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 an Associate Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and the Associate Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center. She served as Deputy Legal Counsel for the office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer from January of 2019 through January of 2021, advising Governor Whitmer on tribal-state affairs. Her other professional activities have included serving as the Chief Appellate Justice for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians and service as the Chief Appellate Judge for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, and she received a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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