Northern Plains Indian Law Center
The School of Law, in consultation with area tribes and Indian leaders, established the Northern Plains Indian Law Center in the early 1990s.
The Center's primary purposes are to promote diversity in the legal profession by recruiting American Indian law students, preparing native and non-native law students for the practice of federal Indian and Tribal law, and serving tribal governments in addressing legal issues affecting Indian country.
The Center's Programs are the Northern Plains Tribal Judicial Training Institute, the Tribal Environmental Law Project, the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy, and the Indian & Tribal Law Certificate. These Programs and the Center are supported and supplemented by five nationally recognized law faculty who research, write and speak on a broad variety of Indian and Tribal law issues.
It is the goal of the University of North Dakota's Northern Plains Indian Law Center to promote and support American Indians and tribes in their endeavors to advance legal opportunities for Indian people living in or associated with the states of North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota, and to foster greater cross-cultural exchange in the interest of mutual understanding and development.
- Implement the blueprint developed for the Center incorporating the Northern Plains Tribal Judicial Training Institute, Native American Law Project, and the Tribal Environmental Law Project, with the School of Law to provide coordinated legal services and programs for American Indians.
- Increase the number of American Indians in the legal profession by actively recruiting American Indians interested in law school and supporting those students who become enrolled in law school.
- Develop a clearinghouse containing American Indian treaties, laws, resolutions, and legal documents about American Indians; consolidate that information to form a tribal, state, and federal resource data base at UND School of Law that can be used by tribal governments, state and federal agencies, and the public at large.
- Coordinate and develop forums between and among tribal, state, and federal agencies to examine and explore legal issues common to these groups of people.
- Establish a productive relationship between tribal governments and UND's School of Law.
Project Components of the Center
Tribal Judicial Institute
B. J. Jones, Director
Tribal Environmental Law Project
Professor James M. Grijalva, Director
This project provides legal and policy assistance to tribal governments developing environmental programs intended to protect the health and welfare of tribal citizens, tribal natural resources, and the quality of reservations and ceded lands. The project also researches legal issues of general relevance to the authority of tribal governments to implement and administer civil regulatory programs.
Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy
Professor Kathryn R.L. Rand and Dr. Steven Andrew Light, Co-Directors
The Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy provides legal and policy assistance related to tribal gaming enterprises to all interested governments and organizations, assists tribes with gaming enterprises in pursuing reservation economic development and building strong tribal governments, and contributes to the scholarly and practical research and literature in the area of tribal gaming.