Community Partners of the Indian Law Program
At Lewis & Clark, we believe there is great value in acquainting our students with the community that they serve. Our students take pride in supporting tribal communities and engage regularly in public service. Students and faculty in the Indian Law Program have worked with the following organizations to promote the well-being of tribal communities in our region.
The Native American Program of Oregon Legal Services is a nonprofit organization that provides statewide legal services to low-income Indian people and tribes, with an emphasis on tribal representation and impact work. Additionally, NAPOLS contracts with Oregon tribes to provide a broad range of services as legal counsel, and, as court-appointed attorneys, provides Indian Child Welfare Act representation to Indian families in Multnomah County. Over many years, NAPOLS staff have contributed to the development of Indian law in Oregon, particularly in the restoration efforts of terminated tribes, religious freedom and protection of burial sites, protection of natural resources, and the Indian Child Welfare Act. Staff from NAPOLS regularly work with Lewis & Clark students in field placements and also serve as adjuncts on the teaching faculty.
The Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is made up of four Columbia River basin tribes: the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakima Nation, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and the Nez Perce Tribe. CRITFC works to protect and restore the fishing resources of tribes, especially the traditional salmon runs. CRITFC acts as a research and study organization, and as an enforcement arm patrolling against poachers and other violators of tribal fishery regulations. Numerous Lewis & Clark graduates work at CRITFC, and many others have interned there.
The Native American Youth Association provides a vehicle for Native youth and their families to make healthy decisions and grow in positive ways. With a holistic approach, focusing on the mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of young people, NAYA programs empower youth by building self-identity, pride, and self-esteem. NAYA also seeks to improve the lives of Portland-area Native Americans by helping to strengthen the family and community.
The National Indian Child Welfare Association is the most comprehensive source of information on American Indian child welfare and works on behalf of Indian children and families. NICWA provides public policy, research, and advocacy; information and training on Indian child welfare; and community development services to a broad national audience, including tribal governments and programs, state child welfare agencies, and other organizations, agencies, and professionals interested in the field of Indian child welfare. NICWA works to address the issues of child abuse and neglect through the training, research, public policy, and grassroots community development.
ONABEN is a nonprofit public-benefit corporation created by Northwest Indian tribes to increase the success of private businesses owned by Native Americans. ONABEN offers training and support focused on developing entrepreneurship in Indian communities and is available to any Native American in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Northern California.
Formed in 1953 by Northwest tribal leaders, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians is dedicated to tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Today, ATNI represents 54 Northwest tribal governments from Oregon, Idaho, Washington, southeast Alaska, Northern California, and western Montana.