2017 Indian Law Conference

Tribes today stand at the threshold of an uncertain future, and the recent conflict regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline has highlighted many aspects of tribal sovereignty that need to be bolstered internally and externally to address coming challenges. From environmental protection and cultural resources to reservation boundaries and civil liberties, the Conference will examine how Tribes can best support the pillars of sovereignty both on and off the reservation in this uncertain era.

Three Ways to Register:
2) Print the registration form and fax to 571-481-9090
3) Print the registration form and mail to Federal Bar Association, Attn: 2017 Indian Law Conference, PO Box 79395, Baltimore MD 21279 


 Early Bird
(on or before 3/3/17)

(after 3/3/17)

Full Conference Registration
FBA Sustaining Member  



FBA Member






Law Student



A La Carte Items
Thursday Guest Reception Ticket


Thursday Guest Lunch Ticket


Friday Guest Lunch Ticket


Conference Materials Book


Scholarship Opportunity
Applicants who demonstrate financial need and are involved in Indian law issues may apply for a reduced conference registration rate.
Click Here for scholarship instructions.
Application Deadline: Friday, February 17, 2017
Applicants will be notified by email: Monday, February 27, 2017

Thursday, April 6
8:00-8:15 a.m.

Welcome Remarks & Invocation

8:15-9:00 a.m.

Keynote Address
Chairman Dave Archambault II, Standing Rock (invited)

9:10-10:40 a.m.

Plenary 1: The Intersection of Tribal Religion and Environmental Claims

  • Ethel Branch, Attorney General, Navajo Nation
  • Allison Dussias, Professor of Law, New England Law, Boston
  • Gregory A. Smith, Partner, Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker LLP
10:55 a.m.-12:25 p.m.

Plenary 2: Sharing Power: Tribal, Local, State, and Federal Cooperation

  • Karen Diver, Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs, White House Domestic Policy Council (former)
  • David Nyberg, Deputy Legal Counsel & Tribal Liaison, Executive Office of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder

Breakout 1: Strategies for Empowering Attorneys to Strengthen Sovereignty

  • Hon. Robert A. Blaeser, Chief Judge, White Earth Nation Tribal Court
  • Amy Cordalis, Staff Attorney, The Yurok Tribe
  • William Hardacker, General Legal Counsel, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
12:30-2:00 p.m.

Networking Luncheon

2:15-3:45 p.m.

Plenary 3: Off-Reservation Habitat Rights

  • Steven C. Moore, Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund
  • Colette Routel, Professor & Co-Director of Indian Law Program, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • John Sledd, Member, Kanji & Katzen PLLC
  • Kekek Jason Stark, Lead Attorney, Lac Courte Oreilles
  • Steve Suagee, Tribal Attorney, Lower Elwha S’Klallam Tribe

Breakout 2: Human Trafficking of Indigenous Peoples in the 21st Century

  • Victoria Sweet, Program Attorney, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • Elizabeth Horsman, Assistant United States Attorney, Northern District of New York
4:00-5:30 p.m.

Plenary 4: Navigating the Trump Administration - Governmental Changes Impacting Indian Country

  • Michael S. Black, Acting Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior (invited)
  • Fawn Sharp, President, Quinault Indian Nation; President, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
  • Eric Shepard, Associate Solicitor Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior (invited)
5:30-7:00 p.m.


Friday, April 7
8:30-10:00 a.m. Plenary 5: Energy Development, DAPL, and Tribes - What's Next
  • Angela Bibins, Attorney, Water Protector Legal Collective
  • Jan Hasselman, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice
  • Doug MacCourt, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Pilar Thomas, Of Counsel, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP
  • Brandy Toelupe, Partner, Tilden Toelupe LLC

Panel Co-Sponsored by NNALSA 

10:15-11:45 a.m. Plenary 6: Indigenous Cultural Intellectual Property Rights
  • Wade T. Blackmon, Counsel, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
  • Melody McCoy, Staff Attorney, Native American Rights Fund
  • Paul Spruhan, Assistant Attorney General, Navajo Nation Department of Justice
Breakout 3: Protecting Civil Liberties in Tribal Courts
  • Nikki Borchardt Campbell, Executive Director, National American Indian Court Judges Association
  • Ron Whitener, Administrative Manager, Center of Indigenous Research & Justice
12:00-1:30 p.m. Awards Luncheon
1:45-3:15 p.m.

Plenary 7: Finding ICWA Allies

  • Kate Fort, Director, Indian Law Clinic and Adjunct Professor, Michigan State University College of Law
  • Shannon Smith, Executive Director, The ICWA Law Center
  • Hon. Korey Wahwassuck, Ninth Judicial District, Itasca, Minnesota Judicial Branch

Breakout 4: Trust and Collaboration: The Importance of Tribal Consultation

  • U.S. Sen. Carlyle Begay (R-Ariz.) (invited)
  • Jonodev Chaudhuri, Chairman, National Indian Gaming Commission
  • Michael G. Rossetti, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
  • Heather Sibbison, Partner, Dentons LLP
3:30-5:00 p.m.

Plenary 8: Lawyers as Activists: The Ethical Obligations of Attorneys Engaging in Social and Political Activism

  • Anthony Broadman, Partner, Galanda Broadman, PLLC
  • Khyla D. Craine, Assistant General Counsel, NAACP
  • Kevin Gover, Director, National Museum of the American Indian

A discounted block of rooms has been reserved for conference attendees at the Talking Stick Resort at $162/night (plus state and local taxes). The group rate is offered through the weekend, based on availability.

Reservations must be made by 5:00 p.m. ET on Monday, March 13, 2017
to receive the discounted rate

Call 866-877-9897
and refer to the "Federal Bar Association - Indian Law Conference 2017" to reserve your room.

Premier Sponsors

Elite Sponsors


Patron Sponsors

Osborn Maledon PA


U.S. Air Force JAG Corps

Contact Heather Gaskins if you are interested in sponsoring this conference.

April 6 - 7, 2017
Talking Stick Resort
9800 Talking Stick Way
Scottsdale, AZ 85256

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