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Indian Law Program

Visiting Indian Law Professor Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks

July 29, 2016

  • Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks, Esq.

Lewis & Clark Law School is pleased to announce that it will host Professor Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks as the third Walter R. Echo-Hawk Distinguished Visiting Professor in the spring of 2017.

Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks, Esq. works in the area of Indian law as an attorney and tribal court of appeals justice. She is currently of counsel to Cuddy McCarthy LLP and a visiting professor of law at the University of New Mexico’s Southwest Indian Law Clinic. Her practice and consultation services concentrate on tribal-state relations, personnel, tribal courts, peacemaking and family conferencing, mediation, family, school, education, and indigenous law.

Ms. Fairbanks is Tlingit-Tsimpshian and was born in Ketchikan, Alaska. She obtained her BA from Fort Lewis College in 1969 and her JD in 1987 from the University of New Mexico. Prior to her law career, she served as a teacher for the Albuquerque Public Schools, Zia Day School, and Administrator for Acomita Day School and the Santa Fe Indian School.

Ms. Fairbanks was a partner with the law firm of Roth, VanAmberg, Rogers, Ortiz, Fairbanks & Yepa, LLP, where she specialized in Indian law. She also worked as senior policy analyst with the New Mexico Office of Indian Affairs in the area of state-tribal relations. There, she was instrumental in establishing the Indian Child Welfare Desk, New Mexico Office of Indian Tourism, the University of New Mexico Indian Law Clinic, and the passage of the New Mexico Indian Arts and Crafts Act.

Ms. Fairbanks’ publications include:

  • Indigenous Justice as a Concept in American Jurisprudence, @LAW (NALS) (Summer 2005 reporter)
  • The Sacred Trust: Our Children, Our Tribal Sovereignty, and the Indian Child Welfare Act, Inside the Minds, Emerging Issues in Tribal-State Relations (2012 Ed.) (Aspatore)
  • Indian Child Welfare Act Checklists for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, NCJFCJ, June 2003 (Reviewer and Contributor)

While serving as the Walter Echohawk visitor, Ms. Fairbanks will teach two courses – Family Law and the Indian Child Welfare Act in Indian Country, and Tribal Courts and Traditional Peace Circles.

Ms. Fairbanks’ visit is possible because of generous support of local tribes, including a lead gift from the Snoqualmie Tribe. We would like to also thank the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde for their supporting gifts in 2016.