Restatement of the Law, The Law of American Indians Reporter Matthew L.M. Fletcher and Associate Reporters Wenona T. Singel and Kaighn Smith Jr. recently teamed up with ALI CLE to offer two courses on the Law of American Indians.

Economic Development in Indian Country: Lessons from the ALI’s Draft Restatement of the Law of American Indians, with Matthew L.M. Fletcher and Kaighn Smith Jr.

The complex topic of tribal economic development is one that rarely receives attention and is usually associated with Indian gaming. When it comes to the different forms of tribal economic development, each sovereign and the laws surrounding their economic involvement differ greatly. This course will detail the nuances of business in Indian country and how tribal nations achieve economic development while dealing with their sovereign counterparts, the federal government and the states. With more tribes doing business with U.S. companies, U.S. lawyers are crossing into Indian territory more and more. 

American Indian Law and U.S. Law: When Two Sovereigns Collide, with Matthew L.M. Fletcher and Wenona T. Singel

There are three kinds of sovereigns within the United States—federal, state, and tribal. The U.S. Constitution delineates the authorities, duties, and limitations of the United States in relation to the state governments, but the structure and text of the U.S. Constitution recognize Indian tribes as another kind of sovereign entity. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, there are statutes, executive orders, treaties, and other U.S. law that impact Indian tribes, and this is only complicated by each sovereign tribe’s individual set of laws. This program will present the basics of how U.S. law and tribal law intersect and how to navigate this complicated area of law.

Visit ALI CLE for more information and to register.

Matthew L.M. Fletcher

Reporter, American Indian Law Restatement

Matthew L.M. Fletcher is a Professor of Law and Director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law. He is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.  He sits as the Chief Justice of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Supreme Court and also sits as an appellate judge for the Grand Traverse Band, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Lower Elwha Tribe, the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, and the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska.

Kaighn Smith, Jr.

Associate Reporter, American Indian Law Restatement

Kaighn Smith, Jr., leads Drummond Woodsum’s nationwide Indian Law Practice Group. He has represented Indian nations and their enterprises for more than 25 years in cases that focus on jurisdiction and sovereignty disputes, labor and employment relations, complex transactional disputes, environmental matters, and fishing and water rights.

Wenona T. Singel

Associate Reporter, American Indian Law Restatement

Wenona T. Singel is the deputy legal counsel to the Office of the Governor for the State of Michigan. Ms. Singel is the first American Indian to hold this position in Michigan. Her position of deputy legal counsel includes serving as the advisor to the Governor on tribal affairs where she work to strengthen the government-to-government relationship between Michigan’s twelve federally-recognized tribes and the State of Michigan. Before her appointment, Ms. Singel was an associate professor at MSU College of Law and Associate Director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, and she received a J.D. from Harvard Law School.   


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