While Indian law may seem to be a narrow specialty, it touches on all areas of criminal and civil law and covers such diverse topics as sovereign immunity, child welfare, gaming, lending and finance, economic development, water law, real estate and fee-to-trust, environmental and energy law, natural resources protection and development, contracts, cultural resources protection, state-tribe compacts, probate, tribal governance, health care, and tribal jurisdiction.
The ILS also provides a voice for members on issues of state and national concern affecting Indian country. Recently the Executive Committee proposed legislative amendments that would modify state law to give the same degree of recognition to the public documents of Indian tribes as is given to those of other governments, and provided testimony on those amendments before the Oregon Legislative Assembly.
The ILS typically sponsors a day-long CLE program every other year. Our October 2006 CLE program “Solutions for the Generations” included panels on tribal courts, on-reservation methamphetamine issues, the American Indian Probate Reform Act, jurisdictional conflicts and solutions, cigarette and gas tax agreements, off-reservation gaming, and a legislative update. The ILS has also co-sponsored the annual Northwest Tribal Water Rights Conference with the Center for Water Advocacy. The ILS CLE programs, annual meetings and other ILS-sponsored events provide opportunities for ILS members to network with others who practice in the area of Indian law.
The ILS solicits papers and articles from its membership for its newsletter, which is a forum for ILS members to share ideas and scholarship relating to Indian law, especially as it is practiced in Oregon.
The ILS Executive Committee encourages all new members of the Oregon State Bar with an interest in Indian law matters to join the Indian Law Section and become part of this exciting, growing area of the law.