- Photo Credit: Andy Marion
Brief Background: After graduating from Portland State University I worked as a paralegal at a civil litigation firm in Portland, and then as staff assistant for Congressman Blumenauer’s district office in Portland. While working for Congressman Blumenauer, I had the opportunity to work on tribal policy as well as constituent casework in the areas of education, healthcare, and housing. Both of those professional experiences were integral in affirming my desire to attend law school.
My interest in Indian Law: I am fascinated by the law and see it as a personal opportunity to serve my tribe and community by working to protect the rights and interests of tribes, tribal organizations, and tribal citizens. My father and stepmother are both attorneys for our tribe, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, and practiced law in several tribal courts around Arizona, South Dakota, and Washington while I was growing up. At home they often spoke about the issues facing tribal courts and the historic precedents for their cases, and I think growing up around these discussions both made me comfortable with the material and piqued my interest to learn more. It also showed me a path for working with and for tribes.
My experience with Indian Law: My primary experience with Indian Law has been my family background, but it was that background as well as my community involvement in Portland that equipped me to work on tribal policy for Congressman Blumenauer. The policy work I did required knowledge of federal Indian law and policy and its lasting effects on Northwest tribes and the Portland urban Indian community in areas including treaty-protected rights, enrollment, and housing. I look forward to building on that knowledge and those experiences as I have the opportunity to take Indian Law classes.
My future with Indian Law: As a first year law student, I am largely still exploring my areas of interest with respect to the practice of law. With that in mind, I feel moved to work for the protection of tribal sovereignty and one day hope to represent tribes or tribal organizations on issues of sovereignty at the federal level.