaching experience, Kekek served as the Attorney General for the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, as a policy analyst in the Division of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and as a policy analyst for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. As a practitioner of Indigenous law, Kekek has firsthand experience in training students in how to work productively with Indigenous principles and procedures. Along the way, he has helped build institutions grounded in Anishinaabe law and has helped students and communities forge better relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous institutions and peoples, strengthening tribal sovereignty.


The Judge Boldt award is presented to a judge who exemplifies a commitment to treaty rights. Judge Boldt is famous for his opinion in United States v. Washington, which upheld tribal fishing rights under several treaties. This year, we are thrilled to present the Judge Boldt award to the honorable Judge Rodney Souza.

Judge Rodney Souza serves as the Yellowstone County District Court Judge in Billings, MT. He actively oversees ICWA cases with the belief that cultural values and keeping Indigenous families together are important for ICWA cases. He started ICWA court to address the number of Indigenous children who are involved in that system. He actively promotes cooperating with tribes to ensure that Indigenous youth are placed in homes that are culturally beneficial to them. Additionally, he has established a drug court that allows for parents of Indigenous children who enter ICWA court to work towards a better livelihood so they can reunite with their children. Through his work, he has been able to assist in better communication between the state and the surrounding tribes which has led to better case management and outcomes for the Indigenous children.


The NALSA teaching award is awarded to an instructor who goes above and beyond in their teaching of Indian Law and their commitment to Indigenous studies. This year, we recognize Professor Michelle Bryan's for her outstanding contributions to teaching American Indian Law.

Professor Michelle Bryan teaches in the law school's Natural Resources & Environmental Law Program. Growing up in farming and ranching communities in the West, Professor Bryan was drawn to the fields of natural resources and environmental law. Professor Bryan is dedicated to creating and maintaining an inclusive classroom environment and incorporates tribal and Federal Indian Law in the courses she teaches. Her scholarship also incorporates tribal interests in environmental law topics such as water law including the following published works: Valuing Sacred Tribal Water Within Prior Appropriation, 57 Natural Resources Journal 139 (2017); A "Most Essential" Power: The Case for Comprehensive Tribal Sovereignty Over Land Use (work-in-progress with planned publication Spring 2023); The Power of Reciprocity: How the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Water Compact Illuminates a Path Toward Natural Resources Reconciliation, 25 Water Law Review 227 (2022). 

Prior to joining the law faculty, she worked in private practice representing a variety of clients including local governments, private landowners, non-profits, developers, and affected neighbors and community groups. She brings this diversity of perspective to her scholarship and teaching. Professor Bryan graduated from the University of Montana School of Law with high honors and served as an editor of the Montana Law Review. Before entering the legal profession, she was a policy specialist for the Montana Water Center in Bozeman, Montana. 

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