Course Schedule

Field Course: Advanced American Indian Natural Resources - The Law of People and Place

Two Medicine Lake, photo by Dan SpencerWe're offering a place-based experiential learning opportunity again this summer! Profs. Michelle Bryan and Monte Mills will lead a field course July 25-31, 2021, exploring Montana's Flathead and Badger-Two Medicine River watersheds.

This course will be taught in partnership with the Freeflow Institute, a Montana-based collaborative offering structured, professionally catered trips in wild spaces. Freeflow helps to infuse academic courses with creative outdoor learning.

Space is limited, and applications are due no later than May 15, 2021. Find details on how to apply on our registration page, and read more about the course in the description below. The full itinerary and logistical information can be found on Freeflow's website.

2021 Course Descriptions

Format: In-person

Instructor: Dean and Professor Stacy Leeds
Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law
Arizona State University

This course looks at fundamental aspects of American Indian law and provides a basic understanding of core Indian law principles, both on the federal and tribal level. The course familiarizes participants with the development of foundational concepts in the area of Indian law and addresses the continuing impact of federal legislation and court actions on tribal governance structures and principles of sovereignty. In addition to providing substantive information on legal principles associated with American Indian law, participants will engage in practical skill-building exercises that build upon the substantive materials being covered.

Format: Asynchronous/remote

Instructor: Professor Kekek Stark
Alexander Blewett III School of Law
University of Montana

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.

(Joint class with University of Guelph)

Format: In-person hyflex

This is an evening course (4:30-7 p.m.)

Instructors: Professor Jordan Gross
Alexander Blewett III School of Law
University of Montana

Dr. Kate Puddister
Department of Political Science
University of Guelph

This course covers the law and policy of Indian country criminal jurisdiction. It examines the relationship between criminal jurisdiction and the wellbeing of indigenous communities and individuals and explores how indigenous and settler-colonial justice norms intersect and influence each other. Following the course, students will have a working knowledge of Indian country criminal jurisdiction, a comparative understanding of other approaches to wrongdoing involving indigenous communities and individuals, and an appreciation of the relationship between criminal jurisdiction and Tribal self-determination interests.

Format: Asynchronous/remote

Instructor: Professor Christina Barsky, Ph.D.
Department of Public Administration and Policy
University of Montana

Public policy is, simply, what a government and its officials choose to do, or not do, about a societal issue or community problem. Elements of the policy process, from identification and formation to implementation and evaluation, exist across all systems of governance, and at all levels. Regardless of where one sits in the political system, there are opportunities to create real policy change. This course introduces students to the public policy process and aims to equip them with practical evaluation and engagement tools. With specific attention to contemporary policy issues and controversies in Indian Country, this course offers students the opportunity to improve their engagement with and understanding of public policy and its implementation.

Format: Synchronous/remote; Global guest lecturers; please note evening meeting time

Instructor: Professor Estair Van Wagner
Osgoode Hall Law School
York University, Toronto, Ontario

This course will focus on comparative property, land, and natural resource issues from Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand, and Australia in an exploration of how International Law intersects with domestic decision-making and how Indigenous communities have mobilized to address these important issues.

Format: Synchronous/remote; asynchronous/remote option with approval

Instructor: Professor Pippa Browde
Alexander Blewett III School of Law
University of Montana

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to tax law as it applies in Indian Country. Taxation in Indian Country presents unique and complicated problems that often turn on the status of land and individuals involved in a matter. This course will explore general principles and historical background of taxation in Indian Country as well as the role of federal, state, and tribal taxation authority within Indian Country.

Format: In-person

Instructor: Matt Newman, Esq.
Native American Rights Fund (NARF)
Anchorage Office

The study of Alaska Native Law and Policy is a study “of the laws— and there are many— historically applied to Alaska Natives. Increasingly, it is the story of the Indigenous Peoples of Alaska remaking these laws into the tools of their own choosing, tools they are still fashioning. From the Iñupiaq of the North to the Athabascan and Yupiit of Alaska’s geographic center and western coast to the Alutiq of the North Pacific to the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian Indians of Southeast Alaska, Alaska Natives use skill and resolve to protect their patrimony, revive their rights to the subsistence way of life, assume control over their own health and social services, and successfully litigate their claims to sovereignty.”

Format: In-person

Instructors: Professors Michelle Bryan and Monte Mills
Alexander Blewett III School of Law
University of Montana

In partnership with the Freeflow Institute, Professors Michelle Bryan and Monte Mills will lead a field course again this year. The seven-day field course, Advanced American Indian Natural Resources - Law of People and Place, will take place July 25-31.

Learn about some of the key laws governing the Flathead and Badger-Two-Medicine River watersheds, including the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, federal national park laws, forest laws, wildlife laws, water laws, and tribal laws governing cultural and natural resources. Background readings drawn from history, policy, and ecology, as well as tribally-sourced materials, will provide a place-based context for our discussions. Aside from the course faculty, students will hear from tribal representatives, private conservationists, federal land managers, and other stakeholders involved in management of this Crown of the Continent ecosystem. Themes explored include the management of tribally designated resource areas; comparisons to agency management of federally designated lands and waters; and cooperative management and private conservation models.

Space is limited and applications are due no later than May 15, 2021