The Relationship Between Minnesota Tribes, Wild Rice, and State Water Quality Standards
Pictured: wild rice waters. From U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s ricing season in Minnesota.  People are out in canoes across northern Minnesota waters in two-person teams, with one person at the push pole and the other tapping wild rice...
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Don’t Miss the Indian Horse Relay and Market at Canterbury Downs!

Last night I attended the amazing annual event that is the Indian Horse Relay and Market at Canterbury Downs, hosted by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. It was great to spend time there with the good folks of Native-owned general…

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Sara has been appointed Associate Judge of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribal Court in South Dakota.

Pictured: New SWO Associate Judge Sara K. Van Norman (on right) being sworn in. Last week, I traveled to Agency Village on the Lake Traverse Indian Reservation in northeastern South Dakota to be sworn in and hear my first cases…

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Four Questions Construction Contractors Should Ask (and Answer) Before Bidding on a Tribal RFP
Indian Country construction is a booming, and still emerging, market.  Minnesota tribes have spent more than $1.7 billion on tribal gaming construction projects in the last 25 years, and more than $590 million on non-gaming projects.  See Minnesota Indian Gaming...
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Sara is now a AAA Arbitrator and Mediator

The not-for-profit American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) is the go-to resource to find qualified neutrals—including (and maybe especially) for construction projects.  This is just one reason that I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been invited to join the AAA National Roster…

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Introducing the New Board Chair of Northern Lights.mn

There is one summer event around which I’ve postponed family vacations.  For which I’ve missed fun, out-of-town conferences.  For which I even rescheduled a move.  That’s Northern Spark, a free, all-night, public arts festival that takes place in the Twin…

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Indian Law 101: Info. & Resources

As an attorney working in Indian country, I get questions not only about Indian law, but also about tribes, current tribal issues, and Native people in general. I do my best to respond to these questions thoughtfully—while also acknowledging the…

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Indian Law 101: Sovereign Immunity

A key aspect of state and federal government is “sovereign immunity”—or immunity from unconsented lawsuit. The same goes for tribal government.  This is an ancient legal concept arising from the idea that the monarch can do no wrong, and therefore…

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Indian Law 101: Welcome to Indian Country!

Say your company has a great prospect to stock an on-reservation, tribally-owned convenience store. Should you just use the same, one-page form contract you’ve used for other deals? Or say you are a general contractor responding to an RFP to…

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