Indigenous Law & Policy Center
The Indigenous Law & Policy Center is a program for students who wish to develop special expertise in indigenous law, policy and practice. Professor Matthew Fletcher serves as Director of the Center. The Center also supports the Indigenous Law & Policy Center class under the supervision of staff attorney Kate Fort.
Indigenous Law & Policy Center Class
A key component of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center is the experiential learning class, which provides competent, experienced and inexpensive legal services to tribal governments in an effort to assist them in attaining their judicial and governmental goals. By offering the highest-quality legal services and representation, tribes are empowered to improve their communities. Students who participate in the class have the opportunity to engage in a variety of projects, including legal research and writing assistance for tribal judicial systems and drafting tax codes and policies for tribal governments. The class is open to second- and third-year students, and offers an experiential, elective course in the fall and spring semesters, including a classroom component on tribal judiciaries and taxation of indigenous peoples.
Some of the types of services the Indigenous Law & Policy Center provides for tribal clients include:
- Drafting and implementing tribal tax codes and creating tribal administrative organizations for their administration
- Designing and implementing tribal court systems and serving as a resource for existing court systems with legal research and writing
- Aiding tribal governments in tax litigation and tax planning
- Drafting and implementing laws affecting land tenure systems
In addition to the class component, the Indigenous Law & Policy Center serves as the primary sponsor for a Spring Speakers Series and annual Indian law conferences:
- 2005: "Tribal Constitutional Issues in the Self-Determination Era"
- 2006: "Indigenous Justice Systems of North America"
- 2007: "The Indian Child Welfare Act at 30: Facing the Future"
- 2007 (Fall): "American Indian Law and Literature"
- 2008: "Forty Years of the Indian Civil Rights Act: History, Tribal Law and Modern Challenges"
- 2009: "International Indigenous Peoples"
- 2010: Indigenous Law Conference: Persuasion and Ideology
- 2011: Indigenous Law Conference: Beyond the Tribal Law and Order Act
- 2012: Indigenous Law Conference: Off-Reservation Gaming in Michigan — A New Gamble