Monte  Mills

Contact Information

Personal Summary

Monte Mills is a Professor and Co-Director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. He teaches a variety of courses, including Federal Indian Law; Race, Racism, and American Law; and Employment Law, along with other classes focused on Indian and tribal law-related topics. He also works with clinical students on a range of legal matters in the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic.

Monte's research and writing focuses on the intersection of Federal Indian Law, Tribal sovereignty, and natural resources as well as race and racism in the law and legal education. Recently, along with Prof. Hillary Hoffmann (Vermont Law School), Monte authored A Third Way: Decolonizing the Laws of Indigenous Cultural Protection, which was published by Cambridge University Press in July 2020. Monte's written work has also appeared in Environmental Law, High Country News, the American Indian Law Journal, the Public Land and Resources Law Review, and The Conversation, among other forums.

Prior to joining the faculty at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, Monte was the Director of the Legal Department for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Colorado, an in-house counsel department that he helped organize and implement in 2005 following completion of a unique two-year in-house attorney training program. As Director of the Tribe's Legal Department, Monte represented and counseled the Tribe on a broad array of issues, including litigation in tribal, state and federal courts, legislative matters before the Colorado General Assembly and the United States Congress, and internal tribal matters such as contracting, code-drafting, and gaming issues.


J.D., University of Colorado (2003)

B.A., Lewis & Clark College (1999)

Courses Taught

Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic

Race, Racism, and American Law (co-taught with Professor Andrew King-Ries) [syllabus]

The Law of People and Place (field course co-taught with Prof. Michelle Bryan in collaboration with The Freeflow Institute) [syllabus]

Tribal Law Advocacy (co-taught with Professor Kekek Stark) [syllabus]

Indigenous Cultural Preservation [syllabus]

American Indian Natural Resources Law [syllabus]

Economic Development in Indian Country [syllabus]

Sovereignty, Self-Determination, and Economic Development in Montana (Field Trip) [syllabus and schedule]

Energy in Indian Country  [syllabus]

Federal Indian Law  [syllabus]

Employment Law [syllabus]

Tribal State Relations [syllabus]

Selected Publications

Starting at the Start: Integrating Race and Reflection for an Antiracist Approach to Professional Identity Development in the First-Year Curriculum (with Eduardo R.C. Capulong & Andrew King-Ries), in Integrating Doctrine and Diversity: Inclusion & Equity in the Law School Classroom (2021).

The Legacy of Federal Control in Indian Country, Regulatory Review (U.Penn. Program on Regulation), March 16, 2021.

Bridges to a New Era: A Report on the Past, Present, and Potential Future of Tribal Co-Management on Federal Public Lands, with Dr. Martin Nie, Professor of Natural Resources Policy and Director, Bolle Center for People and Forests in the W.A Franke College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, 44 Pub. Land & Resources L. Rev. 49 (2021).

The Civil Jurisdictional Landscape in Eastern Oklahoma Post McGirt v. Oklahoma (with Prof. Dylan R. Hedden-Nicely, University of Idaho School of Law), Natural Resources Law Insights, Rocky Mtn. Min. Law Found. (Aug. 2020).

A Third Way: Decolonizing the Laws of Indigenous Cultural Protection (with Hillary Hoffmann) (Cambridge University Press, 2020).




Briefing Paper on Regulation of the Environment and Natural ResourcesMcGirt and the Work of Rebuilding of Tribal Nations; A Tribal Nation Building Colloquium sponsored by Harvard Project on Indian Economic Development and the University of Oklahoma Native Nations Center.

Briefing Paper on Cultural ResourcesMcGirt and the Work of Rebuilding of Tribal Nations; A Tribal Nation Building Colloquium sponsored by Harvard Project on Indian Economic Development and the University of Oklahoma Native Nations Center.

Antiracism, Reflection, and Professional Identity (with Profs. Eduardo R.C. Capulong and Andrew King-Ries), 18 Hastings Race & Poverty L.J. 3 (2021).

2020 Teachers' Update to Native American Natural Resources Law: Cases and Materials (Carolina Press, 4th ed. 2018) (with co-authors Michael C. Blumm (Lewis & Clark) and Elizabeth Kronk Warner (Utah)).

Beyond Constitutional Frontiers: Tribal Rights, Resources, and Reform. 2019 ABA SEER Annual Conference, September 11-14, 2019.

Herrera v. Wyoming: A New Trend for Indian Law? Geo. Wash. L. Rev. On the Docket (2019).

Race, Racism, and American Law’: A Seminar from the Indigenous, Black, and Immigrant Legal Perspectives, (with Profs. Eduardo R.C. Capulong and Andrew King-Ries) 21 The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice 1 (2019).

Bigotry, Ignorance, and High School Basketball in Montana, High Country News (March 27, 2019).

Report from the Royalty Policy Committee: The Past, Present, and Future of the Royalty Policy Committee, Federal and Indian Oil & Gas Royalty Valuation and Management, Chap. 7, Mineral Law Series Volume 2018, Number 5 (Rocky Mt. Min. L. Fdn., Oct. 2018).

Current Developments in Indian Water Law and Treaty Rights: Old Promises, Recent Challenges, and the Potential for a New Future, 64 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 9-1 (2018).

Supreme Court Tests Weight of Old Native American Treaties in 21st Century, The Conversation (April 13, 2018).

Monumental Battles - - Protecting Sacred Tribal Lands, Billings Gazette (March 19, 2018).

Finding the ‘Founding Fathers’ at Bears Ears and Beyond, Berkley Forum (Feb. 20, 2018).

How will native tribes fight the Dakota Access Pipeline in court, The Conversation (Feb. 14, 2017).

Serving the National Interest? Tribal Rights and Federal Obligations from Dakota Access to Keystone XL, The Jurist (Apr. 12, 2017).

Beyond a Zero-Sum Federal Trust Responsibility: Lessons from Federal Indian Energy Policy, Am. Indian L. J., Vol. 6, Iss. 1, Article 2 (2017)

Foreword: A ‘Coyote Warrior’ and the ‘Great Paradoxes,’ The Scholarship of Professor Raymond Cross, Pub Land & Res. L. J. Special Issue 1 (2017).

Why Indian Country? An Introduction to the Indian Law Landscape, in Indian Law and Natural Resources: The Basics and Beyond 1-1 (Rocky Mt. Min. L. Fdn. 2017).

New Approaches to Energy Development in Indian Country: The Trust Relationship and Tribal Self-Determination at (Yet Another) Crossroads, 63 Fed. Law., April 2016, at 50.

What Should Tribes Expect from Federal Regulations? The Bureau of Land Management's Fracking Rule and the Problems with Treating Indian and Federal Lands Identically, 37 Pub. Land & Res. L. J. 1 (2016).


Member, American Bar Association

Member, State bars of Montana and Colorado, Federal bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit, Tenth Circuit, and the District of Colorado, Tribal bar of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe (inactive)

Professional Experience

Director, Legal Department, Southern Ute Indian Tribe (2005-2015)

Associate/In-House Attorney Trainee, Maynes, Bradford, Shipps & Sheftel, Durango, Colorado (2003-2005)

Research Assistant, Professor Charles F. Wilkinson (2001-2003)

Honors / Awards

Montana University System (MUS) Teaching Scholar (2020-21)

Margery Hunter Brown Faculty Merit Award (2016, 2019)