Indian Law Week at UM Features Lectures, Indian Child Welfare Act Conference

March 27, 2014

MISSOULA – The University of Montana Native American Law Students Association will present Indian Law Week Monday through Friday, April 14-18. Short sessions related to Native American law topics will be held Monday through Wednesday on campus, and the all-day Indian Child Welfare Act Conference will be held Thursday and Friday at the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel, located at 5252 Airway Blvd. in Missoula.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. The schedule is:

Monday

  • Noon-1 p.m.: “Not Just Blowing in the Wind: Utility Regulation by Tribes – Capitalizing on Recent Federal Action to Spur Tribal Ownership of Renewable Energy,” second-year law student Ross Keogh, UM School of Law Room 101.

Tuesday

  • Noon-1 p.m.: “Anything but Clear and Anything but Right: A Review of Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl,” Maylinn Smith, director of the Indian Law Clinic at the UM School of Law, UM School of Law Room 101.

Wednesday

  • Noon-1 p.m.: “Funding Services to Families in Indian Country: Title IV-E,” Fred Fisher, director of Indian Child Welfare Programs with Casey Family Programs, UM School of Law Room 101.
  • 6-7:30 p.m.: “Lost Sparrow” documentary on adoption of Native American children before the Indian Child Welfare Act, UM School of Law Room 101.
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m.: “Importance of ICWA to Indian Tribes and Families,” discussion led by Angela Russell, former Crow tribal judge, UM School of Law Room 101.

Thursday

  • 8-8:45 a.m.: ICWA Conference registration, Wingate Hotel.
  • 8:45-9 a.m.: Prayer and opening remarks, Wingate Hotel.
  • 9-10 a.m.: “Personal Experience as an Indian Adoptee,” Susan Harness, Wingate Hotel.
  • 10 a.m.-noon: “Understanding Historical Trauma and How it Impacts Indian Child Welfare Cases,” Gyda Swaney, UM associate professor of clinical psychology, and Marilyn Zimmerman, director of the National Native Children’s Trauma Center at UM, Wingate Hotel.
  • Noon-1:30 p.m.: Lunch with speaker Vance Home Gun, a recognized Champion For Change, Wingate Hotel.
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m.: “Understanding Cultural Differences,” Patty LaPlant, wellness specialist with the Missoula Indian Center, Wingate Hotel.
  • 2:45-4 p.m.: “Best Legal Practices for Working with Indian Families in State Abuse and Neglect Cases,” Eldena Bear Don’t Walk, attorney and tribal appellate judge, and Maylinn Smith, director of the Indian Law Clinic at the UM School of Law, Wingate Hotel.       
  • 4-4:30 p.m.: Wrapper, Wingate Hotel.
  • 6 p.m.: Evening with the Native American Law Students Association, presentation of the Mi-Ha-Ka-Ta-Kis Award. Complimentary food and beverages will be available. This event will be held on the sixth floor of the Garlington, Lohn & Robinson building, located at 350 Ryman St. in Missoula. A suggested donation is $10 for the general public or $5 for students.

Friday

  • 8:45-9:15 a.m.: Prayer and summary of previous sessions, Wingate Hotel.
  • 9:15-10:30 a.m.: Judges panel on ICWA, featuring Judge John Larson of Montana’s 4th Judicial District, retired Judge Dave Rice of Montana’s 12th Judicial District, Judge Winona Tanner, chief judge of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and retired Judge Angela Russell of the Crow Tribe; Wingate Hotel.
  • 10:45 a.m.-noon: Attorneys panel on ICWA, featuring Karen Kane, assistant attorney general in the Child Protection Unit, Missoula; Emily Von Jentzen, assistant attorney general in the Child Protection Unit, Kalispell; Yolanda Page, ICWA attorney for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes; and Ryan Shaffer, ICWA attorney for the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes; Wingate Hotel.
  • Noon-1 p.m.: Next steps discussion, Wingate Hotel.

For more information call NALSA Public Relations Officer Hillary Plouffe-Austin at 406-203-2213 or email hillary.plouffe@umconnect.umt.edu. CLE credits are pending for these events.

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Contact: Hillary Plouffe-Austin, public relations officer, UM Native American Law Students Association, 406-203-2213, hillary.plouffe@umconnect.umt.edu.