Law School Welcomes New Faculty Member

Kekek Stark

Kekek Stark joined the Alexander Blewett III School of Law faculty this summer as an assistant professor. He taught Mastering American Indian Law for the Summer Indian Law Program and will teach Tribal Courts and Tribal Law this fall.

Stark is a former president of the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association, a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow and alumnus of Hamline University School of Law.

A Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, member of the Bizhiw (Lynx) Clan and a practitioner of Indigenous law, Stark has first-hand experience in training students in how to work productively with Indigenous principles and procedures. He has built institutions grounded in Anishinaabe law and helped students and communities forge better relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous institutions and peoples.

Stark worked as an adjunct faculty member at several institutions and an assistant professor with the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. He taught courses in federal Indian law, natural resources, Tribal government, Tribal sovereignty, treaty rights and American Indian diplomacy focusing upon the law and policy underlying Indigenous legal orders. He also taught courses pertaining to tribal leadership and ethics focusing on the roles and responsibilities associated with effective leadership and governance as well as the tribal ecological stewardship courses, which focused heavily on tribal natural resource management and regulation.

In addition to his teaching experience, Stark served as a policy analyst for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, as a policy analyst in the Division of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, and as the Attorney General for the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians. In the position of Attorney General, he was the chief legal representative and advisor to the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board. He also provided technical supervision of the Office of the Attorney General on a wide range of issues, including treaty rights, natural and cultural resources, land use, child welfare, child support, real property, procurement, preference, tort, contract, constitutional, gaming, environmental, intellectual property, employment law and litigation.

Stark’s research interests include the Anishinaabe legal order as well as in Treaty reserved rights and Federal Indian law. He is currently working on an article pertaining to Anishinaabe property principles. This work includes an analysis of the Anishinaabe stories that establish these legal principles and describes the historical practices that have implemented these principles and shows how these principles have evolved in their contemporary context. He is also conducting research on Anishinaabe diplomacy and treaty rights based upon Anishinaabe knowledge and traditional stories.