December 2020 Newsletter
As we close out this year of 2020, we are reflecting back on the lessons we’ve learned in the past year. Perhaps the greatest of which is an affirmation that, like so many of you out there reading this, we are resilient. Taking our cue from so many innovative and adaptive tribal nations, the Native Nations Law and Policy Center quickly modified our strategies to adjust to the ‘new normal’. While we might have been socially distanced, our work continued. With thanks to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, we expanded our summer hires and projects for the Tribal Legal Development Clinic, which allowed for extensive collaboration with the Native American Rights Fund and the University of Colorado Law School. Unable to meet in person, we turned our planned two-day fall conference into a four-part virtual Red Rising speaker series. This allowed us to host some of the nation’s most prominent Indigenous speakers on issues confronting Indian country today.
2020 also marked a pivotal milestone for the Native Nations Law and Policy Center, as we were the recipient of a transformative $15 million gift from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, which will go towards supporting tuition scholarships for students seeking to work in Indian law upon graduation. We are deeply grateful for the Tribe for investing in Indian country’s future advocates and leaders and are deeply honored to be the premier law school in the United States dedicated to educating and launching tomorrow’s leaders.
There were many losses in 2020, and, like you, we mourn for those Indigenous leaders, members, advocates, and allies that walked on. But, as we reflect on 2020, we are nevertheless honored to be part of an Indigenous resilience that, in the face of so many barriers and despair, continues to fight for culture, language, a healthy environment, and sovereignty. We are proud to contribute where we can, and we look forward to the work next year. 
We wish safety and well-being to you, your families, and your communities as we turn the page and look forward toward a new year.
Jagenagenon (all our relations),
Angela R. Riley (Citizen Potawatomi Nation)
Professor of Law and Director, Native Nations Law and Policy Center
Year in Review
Our faculty and students had a busy year! Some notable achievements for 2020:

‘Native Nations Rising’: Distinguished Panel Discusses the Impact of Advocacy
UCLA Law hosted a high-level conversation on Dec. 4 that detailed the role that legal advocacy has played in advancing Native American communities across the country. Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita Carole Goldberg moderated the discussion featuring a panel of experts, including NNLPC Director and UCLA Law Professor Angela Riley, John Echohawk of the Native Americans Rights Fund and Greg Sarris of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, whose transformative recent gift boosted UCLA Law’s Native Nations Law and Policy Center. Watch it here.
Graton Scholarship
UCLA Law Receives $15 Million Donation to Boost Native American Law and Policy

UCLA School of Law received a $15 million donation from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria to advance the study and practice of Native American law. The funds will be dedicated to scholarships for Native American and other students interested in pursuing careers as tribal legal advocates.

The gift will create the Graton Scholars program at UCLA Law’s Native Nations Law and Policy Center. Graton Scholars will be among the best and brightest Native students and others interested in pursuing careers as tribal advocates. Each year, they will receive full-tuition scholarships that will cover all three years of law school at UCLA Law, which is well established as the nation’s premier law school for Indian law.

Summer Brown Bag Series
The Tribal Legal Development Clinic held a Brown Bag Series Fridays this summer. The Brown Bags were moderated by Angela R. Riley, Director, Native Nations Law and Policy Center, UCLA School of Law and Lauren van Schilfgaarde, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Legal Development Clinic Director, UCLA School of Law. We were joined by amazing guest speakers, law students, and the public for these informal events. If you would like to view videos of these events, please visit our WEBSITE and scroll down to "Event Recordings."
Red Rising: Indigenous Peoples and Political Participation Series

The Native Nations Law and Policy Center and UCLA School of Law Critical Race Studies held a Fall event series, Red Rising: Indigenous Peoples and Political Participation. Red Rising featured a series of discussions and lectures with internationally and nationally renowned scholars, leaders, academics, and politicians around the theme of Indigenous Peoples and Political Participation. If you would like to view videos of past events, please click on the link's below.

McGirt v. Oklahoma A Mvskoke Triumph:

The Execution of Lezmond Mitchell: Disdain for Life and Sovereignty :

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples:

Indigenous Representation in Political Systems:
Tribal Legal Development Clinic
The Tribal Legal Development Clinic (TLDC) was founded in 1998 and was expanded to be offered year-round thanks to a generous grant by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in 2018. It is headed by San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Legal Development Clinic Director Professor Lauren van Schilfgaarde. The clinic was held in the spring, the summer and the fall. Students work on tribal projects that include restorative justice, human rights, cultural resource protection, and taxation.
Notably, the TLDC joined the University of Colorado College of Law and the Native American Rights Fund’s (NARF) Project to Implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) in the United States. UCLA law students have joined CU law students to research and draft a tribal implementation toolkit.
The objectives of the UCLA Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) is to provide a support network for Native American law students and to create a base from which work can be done for the advancement of Native peoples. In addition, the Association strives to foster better communication among Native American law students, the Native American community and the general public by providing a forum for the discussion of current Native American issues.

The 2020-2021 NALSA cabinet hosted several events throughout the year. Here are a couple of the latest events. Click on the links to watch videos of the events.
Access Passcode: !kNCe7=N
Indigenous Peoples’ Day:
Breaking Down Borders
Read student and NALSA Co-President Ryann Garcia's ('21) article that was published in the UCLA Promise Institute Blog about Indigenous People's Day.

Student Spotlight

Amaris Montes

J.D., Class of 2021

Amaris is Xicana and is originally from the Los Angeles area. Amaris is specializing in Critical Race Studies and Public Interest Law and Policy. She holds B.A.s in Rhetoric and Anthropology from UC Berkeley. Last year she was a co-chair for the Womyn of Color Collective, Outreach Coordinator for Law Students for Immigrant Justice (LSIJ), and a Law Fellows Mentor. She is currently a Comments Editor for the UCLA Law Review. Amaris’s areas of interest include immigration, prison law, criminal justice, civil rights, and international human rights. Amaris is interested in pursuing a career in impact litigation and appellate work challenging confinement in the immigration and criminal justice spheres.

Chelsea Renee Fisher (Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation),

3L Representative
J.D., Class of 2021 
Chelsea Fisher is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Colville and San Poil bands, and grew up near the Colville reservation in Eastern Washington. She is the previous Co-Vice President of NALSA. Chelsea is specializing in Business Law and Policy and holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Managing Editor of the UCLA Law Review, works with the Tribal Legal Development Clinic, and is involved in mentorship and outreach initiatives with the UCLA Law Office of Admissions. Chelsea’s areas of interest include Start-Up and Entrepreneurship Regulation, Corporate Law, and Federal Indian Law, and hopes to one day work as an advocate for her tribe.