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Environmental, Natural Resources, & Energy Law

  US v Oregon: 50th Anniversary Symposium
 October 18, 2019

                                            6 CLE Credits to be requested from Oregon State Bar

                                                REGISTRATION CLOSED

On October 18, Lewis and Clark Law and the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC) will hold a symposium commemorating the 50th anniversary of Judge Robert Belloni’s landmark decision that interpreted the Columbia River tribes’ treaty fishing rights to ensure that the tribes were able to harvest “a fair share” of Columbia River salmon runs.  To achieve this fair share Judge Belloni called for the tribes to “participate meaningfully” in fishery management, the first judicial recognition of the importance of tribal sovereign control of their reserved natural resources.  The court’s recognition of tribal sovereignty led to several generations of co-management plans governing Columbia River salmon harvests as well as hatchery management. 

The symposium will feature tribal and governmental attorneys considering the implications of the case now known as United States v. Oregon, including its effect on the health of the salmon runs, the negotiation and renegotiation of a couple of international treaties, even the formation of CRITFC itself.  A half-century after Judge Belloni’s historic decision, Columbia River tribes are fully invested sovereigns of the fish resources they bargained to retain over century-and-a-half old treaties.    

                                  (Draft schedule of speaker list and topics below - still in process)

7:45 - 8:15 am Light breakfast; registration open 


8:15 - 8:30 am Blessing/ Invocation: Davis Washines, Yakama NationRon Suppah Sr., Simnasho District, Warm Springs; introduction, Jaime Pinkham, Executive Director, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission


8:30 - 9:15 am Keynote: Professor Charles Wilkinson, University of Colorado, Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Moses Lasky Professor of Law Emeritus; introduction: Professor Michael Blumm


9:15 - 10:15 am Origins of, and Judge Belloni’s decision in, US v Oregon: Professor Michael Blumm, Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law, Lewis & Clark Law School; Laurie Jordan, Policy Analyst, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission; moderator: Prof. Dan Rohlf, Professor of Law and Of Counsel, Earthrise Law Center at Lewis & Clark


10:15 am - 10:30 am Coffee/tea BREAK


10:30 – 11:00 am Application of Environmental Statutes to Treaty Rights: Howard Arnett, Karnopp Petersen, LLP; introduction: Rob Lothrop, Policy Development and Litigation Support Department,Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission


11:00 am – 12:15 pm  Democratizing Treaty Rights: Brent Hall, Tribal Attorney (Fisheries & Litigation), Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation; John Sledd, Attorney-at-Law
Kanji & Katzen, PLLC; Moderator/speaker: Jeff Litwak, Legal Counsel, Columbia River Gorge Commission


12:15 pm - 1:45 pm LUNCH: Blessing of the food: Davis Washines, Yakama Nation; Ron Suppah Sr., Simnasho District, Warm Springs.  Jaime Pinkham, Executive Director, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission: Viewing of “Belloni Interview”


1:45 – 2:30 pm Effect of Judge Belloni’s decision on Chippewa Tribes case: Professor Monte Mills, U. of Montana, School of Law; Alan Parker, (Chippewa-Cree), Adjunct Faculty, Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, Former Staff Director, Committee on Indian Affairs, United States Senate; Moderator: Carma Corcoran, Ph.D.,(Chippewa-Cree), Director, Indian Law Program, Lewis & Clark Law School


2:30 – 2:45 pm Coffee/tea BREAK


2:45 – 3:45 pm Renegotiating the Columbia River Treaty: Professor Nigel Bankes, U. of Calgary, Faculty of Law; Professor Barbara Cosens, U. of Idaho, College of Law; moderator: Jim Heffernan, Policy Analyst, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission


3:45 – 5:00 pm Influence of US v Oregon decision on Multi Sovereign Natural Resources management: Coby Howell, Senior Trial Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice; John Ogan, Tribal Attorney, Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation; Michael Grossmann, Senior Counsel, State of Washington, Office of the Attorney General; moderator: Laurie Jordan, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission


5 - 5:30 pm Reinterpretation of Federal and Idaho cases on off-Reservation Hunting and Fishing Rights in Light of Indigenous Knowledge and World View: Sammy Matsaw, PhD candidate, Water Resources IGERT Fellow, U. of Idaho; Professor Barbara Cosens, U. of Idaho (moderator)

5:30 pm  Closing and Reception for all participants