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Indian Legal Program hosts conference on use, future of Indian Lands

April 22, 2011

A conference, “Treaty to Trust to Carcieri: The Economic Future for Indian Lands,” will be held on April 28-29 in the Memorial Union at Arizona State University's Tempe campus.

The conference, which will focus on the critical issues tribes face regarding the best use of their lands, is presented by the Tribal Economic Development Program of the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the American Indian Policy Institute at ASU. Register at

"A tribe’s land is a connection to its past and a key to its future,” said Carl Artman, Director of the Economic Development in Indian Country Program. “The land cradles their culture and history, but must also provide for current and future generations.”

Artman argues that one of the biggest challenges in tribal land use is deciding how to make tribal land commercially viable, especially as tribes are faced with added complications from regulations and heavy burdens placed on them by federal, state and city governments.

Speakers will discuss the impact of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, which limited the number of tribes that could receive federal protection over their land or have their land in trust.

“The conference will look at contemporary obstacles and opportunities for economic success on tribal land and analyze solutions that will provide a sustainable commercial success,” Artman said.

The conference holds special importance for all of Arizona, as tribes have jurisdiction over nearly one-third of the land within the state, said Patricia Mariella, Ph.D., Director of the American Indian Policy Institute.

“The nationally recognized Indian Legal Program is pulling together outstanding experts on a key and fundamental issue for tribal government,” said Mariella, who will be a part of the panel on Contemporary Tribal Land Management Infrastructure. “I hope attendees come away with new conceptual ideas as well as specific practical tools for managing tribal land.”

The conference will also highlight cultural issues that drive decision making, explore the history of Indian lands and examine the economic impact of tribal land decisions.

Other speakers include:
Allison C. Binney, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Kristen A. Carpenter, Associate Professor of Law,University of Colorado Law School
Robert N. Clinton, Foundation Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
John Dossett, General Counsel, National Congress of the American Indians
Linus Everling, General Counsel, Gila River Indian Community
Angela D. Garcia-Lewis, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Coordinator,
Cultural Preservation Program, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Steven J.W. Heeley, Senior Policy Consultant, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Niccole L. King, Assistant General Counsel, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Stacy L. Leeds, Interim Associate Dean for Academic Afforis, Professor of Law, University of Kansas School of Law
Vince Lujan, President and CEO, Salt River Devco
Claire Miller, President, Solanna Group LLC
G. William “Bill” Rice, Associate Professor of Law, Co-Director, Native American Law Center,
University of Tulsa College of Law
Judy Shapiro, Esq., Principal, Judy Shapiro Law Office
V. Heather Sibbison, Partner, Patton Boggs LLP
Rebecca A. Tsosie, Executive Director, Indian Legal Program, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Rebecca M. Webster, Senor Staff Attorney, Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconson
Elaine Willman, Director, Community Development and Tribal Affairs, Village of Hobart, Wisc.

Staci McCabe,
(480) 965-8702
Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law