Skip to main content

NALSA Symposium 2023: ICWA and Environmental Justice

17 Apr 2023

NALSA Symposium 2023: ICWA and Environmental Justice

Chase Community Center and via Livestream 6 - 8 p.m.

Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), presents a panel discussion with ICWA and tribal law experts along with renowned journalist, Rebecca Nagle about the current Supreme Court challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act and how its decision could implicate tribal sovereignty and environmental protections in Indian Country. 

If you'd only prefer to watch the event live, you can watch online, live, at the event time without registering.

Watch Live here !

(program runs from 6 - 8 p.m. April 17, 2023)

Native communities have been at the forefront of the fight for environmental justice. Now, those communities and their children are under attack. Join NALSA in welcoming four incredible speakers for a discussion on the current Supreme Court challenge to the Indian Child Welfare Act, Brackeen v. Haaland, and how this case is poised to upset civil rights, tribal sovereignty, and the whole of federal Indian law. Specifically, the discussion will be centered on the environmental justice implications of how an unfavorable decision may impact environmental regulations on and near tribal land. Dinner and non-alcoholic drinks will be provided.

Matthew Fletcher

Mathew Fletcher

Hon. Fletcher is a professor of law at Michigan Law, sits as chief justice of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians as well as an appellate judge for several tribes, and is a scholar of federal Indian law, American Indian tribal law, Anishinaabe legal and political philosophy, constitutional law, federal courts, and legal ethics. He is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.


James Grijalva

James Grijalva

Professor Grijalva is a professor of law and director of the Tribal Environmental Law Project at the University of North Dakota. He has worked and taught at the intersections of tribal law, federal Indian law, and environmental law for almost 30 years including with the EPA, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs, and several tribal nations. He was a visiting professor at VLGS teaching a summer course on Indian country environmental law and policy.


Rebecca Nagle

Rebecca Nagle

As Ms. Nagle is an award winning advocate and writer whose work on Native representation and sovereignty has been featured in The Washington Post, USA Today, Teen Vogue, and Huffington Post. In the second season of her podcast, "This Land", she uncovers the political motivations and funding behind the attack on ICWA and how it threatens everything from tribal sovereignty to civil and environmental rights. She is a citizen of Cherokee Nation and a two spirit/queer woman.


Dan Lewerenz

Dan  Lewerenz

Professor Lewerenz is a professor of law and the University of North Dakota. He was a staff attorney at the Native American Rights Fund and an attorney-advisor at the U.S. Dept. of the Interior. He worked extensively on Indian Child Welfare Act issues in both positions and coordinated amicus briefings to the Supreme Court regarding Brackeen v. Haaland. Before becoming a lawyer, he was a reporter and editor for The Associated Press for more than 10 years. He is a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.


Clara Derby, NALSA, Vermont Law and Graduate School




Questions? Concerns? Contact Alexandra Ellis JD'23/MARJ'21 at