Indian Trust Lands: AIPRA, Probate & Cobell

In January 2015, the University of Arizona Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office and the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program co-hosted the 3rd annual Tribal Lands Conference. The conference included information on Tribal Probate Codes, the BIA probate process, Tribal Lands and Tribal probate codes, the current status of the Cobell Land Buy-Back Program, and an informed discussion on Family Managed Trusts.

Conference Speakers:

1) Erica Wolf, Seattle University School of Law

Erica Wolf is the Executive Director of the Center for Indian Law & Policy at Seattle University, and is responsible for the leadership, management, and day-to-day operations of the Center for the benefit of the School of Law and its students. Her presentation is entitled "Tribal Probate Codes." To view her presentation, click here

2) Timothy Berg, Fennemore & Craig

Timothy Berg practices in the areas of civil appeals, public law, and public utilities regulation. He serves as the Chair of the Uniform Law Commission's Tribal Probate Code Committee. His presentation provides an update on the Model Tribal Probate Code. To view his presentation, click here.

3) Morgan Rodman, United States Department of the Interior

Morgan Rodman is Senior Advisor for Tribal Relations at the US Department of the Interior, now working on the Cobell Settlement Land Buy-Back program. His presentation provides an update on the Cobell Land Buy-Back. To view his presentation, click here.

4) Honorable Earl Waits, Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Department of the Interior Office of Hearings and Appeals

As the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Department of the Interior Office of Hearings and Appeals, Judge Earl Waits manages Hearings Division staff with offices across the country and hears Indian trust probate cases in Alaska, the Rocky Mountain area, and the Eastern Seaboard. His presentation is entitled "BIA Probate Process of Allottee Wills." To view his presentation, click here.

5) Daniel Hester, Hester & Zehren LLC

Daniel Hester has served as Tribal Attorney to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon, a tribe he has worked with for more than 29 years. His presentation is entitled "The Umatilla Experience, Tribal Lands and Tribal Probate Code." To view his presentation, click here.

6) Jason Hauter, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld

Jason Hauter's work primarily consists of representing Indian Tribes and tribally owned enterprises. From 2002-2010, Mr. Hauter served as in-house counsel for the Gila River Indian Community. He describes his work with the Gila River Indian Community Cobell Land Buy-Back. To view his presentation, click here

7) Jim James/Chris Stainbrook, Office of the Special Trustee for Indian Tribes/Indian Land Tenure Foundation

Jim James, a member of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, is the Deputy Special Trustee for Field Operations of the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians.

Chris Stainbrook, Oglala Lakota, has been President of the Indian Land Tenure Foundation since its inception in 2002. He provides leadership, strategic direction, management, fundraising and policy oversight to the organization. 

They discuss Family Managed Trusts in the following two-part video:

Video 1 

Video 2