The Native American Law Student Association (NALSA) is a network of primarily Native American law students offering academic and Indian culture support services. In an era of expanding tribal governments’ laws and jurisdiction, the membership maintains strong community relations while working toward cross-cultural understanding.
The Mitchell Hamline chapter (MH NALSA) has a strong local connection to the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association (MAIBA), which sponsors CLE’s and works with the tribal governments to develop codes, rules, and procedures. MH NALSA also maintains a national network with chapters from other law schools, as well as Native American tribes and individuals.
Membership is open to any interested current Mitchell Hamline students and individual dues are not required.
2022–23 NALSA officers
- President: Ashalon Goodrich (Blackfoot Siksika Nation)
- Vice President: Ben Swankier (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Descendant)
- Treasurer Co-Chair: Savannah Thibert (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa)
- Treasure Co-Chair: Shalese Snowdon (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation, Descendant)
- Secretary Co-Chair: Emma Brunelle (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa)
- Secretary Co-Chair: Kirsten Buscher
- Events/ Networking Co-Chair: Marissa Pacheco (Lower Sioux Indian Community in Minnesota)
- Events/ Networking Co-Chair: Gloria Miller
- Public Relations Co-Chair: Mariah Norwood (Cherokee Nation)
- Public Relations Co-Chair: Dakota Lancour (Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Descendant)
- Native Law Chair: Weston Jones (Oglala Lakota)
- Historian Co-Chair: Brandy DeCoteau-Heminger (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota Oyate)
- Historian Co-Chair: Leo Janssen (White Earth Nation, Descendant)
Recent accomplishments and events
Despite the constraints and pressures of the ongoing global pandemic, students in MH NALSA have risen to the challenges and stayed vigilant in their advocacy for furthering Native American Law and Sovereignty issues. Some recent notable accomplishments include:
- In February, MH NALSA requested that a Land Acknowledgement be read at all Mitchell Hamline School of Law events and conferences, including co-sponsored events and conferences. This request has been successfully implemented at all school events since then.
- In March, MH NALSA co-hosted the virtual Mitchell Hamline Law Review Symposium: Trauma-Informed Leadership, securing some top-notch programming and facilitating an impactful event for all.
- In April, MH NALSA successfully requested that the Registrar add “Native American Law Courses” as a search filter, to provide a quick and easy registration process for these courses, while also creating a source of recognition and visibility for Native American law students.
- The 2021–22 officer board has a lot of exciting new goals for the upcoming school year.
- Follow MH NALSA on Facebook for more information.