Brian is someone you can learn much from. In addition to being a lawyer that has taken on several large cases and initiatives as part of his work in Indian Country, he is low key and always maintains his sense of humor.
Brian discussed how his general low key demeanor has positively impacted his clients’ cases. It reminded me of the saying “you can shear a sheep many times, but you can only skin it once.”
Brian grew up in Omak, Washington. He attended Washington State University. He served on the school’s newspaper and as part of his work, he decided to reach out to Bill Kunstler for an interview. To his surprise, the well known civil rights attorney agreed to speak with Brian for 45 minutes or so. The conversation sparked his interest in the law. This is one of the best nuggets of information from our conversation. Brian’s story demonstrates that it’s usually worth the effort to email someone, approach them at a conference or connect via social media. Nine times out of ten you may hear nothing back, but occasionally you will connect and the encounter can change your path or theirs, and that’s worth it.Continue reading →
On this episode, I share some of these updates with a segment I call NextGen Natives in the News. This is a mini roundup of things I’ve come across recently that I think is worth sharing with NextGen Natives.
Jared Yazzie with his “Native Americans Discovered Columbus” design, was recently in the news.
NextGen Native has been around about a year and a half. In that time, we’ve heard stories from many amazing people in Indian Country. The fun part about building this network of NextGen Natives is to see the amazing things that previous guests continue to do, and learn about cool things that others are doing who are good candidates to get on the show. Continue reading →
Sharice Davids is a great example of how one’s journey can take curved routes. After spending many years abroad as a military child, she went to six different colleges before earning her degree. The remarkable thing about this though, is that each transfer was for a specific purpose such as to learn about computers, learn sign language, or play sports at a collegiate level. It was very focused, and contrary to what I think is often perception when people move around to different colleges.
Eventually Sharice earned her degree but it wasn’t long before someone at a coffee shop urged her to go to law school. Sharice attended PLSI in New Mexico prior to law school. While at PLSI, a mentor urged her to apply to Cornell Law School. Sharice doubted whether Cornell was the right school, at the time she had applied only to one. But she was admitted and ultimately went to New York.
After law school, she landed in Kansas City at the law firm now known as Dentons. She learned a lot about the law while at the firm from Steven McSloy. But Sharice also credits McSloy with showing her how to use and maneuver within spaces of power and that she could question people, institutions and even the law. Moreover that she did not have to accept it as it was. She cites this as the most valuable professional lesson she has learned. It is incredibly powerful to learn that you do not have to accept things in the world just because. I think this is a fundamental aspect of being a NextGen Native-that you have the ability to alter the course of your own life, of your career, of your community. Things are not set in stone. Continue reading →