Native American Externships
Cheyenne and Arapaho Office of Tribal Attorney
The Cheyenne and Arapaho OTA serves as chief legal representative and advisor to the Executive Branch and is responsible for protecting and promoting the development of Tribal sovereignty and self-determination by providing legal services and counsel to the Executive Branch, all departments/sub-divisions of the Tribal Government and tribal business enterprises, including subordinate tribal entities. The client of the OTA is the Tribe, although OTA staff takes its primary policy direction from the Executive Branch.
The OTA supports the Executive Branch and all Departments within the Tribal government by reviewing/revising draft policy documents and reviewing/drafting contract documents for goods and services purchased by the Tribal government. The OTA also provides general legal advice to Executive Branch and Department heads as requested/required. The OTA also provides legal services to the Economic Development program and manages the work of outside counsel retained by the Tribe and outside counsel retained under applicable insurance policies to defend claims within the scope of insurance coverage. The OTA further strives to support the efforts of the Executive Branch by working in coordination with the Legislative staff in a number of areas including drafting legislation, drafting Tribal resolutions with emphasis placed on preparing draft Tribal Codes and updating Tribal Codes. OTA practice areas include natural and cultural resources, land use, real property, treaty rights, procurement, preference, tort, contract, constitutional, gaming, municipal, environmental, intellectual property, natural resources, and employment law and litigation.
The major functions of the Office are to:
- Represent the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes Executive Branch and its representatives in judicial, legislative, executive, and administrative proceedings;
- Provide legal advice to tribal policy makers, executives, managers, and staff on issues of concern to the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes;
- Coordinate with federal agencies that have responsibilities in Indian country, such as the National Indian Gaming Commission, Department of Health and Human Services, the Departments of Interior, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Education, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Indian Health Service. Also work with investigative and prosecuting agencies such as the FBI and U.S. Attorneys’ Office.
Chickasaw Nation District Court
The judicial powers of the Chickasaw Nation shall be vested in the Supreme Court and a lower District Court. The Supreme Court shall consist of three Supreme Court Justices elected by popular vote by qualified voters of the Chickasaw Nation. The District Court is comprised of a District Judge, Special Judge, and Court Advocates who are appointed by the Supreme Court.
Oklahoma Indian Legal Services
OILS is a nonprofit legal aid office that provides services to low-income Indians living in Oklahoma. The attorneys and staff at OILS represent Indian people in civil cases that are connected to their Indian status. This means that OILS’s clients are members of federally-recognized tribes who are facing problems that are related to that status. The main OILS office is centrally located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with a satellite office in Ada, Oklahoma. From these locations, OILS attorneys provide services to all counties in the state.
The Executive Office works closely with the Pawnee Business Council (PBC) in providing support for developing strategic direction; coordinating activities with council and committees, approving, calculating, and processing travel; providing oversight of operations; identifying short-term and long-term opportunities; assisting in development and enactment of tribal legislation; providing minutes; maintaining records; and serving as a point of contact for tribal members, funding agencies, and governmental offices. The Executive Office staff also works with Pawnee Nation’s various programs in identifying goals, objectives, services, outcomes, needs, and resources needed to provide quality services to our tribal membership. Employees also establish and maintain effective communications with applicable State and Federal legislative bodies and funding agencies. The Executive Director serves as a liaison between the PBC and the staff and with the Census Bureau.
The Pawnee Nation District Court implements court services for the judicial needs and administration of justice regarding criminal, civil, and juvenile matters; for members of the Pawnee Nation and other individuals that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. The Pawnee Nation District Court presides over these matters rendering final orders or judgments.