Tag Archives: Law

Nikke Alex | Nerdy Navajo

Nikke Alex is Dine. It was awesome to get to speak with another former WINS intern on the podcast, and to see what all of us are doing TEN YEARS LATER! She is currently a third-year law student at the University of New Mexico. She is also a self-described nerd. And when you listen to her story, you understand that it is an awesome/honest assessment! unnamed Continue reading

Bryan Newland |Hot in Indian law (Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw)

Bryan Newland

Bryan Newland, Bay Mills Ojibwe

Vine Deloria, Jr. wrote in Custer Died for Your Sins “…law became a trap for the weary and a dangerous weapon in the hands of those that understood how to use it.” This concept drives my interest in law and public policy in Indian Country. Tribes need tribal members that understand how to use the law, argue the law, make laws, and influence the law. Laws, regulations and court cases greatly impact how we live our daily lives, especially in Indian Country. Dollar General v. Missississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is a case before the U.S. Supreme Court this year that people should know about.

This episode provides insight into the “hot” topics in Indian law today. Bryan Newland (Bay Mills Ojibwe) and I discuss some key pending legal cases impacting Indian Country. Bryan previously shared his personal story on the podcast. You can listen to that here.

“But I am not a lawyer and this sounds boring and/or intimidating to me. I do not live in Mississippi so why does Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians impact me? Why should I listen to a podcast about legal cases that don’t involve me or my community?”

Because they do. And the concepts at issue in each case are not difficult to understand. I am not a lawyer, and Bryan does a great job describing these cases in a way that non-lawyers can understand and digest. The three cases we discuss are entirely different topics (tax, Indian Child Welfare Act, and sexual assault of a minor), but each impacts the sovereignty not only of those involved but of all tribes.

Two of the cases discussed–if decided wrongly–can negatively impact the sovereignty of all tribes. Information about each of the cases is also provided below. This information all links to Turtle Talk, a blog of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University. It tracks different court cases impacting Indian Country. It is a great resource to track legal developments impacting tribes.

Dollar General v. Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

A.D. v. Washburn

Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Marshall Stanburg

Bryan and I also discuss other topics in this episode including: moving home after being away; where “home” really is; college football (Go Ducks!); healthy outlets; and more.

Jason Croxton | Opportunity Favors Preparation

Jason Croxton is Navajo. Currently he serves as an in-house attorney for the Wild Horse Pass Development Authority. The authority is an enterprise of the Gila River Indian Community. He has a great job, but it has not come without hard work and dedication.

In this episode, we talk not only about his personal story, but about what it really means when things “align” for someone. Alignment does not happen on its own. Some magical energy in the universe does not magically clear the path for you. You do. It takes hard work, focus, dedication. It means overcoming challenges, learning from mistakes, and growing as a person. And rarely do things “align” without some help and/or luck along the way. The key for things to align is to be prepared. Jason made a great point in the interview when he said that opportunity favors preparation.


Jason started his bachelors degree the University of Arizona. While working through college to help pay his tuition, he ended up focusing more on work and ended up taking some time off from school. He spent more than two years in the restaurant industry. Eventually he worked his way up to head bartender. Ultimately, he re-enrolled at Arizona State University, focusing on Housing and Community Development. Eventually, he earned his law degree from Arizona State University.

Jason has a great story, and the conversation includes great insight into planning a career. We go deep in this episode, and it is worth it.


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Other Links

Passive cooling/heating

NAHASDA (Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act)

National American Indian Housing Council


University of New Mexico School of Law

University of Arizona School of Law

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Pre-Law Summer Institute

Council on Legal Education Opportunity

Bill Cornelius Episode


Sheraton Wild Horse Pass

WhirlWind Golf



Joe Sarcinella | 100 Miles to Awesome

Ever feel like you are so out of shape that you could never  get into shape? Joe Sarcinella may beg to differ. So much so that in this episode of the podcast, he states his belief that everyone could run 40 miles.

In this episode, we discuss how Joe has lost 85 pounds of weight, changed his eating habits and is now training to do something few of us may not realize is actually possible.


Images courtesy of Joe Sarcinella

Joe is actually training to run a 100 mile race in October 2015. And the crazy part is he is running that race to qualify for the 100 mile race he actually wants to run! He is documenting his progress towards these races at his website 100 Miles 2 Awesome.

The goal of this podcast, and this episode in particular, is to make stories from Indian Country relatable. To You. It is important to hear stories about someone else who did it. Someone else (Joe) who took that first step. Not even metaphorical steps, real ones.

We discuss other topics, too, mainly his journey to become a lawyer. Joe Sarcinella has a great story for everyone in Indian Country. Links to the resources and topics we discuss are found below. There are a ton in this episode!

OSD Tribal liaison


ASU School of Law/ Indian Legal Program

Mashantucket Pequot Court

Navajo Nation Washington Office

Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run

Javalina Jundred

Japanese man takes NY state bar exam multiple times


Cherry Blossom Festival

Body Mass Index



Winklevoss Twins

District Crossfit

Food deserts

Fat Bastard scene

Drink Water

100 Miles 2 Awesome

Rez Girl Big World

Rich Roll


Ambassador Keith Harper

Welcome to 2015! I am excited to start the New Year with my interview with Ambassador Keith Harper. Many people will be familiar with the Ambassador and his work in Indian Country. For those of you not familiar, Mr. Harper is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He was confirmed in 2014 as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Many people also know his work on the Cobell case.

There is a lot of great information in this episode: from how to manage stress; making tough career choices; being a Native on the world stage; the advice that he did not receive when he was younger that he wish he had; and more.

Show Notes

Ambassador Keith Harper’s Bio

U.S Mission to the United Nations Human Rights Council

University of California Berkley

NYU School of Law

Judge Lawrence Pierce

Notah Begay

Native American Rights Fund

Davis, Polk, Wardwell

Skadden Fellowship

NextGen Native Episode 04: Bryan Newland

This episode of the NextGen Native podcast I interview Bryan Newland. Bryan is a citizen of Bay Mills Ojibwe. Bryan has a great story that combines his early awareness of what he wanted to do professionally with the power of relationships. The proof is in the results of what Bryan has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time. It was such a fun interview, and I hope to have Bryan back on the podcast in the future.

In this interview, we discuss:

  • The origins of D-word (one of my nicknames).
  • Although a Michigan Wolverine as a kid, Bryan decided to go to Michigan State. This decision had a big impact on Bryan’s career.
  • The history of football games between Michigan State vs Oregon.
  • Michigan State University College of Law & Indian Law Program. Bryan was the first student in the program. He now serves as a Trustee to the law school.
  • Bryan met Del Laverdure at Michigan State, and ended up working with/for Del.
  • Participated as an intern Udall Internship program sponsored by the Udall Foundation.
  • Joined a friend from Udall program to work on a presidential campaign and then on the presidential transition team.
  • What it was like to move to DC for a political position.
  • Bryan spent much time at the Department of Interior working on reform of leasing regulations. A court recently decided in favor of a tribe based on the regulations written by Interior while Bryan was there.
  • Returning to life in Michigan, including the challenges of serving as the tribal judge for his own tribe.
  • Turtletalk Blog

If you like the Podcast, please go to iTunes and rate it. If you have suggestions to improve the podcast or have suggestions for guests, visit the facebook page www.facebook.com/nextgennative or on Twitter.