The Native American Law and Sovereignty Institute at Mitchell Hamline has formed its inaugural advisory board to offer strategic advice on matters including recruitment, retention, and graduation of Native American law students.
The seven-member board, whose members will serve two-year terms, also will work to help develop curriculum and conferences, as well as building relationships with Tribal Nations in the region and connecting with Mitchell Hamline’s vast alumni network.
“From strategic planning to supporting best practices, these board members will provide their perspectives, cultural understandings, expertise, and knowledge to continue to increase the reach and efforts of the institute,” said Professor Angelique EagleWoman, director of the institute.
“These are all individuals with a deep commitment to the purpose and values of the Native American Law and Sovereignty Institute and the success of our law students, and I’m grateful for their service.”
The members of the inaugural advisory board are:
- Judge Mary Jo Hunter (HoChunk Nation), an associate judge for the Ho-Chunk Nation and a former longtime clinical professor at Hamline University School of Law, where she taught child advocacy.
- Jody TallBear ’09 (Cheyenne-Arapaho and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), chief of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Judge Lenor Scheffler Blaeser ‘88 (Lower Sioux Indian Community), chief judge at the Upper Sioux Indian Community and a former William Mitchell and Mitchell Hamline trustee.
- Veronica Newcomer ‘13 (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa), in-house counsel for the White Earth Nation.
- Jason Decker ‘17 (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe), associate attorney with Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson, a majority Native-owned law firm in Colorado.
- Angela Levasseur ‘22 (Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation), Chief of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (elected 2022) and one of the first Mitchell Hamline students to earn a certificate from the Native American Law and Sovereignty Institute.
- Dominic Terry ‘18 (Navajo Nation), an assistant Hennepin County attorney.