Summer 2020 Newsletter
Bozho Nikanek,
We hope this newsletter finds you well in these trying times. Here at the Native Nations Law & Policy Center, we are actively engaged in our mission to support the development of Native Nations. This summer, we have continued our work through research, programming, and active engagement with our Tribal Legal Development Clinic projects. Like many of you, we are undertaking this work in a “virtual” setting, as the country continues to battle COVID-19. Indigenous communities face unimaginable and disproportionate risk and limited access to resources in this pandemic. With compounding economic, health, and federal bureaucratic challenges, there is much work to be done to keep our communities safe and healthy.
In response to the brutal murder of George Floyd by police, we have seen an awaking to the devastating role systemic racism plays in our society. The Native Nations Law & Policy Center stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other communities of color. We call for and strive to advance an anti-racist agenda as we work to advance Native Nations and all who are harmed by systems of racial oppression. As part of this endeavor, we stand committed to acknowledge our own biases and to maximize our role in addressing injustices. It is our responsibility to our community.
In the face of these challenges, we have been heartened by recent, positive events in Indian country. A federal court has ordered that oil stop flowing through the Dakota Access Pipeline , the Washington football team   has announced it will change its name , and the United States Supreme Court ruled in McGirt v. Oklahoma   that the Muscogee (Creek) Indian reservation in Southeast Oklahoma had never been disestablished. While there remains significant work to do, this is a step in the right direction. 
As we prepare for fall semester in our “new normal”, the Center is developing a series of programming for both the law school and greater Indian law community. Stay tuned for more information and stay safe.
Angela R. Riley (Citizen Potawatomi Nation)
Professor of Law and Director, Native Nations Law and Policy Center
Tribal Legal Development Clinic
The Tribal Legal Development Clinic (TLDC) , which is headed by Professor Lauren van Schilfgaarde is live for the summer. Twelve law students and recent graduates are working on tribal projects that include restorative justice, human rights, cultural resource protection, and taxation work.
Notably, the TLDC has 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 Native American Law Students Association released a joint statement addressing and affirming their solidarity with our
Black community.
Last month,  Native Nations Law and Policy Center Director Angela R. Riley with Sonia K. Katyal, UC Berkley School of Law wrote an opinion article for the New York Times.

"Companies are clearly trying to correct America’s painful history of advertising, which for generations has trafficked in racial stereotypes to sell products. Momentum away from racial branding has been growing for decades."
TLDC 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 have been joined by amazing guest speakers, law students, and the public for these informal events. If you would like to view videos of past events, please click on the links that are underlined.
Student Spotlight
Our UCLA Native Law Students Association (NALSA) students had an eventful year with many accomplishments. Two teams were sent to the 28th Annual National Native American Law Students Association (NNALSA) Moot Court Competition by Native Nations Law & Policy Center  and Promise Institute for Human Rights and both teams made it to the Sweet 16! The four students, 3L team Melodie Meyer and Rick Frye and 2L team Alexis Ixtlahuac and Ryann Garcia were coached by Professor Lauren Van Schilfgaarde .

The UCLA NALSA Chapter was awarded the NALSA Chapter of the Year and Ryann Garcia was awarded 3L of the Year by the National Native American Law Students Association .

Join us in congratulating our NALSA students and graduating students!

On May 29, 2020, we gathered (remotely) to celebrate our 2020 graduates.
Click HERE to view the celebration and join us in congratulating our students!