Free Urban Native American Legal Needs Seminar/Webinar - 31 March 2011


The free seminar/webinar “Serving The Legal Needs of Urban Native Americans” will be held Thursday, 31 March 2011 in Seattle, with the program available free worldwide via live webcast. The program is hosted by the law firm of Foster Pepper PLLC, in partnership with the Northwest Justice Project and the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities’ Committee on Native American Concerns.  The seminar has been approved by the Washington Sate Bar Association for 3.0 Ethics and 2.0 General CLE credits, 5.0 credits total.

Tens of thousands of Native Americans live in and around America’s major cities, often far removed from their ancestral Tribes and families. Often battling poverty and discrimination, many urban Native Americans see their legal and civil rights undermined by a lack of resources and effective advocacy. This program will demonstrate how specialized non-profit legal clinics in the Northwest are providing much-needed guidance and resources to urban Native Americans, and how this success can be replicated in cities throughout the US.

Who Should Attend: Attorneys and advocates of all kinds working for Native American rights; Tribal leaders and members; law students interested in serving Native communities, and any one interested in helping protect the legal rights of Native people living in Urban centers. The program will provide free CLE credit for attorneys, including ethics credits.


9:00 Registration/Breakfast

9:30 Seminar Welcome and Introductions
• W. Gregory Guedel, Foster Pepper PLLC Native American Legal Services Chair
Chairman, American Bar Association Committee on Native American Concerns

9:40 Recognizing The Need – Legal Issues for Urban Native Americans
• Millie Kennedy (Tsimshian), Native American Advocacy Coordinator, NW Justice Project
• Jenine Grey (Tlingit), Chief Seattle Club

10:45 Break

11:00 Addressing the Need -- Chief Seattle Club, NW Indian Bar Association and NW Justice Project
• Bree Ramirez (Native Hawaiian), President, NW Indian Bar Association
• John Perkins (Tlingit; Thunderbird/Eagle), Chief Seattle Club Urban Indian Legal Clinic
• Brooke Pinkham (Nez Perce), CLEAR Native American Advocate, NW Justice Project

12:00 Lunch & Networking

12:30 Under Fire: Relations Between Urban Native Americans, Police, and City Government
• Chris Stearns (Navajo), Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker; Seattle Human Rights Commission

1:30 Bridging The Gap — The Attorney’s Role of Engaging and Serving Urban American Indian clients
• Christina Parker (Chippewa Cree), Tulalip Tribal Attorney

2:30 A New Beginning – The Tahoma Indian Center
• Joan Staples-Baum (White Earth Chippewa), Director, Tahoma Indian Center
• Chrishendra Tucker, Field Attorney, NW Justice Project Tacoma Office


Major Tribal Construction Seminar, 10-11 March 2011 in Albuquerque


Tribal construction and infrastructure project development involve a unique set of issues.  Law Seminars International is presenting a two-day symposium at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico on March 10-11 covering topics that will facilitate construction and development in Tribal communities.

Topics to be covered include:

• Updates on tribal construction funding and financing programs
• Making effective use of economic development bonds
• Setting up the best project delivery methods
• Drafting contract documents
• Federal construction programs
• Making effective use of economic development bonds
• Tribes as contractors
• Structuring business relationships
• TERO compliance programs
• NEPA review for non-tribal facilities
• Liability and financial risk management for tribes
• Effective supervision and dispute resolution

The distinguished faculty includes experts from across the nation including : 

  • Don Chapman, Sr. Advisor, Native American Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • John Rever, P.E., Director, Facilities, Environment and Cultural Resources, DOI
  • Terry Brunner, New Mexico State Director, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Marlin Knight, Native American Program Specialist, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
  • W. Gregory Guedel, Foster Pepper Native American Group Chair and Chair of the American Bar Association’s Native American Concerns Committee

Program details and registration are available HERE

Tribal Non-Profit Organizations Seminar - 24 March 2010 In Seattle

Wednesday, 24 March 2010 is the date for a full-day seminar on developing and operating non-profit organizations in Native communities. Presented in partnership by the Washington State Bar Association’s Indian Law Section, Washington Attorneys Assisting Community Organizations, the Native American Unit of the Northwest Justice Project, and Foster Pepper PLLC, the seminar will cover numerous topics to assist those interested in forming charitable and other non-profit organizations, including: 

  • Incorporation and Other State Law Issues
  • Application for Tax Exempt Status
  • Compliance Issues for Public Charities
  • Fostering Non-Profits In Indian Country
  • Cultural Awareness In Dispute Resolution

Program and registration forms are available HERE, and podcasts of the seminar presentations will be available on this website after the program.

Major Native American Economic Development Conference, 16-18 September 2009 At Caesar's Palace

Foster Pepper PLLC and KeyBank are Co-Sponsors of the huge Native American Economic Development Conference to be held at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas September 16-18, 2009.  The far-ranging seminar will cover topics of immense importance to Tribal economies, including:

  • Tribal Leaders Roundtable: The Impact of President Obama’s Administration
  • Economic Development Bonds and the Federal Stimulus Package: Effects on Tribal Financing
  • Tribal Enterprises Facing Bankruptcy
  • CEO Roundtable: Private Enterprise Boards vs. Tribal Governments
  • CFO Roundtable- External Diversification vs. Internal Reinvestment: Weighing Risk Management Issues
  • Economic Development Roundtable: Stimulating Revenue Growth
  • Effective Master Planning
  • Design and Construction Roundtable: Climbing out of a Recession
  • Strategic Marketing in a New Economic Era
  • Using Sports and Entertainment to Maximize Casino Traffic
  • Planning for Retirement in Indian Country

The conference presenters possess unparalleled expertise in Tribal economic development issues, and include:

  • William "Mike" Lettig, Executive Vice President & National Executive, KeyBank
  • Mellor Willie, Executive Director, National American Indian Housing Council
  • Elaine Fink, Chairperson, Northfork Rancheria of Mono Indians
  • Henry Cagey, Chairman, Lummi Nation
  • Bob Garcia, Chairman, The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians
  • Robert Martin, Chairman, Morongo Band of Mission Indians
  • Georgia Noble, Chairperson, Sac & Fox National Business Enterprise Board
  • Mel Sheldon, Chairman, Tulalip Tribes of Washington
  • Glenn Hall, CEO, Bishop Paiute Tribe
  • Robert Mele, CFO, Seneca Construction Management Corporation
  • Robert Winter, CEO, Navajo National Gaming Enterprises
  • Chris Kelley, CFO, Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians
  • Eletta Tiam, CFO, Nisqually Tribe
  • Michael Marchand, President, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation
  • Virgil Moorhead, Chairman, Big Lagoon Rancheria
  • Morris Reid, Chairman, Picayune Rancheria of Chuckchansi Indians
  • Ivan Posey, Chairman, Shoshone Tribe of the Winder River Reservation
  • Theresa Two Bulls, President, Ogalala Sioux Tribe of The Pine Ridge Reservation
  • Cedric Black Eagle, Chairman, Crow Nation
  • Louis J. Manuel Jr., Chairman, Ak-Chin Indian Community
  • Michael Broderick, Director of Marketing, Lake of the Torches Resort Casino
  • Mary Galbraith, Director of Strategic Marketing, Cherokee National Entertainment
  • Michael L. Bearhart, Director of Gaming, St. Croix Casino & Hotel
  • Scott Eldredge, General Manager, Santa Ana Start Casino

Additional conference information and registration information can be accessed through Pier Conference Group.


Seattle Hosts Major Native American Child Welfare Seminar -- 13 November 2008

On November 13, 2008, the Seattle office of Foster Pepper PLLC played host to a unique and far-ranging seminar entitled “Advocacy For The Native American Child – Honoring The Spirit And Intent Of The Indian Child Welfare Act”. The day-long program provided a comprehensive overview of the legal issues and cultural impacts of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, and offered specific instruction on the legal representation of Native children in Tribal, state, and federal courts.

Seminar attendees received tremendous volume and depth of instruction from distinguished panel of legal and cultural experts from across the country. Keynote speaker Judge William A. Thorne Jr. of the Utah State Court of Appeals addressed the problems of disproportionality of Native American children in government dependency systems; University of Washington professors Lorraine Brave and Ron Whitener highlighted cultural and ethical considerations for representing Native children in the courts; a panel comprised of child advocates, foster parents, and foster care alumni discussed the practical realities of life for Native American children in the dependency system; and Justice Bobbe Bridge of the Center for Children & Youth Justice closed the program with an inspirational message on the importance of strong and capable advocacy for the rights and welfare of Native children.

In addition to the live presentations, the seminar unveiled the new Indian Child Welfare Act practitioner’s desk book and digital training guide, produced by Foster Pepper attorneys in partnership with King County CASA. These resources give attorneys and advocates practical tools and guidance for effective representation of Native American children in dependency actions. Podcasts and video links for the presentations, along with copies of the program materials and desk book resources, will be accessible via this website

(Presentations are in Adobe PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader.)

(Audio files are in .mp3 format and require an Audio player or you can listen via iTunes.)

Listen to all the audio files and subscribe to the RSS feed.

(Video files are in .m4v format and require QuickTime.)

Watch all the video files and subscribe to the RSS feed.