Centers Of Excellence

Native Nations Law & Policy Center

A renowned resource in support of Native Nations, UCLA Law’s Native Nations Law & Policy Center advances Indian nations’ laws and institutions while promoting cultural resource protections.

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Tribal Justice

The Native Nations Law & Policy Center connects students to Native American communities to strengthen legal systems on tribal lands while protecting and advancing tribal cultural and legal values.

Through clinical programs led by eminent faculty, the Native Nations Law & Policy Center addresses critical public policy issues facing Native tribes while offering students invaluable opportunities for legal training. Our Tribal Legal Development Clinic serves Native American communities directly, providing legal expertise and support to those most in need, while students engage with tribal leaders, officers and attorney to contribute services to Indian tribes. A joint J.D./M.A. degree in American Indian Studies offers an integrated study program to produce law graduates with a rich understanding of tribal cultures. Additionally, The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria has established the Graton Scholarship, which provides a three-year, full tuition scholarship to students interested in pursuing legal careers in Native American law.

Student Opportunities

Event Recordings

  • 2021 Events

    FEBRUARY 16, 2021
    McGirt v. Oklahoma: Reflections on a Landmark Case and What We’ve Learned So Far
    The groundbreaking case of McGirt v. Oklahoma (2020) altered the landscape of criminal jurisdiction within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation. Join us for a provocative conversation with the legal pioneers working on the front lines for more than six months now and hear their reflections on both successes and on-going challenges.
    Guest speakers: Jonodev Chaudhuri, Ambassador, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Sara Hill, Attorney General of the Cherokee Nation; Stacy Leeds, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law, University of Arkansas School of Law
    Moderated By: Angela R. Riley, Director, Native Nations Law and Policy Center, UCLA School of Law
    Video


    MARCH 11, 2021
    United States v. Cooley: Threats to Tribal Police Power and Native Governance|
    On March 23rd the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in US v. Cooley, a case addressing the scope of tribal police officers' power to temporarily detain and search non-Indians traveling through the reservation and suspected of violating state or federal law. Join us for a lively and gripping conversation with a remarkable panel of Indian country lawyers involved in the case as they discuss the legal and practical implications of Cooley's outcome for public safety on reservations.
    Video


    APRIL 12, 2021
    Launch Event!
    United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Tribal Implementation Toolkit

    The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is a standard-setting document that recognizes that Indigenous Peoples have rights to self-determination, equality, property, culture, religious freedom, health, and economic well-being, among many others. It calls on States to undertake legal reform that will remedy past violations and ensure current protections for Indigenous Peoples’ rights. The "Tribal Implementation Toolkit," produced in collaboration between the Native American Rights Fund, the University of Colorado Law School, and UCLA Law's Tribal Legal Development Clinic, considers how tribes can support and implement the Declaration through tribal lawmaking.
    Learn more about the toolkit and the project to implement: https://un-declaration.narf.org/
    Video

  • 2020 Events

    MAY 29, 2020
    Tribal Legal Development Clinic Brown Bag Lunch Series
    Indian Child Welfare Act Constitutionality and Litigation Trends
    Kate Fort
    , Director, Indian Law Clinic, Michigan State University College of Law
    Video


    JUNE 5, 2020
    Tribal Legal Development Clinic Brown Bag Lunch Series
    Navajo and Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund
    Ethel Branch
    , Kanji & Katzen
    Video


    JUNE 12, 2020
    Tribal Legal Development Clinic Brown Bag Lunch Series
    Implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of  Indigenous Peoples
    Kristen Carpenter
    , Council Tree Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School
    Video


    JUNE 19, 2020
    Tribal Legal Development Clinic Brown Bag Lunch Series
    Intersection of Cultural Resource and Environmental Protection
    Geneva E. B. Thompson
    , Associate General Counsel, Yurok Tribe
    Video


    JUNE 26, 2020
    Tribal Legal Development Clinic Brown Bag Lunch Series
    McGirt Debrief
    Riyaz Kanji
    , Kanji & Katzen and Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Professor of Law, Michigan State University
    Video


    JULY 10, 2020
    Tribal Legal Development Clinic Brown Bag Lunch Series
    Advocating for Indian Country: Policy & Litigation
    Derrick Beetso
    , General Counsel and Fatima Abbas, Director of Policy and Legislative Counsel, National Congress of American Indians
    Video


    SEPTEMBER 9, 2020
    Red Rising: Indigenous Peoples and Political Participation Series
    McGirt v. Oklahoma: A Mvskoke Triumph

    Moderated by Professor Angela R. Riley. Featuring: Ambassador Jonodev Chaudhuri, Ambassador, Muscogee (Creek) Nation; Professor Sarah Deer, Professor, University of Kansas; Dean Stacy Leeds, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas
    Video


    SEPTEMBER 17, 2020
    Red Rising: Indigenous Peoples and Political Participation Series
    The Execution of Lezmond Mitchell: Disdain for Life and Sovereignty

    Moderated by: Professor Angela R. Riley. Featuring; Jennifer Denetdale, Professor of American Studies, University of New Mexico; Matthew L.M. Fletcher, Professor of Law, Michigan State University College of Law; Addie C. Rolnick, Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Carl Slater, Navajo Nation Council Delegate
    Video


    OCTOBER 2, 2020
    Red Rising: Indigenous Peoples and Political Participation Series: United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
    Moderated by Professor Angela R. Riley. Featuring: Kristen Carpenter, Council Tree Professor of Law & Director, American Indian Law Program, University of Colorado Law School; United Nations Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; Walter Echohawk, President, Pawnee Business Council, Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
    Video


    OCTOBER 15, 2020
    Red Rising: Indigenous Peoples and Political Participation Series: Indigenous Representation in Political Systems
    Representation is a core remedy for invisibility. This notably all-female panel will explore the barriers facing Indigenous women and political office, and the hope and tangible change that comes with piercing the representation ceiling. Representatives from both state and national offices will explore how their presence has impacted the offices they hold, and how, despite their constituency, they are called to represent all of Indian country.
    Moderated by Professor Angela R. Riley. Featuring: Representative Sharice Davids; Representative Ruth Buffalo; Senate Candidate Paulette Jordan;Tribal Advisor Christina Snider
    Video

Resources

News
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Sep 23, 2020

UCLA Law Receives $15 Million Donation to Boost Native American Law and Policy

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Sep 22, 2020

Criminal Justice Program Examines High Salaries for Culver City Police

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