As we kick off the holiday season I urge you to Stand with Native Law Students.

We devote today's newsletter to Giving Tuesday in support of Arizona Law's world renowned Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) program, the Huerta Scholars program, and our Native law students. And, we introduce you to our great current Huerta scholars.

Last year marked the second year that Arizona Law and IPLP participated in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving following Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Thanks to the generous support of our alumni, and significant contributions from Seattle law firm Galanda Broadman, PLLC, our 2015 campaign was a resounding success. Thank you for supporting Native law students!

Until the footnotes,


Stand with Native Law Students -- Huerta Scholars Program

We are calling on you, the Arizona Law community, to support Huerta Scholars on #GivingTuesday, just under two weeks from today on November 29, 2016.

Each day, IPLP students and alumni are hard at work to improve access to justice for indigenous communities in Arizona and around the world.

This #GivingTuesday, you can help Native law students with your donation -- and help launch the next generation of legal advocates for indigenous communities.

Professor Rob Williams, IPLP faculty chair, leads this year's campaign:

" The Huerta Scholarship is a crucial component of our mission to increase the representation of Native people within the legal profession. I have been privileged to see more than 100 Native students graduate from law school and become leaders within their communities and advocate for real change. I encourage anyone passionate about promoting justice for indigenous communities and supporting Native students to donate to the Huerta Scholarship."

To support the campaign this year, any time between now and November 29, please visit the Arizona Law giving page and select "Huerta Scholars" from the drop-down menu.

For campaign updates, please follow IPLP on social media ( IPLP Facebook, IPLP Twitter). 

Judge Huerta: A Legacy of Service

The Huerta Scholarship was established in 2014 in honor of Judge Laurence Huerta ('53) to provide financial support to Native law students. 

Judge Huerta was the first Native American to graduate from Arizona Law. Huerta, a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, has been a tireless advocate for increasing access to education and promoting tribal sovereignty.

Huerta's many accomplishments include helping draft the Pascua Yaqui Tribe's constitution and playing a pivotal role in the tribe's successful effort to gain federal recognition, extending vital rights to the tribe and its members.

During his time as Chancellor of Navajo Community College (now Diné College), Judge Huerta helped expand the college's reach and impact within the Navajo community. He was awarded the law school's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

In the six decades since Judges Huerta's graduation from Arizona Law, more than 100 Native students have followed in his footsteps, earning law degrees with a concentration in indigenous peoples' law and policy.

Record-Breaking Class
Galanda, Gabe
Gabe Galanda ('00) was one of the lead supporters of the #Giving Tuesday campaign

Thanks to the generous support of Huerta Scholarship donors, this fall Arizona Law enrolled 18 new students from indigenous communities from four different countries, a new record for the law school. These superb students and our world-renowned faculty together make Arizona Law a testing ground for the development of new legal strategies and theories to address the challenges facing indigenous  communities.

This year's diverse class reflects the investment Arizona Law has made to increase the representation of Native people within the legal profession. 

In August we welcomed ten first-year Native JD students from tribal communities around the United States including the Tohono O'odham Nation, Isleta Pueblo, Nebraska Omaha Tribe, Cherokee Nation, Sac and Fox Nation, Athabascan, and Delaware Tribe. We also welcomed two Native JD students (Athabascan and Jicarilla Apache) who transferred from other law schools.

In addition, we welcomed one new IPLP Master of Laws student from the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and five Doctor of Juridical Science students from indigenous communities including the Tohono O'odham, Diné, Wiradjuri, Aymara, and L'nu.

Message from NALSA President Anna Hohag

Anna Hohag (Bishop Paiute Tribe, 3L) is the President of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) at Arizona Law. As a prior recipient of the Huerta Scholarship, she appreciates the vital support this scholarship program provides to Native students attending Arizona Law:

 "The financial support of the Huerta Scholarship and the mentorship of fellow students and faculty have been the key to my success. Law school has opened new doors for me, allowing me to collaborate with the Pascua Yaqui and Tohono O'odham tribal nations to effect positive change and, especially close to my heart, to share my tribe's water story before a global audience at the One Young World Environmental Summit. I even got to meet Alejandro Toledo, former President of Peru and the first indigenous President of the country in over 500 years. President Toledo reminded me that as Native people in legal education we are a 'statistic' beating the odds against us, grounded by our 'roots,' which guide our path with purpose. I am so grateful for the support I have received from IPLP and Arizona Law. Please support Native students by donating to the Huerta Scholarship fund!"

2016-17 Huerta Scholars

Francisco Olea (Pascua Yaqui Tribe, 2L)

Last summer Francisco Olea worked in Washington, D.C., at the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) on tribal gaming law and policy. He also worked for the Office of the Attorney General for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe on the Tribal Access Program (TAP), which allows tribes direct access to information contained in federal criminal justice databases.

Continuing the legacy of Judge Huerta and a long list of Yaqui lawyers and legal advocates, Francisco plans to be an advocate within the Pascua Yaqui community:

"After law school, one of the first things I want to do is increase access to education and promote justice reform in my community. My goal is to apply the wealth of experience I have gained working both in the national policy arena and at the local level, and combine it with the skills I've acquired in law school to be a stronger advocate for my tribe and community."

Alexis Zendejas (Omaha Tribe of Nebraska, 1L)

Alexis Zendejas graduated from Brigham Young University in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies. Prior to law school, she worked for the Boys and Girls Club of America and Ho-Chunk, Inc., the award-winning economic development corporation of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Alexis comes from a long line of lawyers. She remembers dinner conversations with her dad, talking about supreme court cases and his work as a tribal lawyer.

"I'm interested in being an advocate for children. I want to work with Native children, to keep them connected to their family and culture and ensure compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act. I also want to advocate for the children of immigrants by helping their families stay together in a way that represents the best interest of the child. I want to improve the child welfare system in order to better serve children, families, and the community."

Harrison Rice (Sac and Fox Nation, 1L)

The practice of law runs deep in Harrison Rice's (Sac and Fox Nation)family. Harrison's father, William Rice, was a renowned lawyer and law professor who argued Oklahoma Tax Commission vs. Sac and Fox Nation before the United States Supreme Court, winning the case in a unanimous decision, which upheld the tribal sovereignty of the Sac and Fox Nation.

Harrison wants to return home after law school and help members of his community.

" I have always been interested in will writing and estate law. To my community, how we leave this world is just as important as how we come into and live in it. Protecting Native funerary customs and practices is important to me. I think it would be great to work with families to help with will writing and ensure that our cultural practices and traditions are honored and sustained."

Adelina Gomez (Isleta Pueblo, 1L)

After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a major in Political Science Adelina Gomez served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer with Southwest Youth Services, a nonprofit that partners with communities across New Mexico providing educational programs for Native youth.
Adelina has always had a keen interest in public policy that led her to law school.

" Growing up with my dad being an attorney, I saw how as a lawyer you can be involved in your community. That really encouraged me to look into a career in law. I would love to work in the field of sports law. I'm interested in both the government relations aspect of sports law and how to build partnerships between local business' and the community. Sports can have a major role in the health of a community and making a transformational impact through sports would be awesome."

This  #GivingTuesday, we invite you to stand with Arizona Law and our Native law students by donating to the Huerta Scholars Program.  Donate today


Alums tie the knot!

This past week and half, we had not one, not two, but three weddings from the Class of 2013. What a month of memories! Congratulations to our outstanding alumni. 

Lisa  Pferdeort and Rob Queen

Ashley Zimmerman and Michael Marsh

Jamie Watkins and Jason Brandenberger

May your journeys be filled with unforgettable moments and endless joy!

Life moves forward -- as we support and engage students, seek justice throughout the world around us, and find many reasons to celebrate and be thankful.


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