Alumni from the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program are developing new legal and political strategies to advance the rights of Indigenous communities around the world. IPLP graduates serve in leadership positions on six continents, working to advance the rights of Indigenous communities.
“The IPLP program gave me a new and unique perspective of Indigenous law and policy throughout the world. Whether you are in Montana or Brazil, Indigenous peoples throughout the world suffer different forms of injustice every single day. Through the IPLP Program I was able to look at Indigenous law and policy from a different angle. This ultimately gave me a greater understanding of the laws and policies that impact my tribe and other tribes located here in Montana. I appreciated the opportunity to work with the great legal minds of IPLP. Because of my time with IPLP I am now a better person and advocate.”
-Shane Morigeau (LLM, ’11) Attorney, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes; Representative, Montana House of Representatives
“The IPLP Program provided me with the skills and knowledge I needed to effectively represent tribal individuals and nations. It also provided me with meaningful connections and friendships in the Indian law field that are still valuable to me today.”
-Katherine Belzowski (LLM, ’11) Staff Attorney, Navajo Nation Department of Justice
"Participating in the IPLP program as an LLM student enriched my academic and personal life immensely. My fellow students, who came from all parts of the world, helped to challenge my thinking and shape my perspective on how we go about collectively tackling the unique challenges facing our communities today. The bonds formed with my fellow IPLP colleagues, professors, and staff still continue to this day. I am grateful for the support, encouragement, and advice that they continue to provide to me to this day."
-Wenona Benally Baldenegro (LLM, '11) Assistant Attorney General, Pascua Yaqui Tribe
“The IPLP Program offered me the chance to study Indian Law from a fresh perspective, by and for people who have a hand in changing the face of law in Indian Country and internationally.”
-Eldena Bear Don’t Walk (LLM, ’13) Chief Justice, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
I am immensely grateful to the faculty, staff, and fellow students at IPLP. The supportive environment I experienced there made my graduate level legal studies fun, fulfilling, and enlightening–personally and intellectually. I formed lifelong friendships and intellectual foundations, and met supportive colleagues. It provided me with a fuller, richer understanding and dedication to Indigenous Nation building.”
-Jamie Lavallee (SJD, ’16) Director of Indigenous Governance, Law, & Policy, File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council
“I look back at my time at IPLP with gratitude. IPLP’s community of critically thinking advocates provided a home for me during my legal studies. I was inspired to dig deeper by IPLP professors and to work harder by my colleagues in the pursuit of justice for Indigenous peoples around the world. The quality of the professors and students was remarkable. We didn't simply gloss over lessons, we dug in. The law is a social construction and the humanity of it shined through brightly in the classroom. Our courses didn't dissociate the law from humanity; it was recognized for its human origins and we were empowered to impact and shape it as legal practitioners. The program equipped me with the necessary tools I use as a modern-day warrior, fighting for justice for Indigenous peoples every day.”
-Elizabeth Hensley (JD, ’09) Partner, Landye Bennett Blumstein LLP
"I rely on the lessons I learned through the IPLP Program every day. The program, and the professors behind it, gave me a great foundation for advocating on behalf of Indian Country. The bright and driven students who went through the program alongside me were an important support system during law school, and this support has continued on."
-Katie Klass (JD, ’11) Partner, Hobbs Straus Dean & Walker
“The IPLP Program is the reason I came to the University of Arizona College of Law after completing my undergraduate degree at Harvard University, and it is the reason I got the best possible job as an Indian Country business attorney at a large law firm in Minneapolis. IPLP is the crown jewel at Arizona Law.”
-Leah Lussier Sixkiller (JD, ’10) Associate, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
“The Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy (IPLP) Program was the perfect springboard into the Indian legal profession for me. I was allowed access to forerunning Indian legal scholars, to influential Beltway Indian political circles, and to formative on-the-ground opportunities in Indian Country. Professor Rob Williams, Bob Hershey, Joe Kalt, and Steve Cornell were just a few of the game-changers I was privileged to meet, learn from, and collaborate with while in Tucson. While IPLP prepares students for Indigenous legal battles across the world, it also remains the most fertile training ground for law students who want to work on the front-lines of domestic American Indian legal struggles.”
-Gabriel S. Galanda (JD, ’00) Partner and Founder, Galanda Broadman, PLLC
“The IPLP Program provided me with a first-class education in federal Indian law and tribal law, helped me obtain an internship working for tribes in Northern Nevada, and supported me to compete in the National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition in Oklahoma. Most importantly, IPLP sparked a passion within me to advocate for tribal sovereignty and the self-determination of tribes, no matter where life takes me. If you want to learn from the most experienced practitioners and professors, I highly recommend IPLP.”
-Katya M. Lancero (JD, ’14) Associate Attorney, BurnsBarton LLP
“My decision to attend the University of Arizona College of Law was based primarily on the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy (IPLP) Program. IPLP's course offerings and staff expertise are unparalleled and provided me the necessary knowledge and skill set to excel as a legal practitioner in Indian Country. Moreover, I am confident that my IPLP JD certificate was a pivotal factor in my ability to secure employment in my previous role at the Department of the Interior and my current role as clinical director at Arizona Law. Even today, I continue to utilize the IPLP Program's extensive network of academics and professionals.”
-Bethany Sullivan (JD, ’11) Senior Associate, Maier Pfeffer Kim Geary & Cohen LLP
"IPLP not only gave me the opportunity to learn from some of the best minds in Indian Country, but it also instilled the expectation that students work directly with tribal nations to address their legal needs. That experience transformed me into a better advocate for Indigenous people."
-Lorinda Riley (SJD, ’10) Instructor, Public Administration/Justice Administration, University of Hawai'i, West O'ahu
“The Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program provided me with an exceptional opportunity to engage and be mentored by scholars who are at the vanguard of Indigenous peoples’ law, not only in the U.S. but around the world. My affiliation with the IPLP program has taken me from the deserts of Tucson, to the lakes of New Zealand, and back. The IPLP quite literally placed the world at my finger-tips.”
-Dr. Torivio A. Fodder (SJD, ’12) Indigenous Governance Program Manager, Native Nations Institute
“I am profoundly thankful to everyone at IPLP. The program has been both a training ground and source of inspiration; its experiential learning environment allowed me to interact with renowned professors, friendly staff, local indigenous communities, international practitioners, and brilliant students from diverse backgrounds. Thanks to the skills I honed at IPLP, I will make meaningful contributions advancing indigenous peoples’ rights."
-Elifuraha Laltaika (SJD, ’16) Member, United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues
“My experience earning my SJD at IPLP was fundamental to my professional career. The program combines academic, practical, and social engagement at the highest level, allowing me to contribute to the promotion of indigenous peoples’ rights in Brazil and internationally.”
-Erika Yamada (SJD, ’08) Member, UN Expert Mechanism on Rights of Indigenous Peoples
“The IPLP Program gave me the practical tools to push the four corners of current law and policy and advocate for change in Indian Country. The program achieves academic excellence with Indigenous peoples’ human rights law not through books alone, but through hands-on, practical experience. The IPLP Program aided my career goals to work in Indian Country by building my expertise in federal Indian law and policy, coupled with the growing field of Indigenous peoples’ law and policy.”
-Shannon Keller O'Loughlin (JD, ’01) Executive Director, Association on American Indian Affairs