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Robert J. Miller

Professor of Law

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Legal Research Center

Professor Miller worked with the Stoel Rives law firm from 1992-1995 and practiced Indian law with Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker from 1995-1999. Immediately upon graduating, Professor Miller clerked for Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Miller is the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of the Grand Ronde Tribe and sits as a judge for other tribes. His published works include articles, books, and book chapters on a wide array of federal Indian law issues and civil procedure. He was a board member of the Oregon Native American Business and Entrepreneurial Network for twelve years and the National Indian Child Welfare Association for nine years, and is currently on the Boards of the Oregon Historical Society and the Tribal Leadership Forum. He helped found and was on the executive committee of the Oregon State Bar Indian Law Section. Miller speaks regularly on Indian law issues across the U.S. and in other countries. He was involved in the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial after his tribal council appointed him to the Circle of Tribal Advisors (COTA), which was part of the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. His 2006 book, Native America, Discovered and Conquered: Thomas Jefferson, Lewis and Clark, and Manifest Destiny, grew out of that work.  His second book, Discovering Indigenous Lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English Colonies, was published by Oxford University Press in 2010, and he has completed a third book entitled Reservation “Capitalism:” Economic Development in Indian Country which will be published in 2012.  For the past five years he has maintained a blog on Indian affairs that has been noticed by the and a poll of leading Indian blogs and will be archived by the Library of Congress. He is an enrolled citizen of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma.

Specialty Areas & Course Descriptions

Academic Credentials

  • B.S. Eastern Oregon University 1988
  • J.D. Lewis & Clark Law School, magna cum laude, 1991


Separately Published Works

  • NATIVE AMERICA, DISCOVERED AND CONQUERED: THOMAS JEFFERSON, LEWIS AND CLARK, AND MANIFEST DESTINY, (Praeger Publishers September 2006) and in paperback University of Nebraska Press (April 2008).

Works Published as Part of a Collection

  • The International Law of Colonialism: A Comparative Analysis, 15 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 847 (2011).
  • Brazil, Indigenous Peoples, and the International Law of Discovery, 37 Brooklyn Journal of International Law 1 (2011).
  • American Indians, the Doctrine of Discovery, and Manifest Destiny, 11 Wyoming Law Review 329 (2011).
  • American Indian and Tribal Intellectual Property Rights, 13 Tulane Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 179 (2010).
  • Christianity, American Indians, and the Doctrine of Discovery, in Remembering Jamestown: Hard Questions About Christian Mission (2010).
  • American Indian Entrepreneurs: Unique Challenges, Unlimited Potential, 40 Arizona State Law Journal 1297 (2008).
  • Inter-Tribal and International Treaties for American Indian Economic Development, 12 Lewis & Clark Law Review 1103 (2008).
  • The Doctine of Discovery in American Indian Law, 42 Idaho Law Review 1-122 (2005).
  • Tribal Cultural Self-Determination and the Makah Whaling Culture, in Sovereignty Matters, Univ. Neb. Press (2005).
  • P-I Focus: Native Beneficence, The Seattle PI, May. 9, 2004.
  • Agents of Empire: Another Look at the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Oregon State Bar Bulletin 36 (Feb/March 2004).
  • Lewis & Clark Helped Rob American Indians, The Seattle PI, Jan. 30, 2004.
  • Creating Entrepreneurial Reservation Economies, NATIVE AMERICAN LAW DIGEST, Oct. 2003, at 1.
  • Economic Development in Indian Country: Will Capitalism or Socialism Succeed, 80 Or. L. Rev. 757 (2002).
  • A New Perspective on the Indian Removal Period, 38 Tulsa L. Rev. 181 (2002).
  • Exercising Cultural Self-Determination: The Makah Indian Tribe Goes Whaling, 25 Am. Indian L. Rev. 165 (2001).
  • Oregon State Bar CLE, Pleading and Practice in Tribal Courts, Oregon Pleading and Practice chpt. 45 (1998) (Supplements 2001, 2006 & 2010).
  • American Indian Influence on the United States Constitution and its Framers, 18 Am. Indian L. Rev. 133 (1993).
  • Speaking with Forked Tongues: Indian Treaties, Salmon, and the Endangered Species Act, 70 Or. L. Rev. 543 (1991).
  • Indian Hunting and Fishing Rights, 21 Envtl. L. 1291 (1991).
  • Correcting Supreme Court Errors: American Indian Response to Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Association, 20 Envtl. L. 1037 (1990).


  • Brazil, Indigenous Peoples, and the International Laws of Discovery, 37 Brooklyn Journal of International Law ___ (2011). 
  • The International Law of Discovery, Indigenous Peoples, and Chile, 89 Nebraska Law Review 819 (2011).
  • The Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 and Its Impact on Tribal Sovereignty and Governance in Facing the Future, Michigan State University Press (2009)
  • An Indigenous Lens into Comparative Law: The Doctrine of Discovery in the United States and New Zealand, 111 W. Va. L. Rev. 849 (2009).
  • Indian Property Rights and American Federalism and Sovereignty Can Be a Liability: How Tribes Can Mitigate the Sovereign’s Paradox, in Self-Determination: The Other Path for Native Americans, Stanford Univ. Press (2006).
  • Can a Sovereign Protect Investors From Itself? Tribal Institutions to Spur Reservation Investment, 8 J. Small & Emerging Bus. L. 101 (2004).
  • Oregon State Bar, Doing Business with Indian Tribes, 3 Advising Oregon Businesses chpt. 51 (Supplement 1998, 2002, 2008).
  • The New Indian Housing Act and Its Environmental Implications, American Bar Association Conference (1997).
  • The “Drunken Indian” - Myth Distilled into Reality through Federal Indian Alcohol Policy, 28 Ariz. State L.J. 223 (1996).
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Robert Miller’s office is located in room 123 of Legal Research Center.


voice 503-768-6821

Robert J. Miller Professor of Law

Indian Law Lewis & Clark Law School 10015 S.W. Terwilliger Boulevard MSC 51 Portland OR 97219 USA

45.45177; -122.677216