Working Groups

The ULIN is chartered as an independent, non-profit t corporation. U.S. law recognizes the authority of Tribal Governments to charter corporations and ULIN Inc., was chartered under the authority of the laws of the Lummi Indian Nation. Its legal status as a not-for-profit corporation is protected under U.S. law.

In August 2007, the ULIN was created under a treaty agreement between indigenous nation representatives from the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.


Cultural Property Protection

Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne & Muscogee) is President and Executive Director of The Morning Star Institute, a national Native rights organization founded in 1984 for Native Peoples’ traditional and cultural advocacy, arts promotion and research. A leader in cultural property protection and stereotype busting, Morning Star sponsors the Just Good Sports project, organizes the National Day of Prayer to Protect Native American Sacred Places and coordinated The 1992 Alliance (1990-1993). Ms. Harjo is one of seven prominent Native people who filed the 1992 landmark lawsuit, Harjo et al v. Pro Football, Inc., regarding the name of the Washington football team. They won in 1999, when a three-judge panel unanimously decided to cancel federal trademark protections for the team’s name. The District Court reversed their victory in 2003; the case is now before the U.S. Court of Appeals. Her essay, Fighting Name-Calling: Challenging ‘’Redskins’’ in Court, is published in Team Spirits: The Native American Mascots Controversy (University of Nebraska Press, 2001). She also wrote Just Good Sports: The Impact of ‘’Native’’ References in Sports on Native Youth and What Some Decolonizers Have Done About It,’’ a chapter in For Indigenous Eyes Only: A Decolonization Handbook (SAR Press, 2005).

Aroha Te Pareake Mead is a founding member and Co-Chair of the Call of the Earth Steering Committee. Aroha is from the Ngati Awa and Ngati Porou tribes (Maori) of the Tairawhiti and Mataatua regions of Te Ika a Maui the North Island of Aotearoa, New Zealand. She has been involved in indigenous cultural and intellectual property and environmental issues for over 30 years at tribal, national, Pacific regional and international levels. Aroha is also a member of the faculty of Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand. She teaches in the School of Business and Community Development. A proud Polynesian descendant, Aroha’s focus is on the empowerment of local indigenous communities to initiate, manage and provide critical analysis of all research, policy and legislation relevant to them., particularly in the pacific region.

Working Group Documents – Cultural Property Protection

MEMO – treatyculturalpropertiesA Treaty between Indigenous Nations on the Protection of Cultural Property and Traditional Resource Rights: Asserting Indigenous Nation Sovereignty.

Understanding Maori Intellectual Property Rights by Aroha Te Pareake Mead

The Mataatua Declaration on Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples First International Conference on the Cultural & Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples Whakatane, 12-18 June 1993 Aotearoa, New Zealand June 1993


Antone Minthorn, a Cayuse Indian, served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation from December of 1997 to December of 2001. He spent two years as a consultant, then was re-elected as Chairman in December of 2003. Prior to being elected Board Chairman, he spent 15 years as Chair of the Tribe’s General Council — the voting membership. Antone has played an influential role in many of the Tribe’s successes, including restoration of salmon to the Umatilla River after a 70-year absence, development of a modern Reservation economy, and re-acquisition of the Tribe’s land. He is an active member of the Democratic Party, representing Oregon as a delegate at five national Democratic Conventions. He also serves, or has served, on several additional boards including Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians, Northwest Area Foundation, Oregon Trail Coordinating Council, Oregon Historical Society, Crow’s Shadow Institute, and the George St. Denis American Legion Post.

Leah George-Wilson is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation (TWFN) located in North Vancouver. She was the first woman to hold the office of Elected Chief for the TWFN, a position she held from 2001-2003. She has worked for the TWFN for the last 12 years and has held various positions for the Nation including member of the TWFN’s negotiating team in the BC Treaty Process and TWFN Self-Government Co-ordinator. She is currently the Director of the Treaty, Land and Resources Department for the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation In June 2004 Ms. George-Wilson was elected as co-chair, the 2 member administrative executive of the First Nations Summit. As co-chair, she deals with the administrative issues of the FNS and works with the First Nations Summit Task Group (FNS political executive) who are authorized by the Summit to carry out specifically-mandated tasks on issues related to treaty negotiations in BC. The Summit represents the majority of First Nations in BC on treaty related issues and other issues of common concern to First Nations.

Ronald Trosper’s research interest in sustainability has taken him into the field of ecological economics, “. . . I am principal investigator in a study supported by the Sustainable Forest Management Network, “First Nations and Sustainable Forestry: Institutional Conditions for Success” The other investigators are George Hoberg, Peggy Smith, Casey Van Kooten, and Ilan Vertinsky. We hope that this research will be valuable to First Nations hoping to increase their participation in the forestry economy in Canada, in terms of showing what works and what doesn’t, and suggesting workable models for business arrangements. In addition, we hope the research will be valuable to all parties in evaluating proposed government policies. This project is nearing completion, and supported Jeremy Boyd’s master’s thesis. I am also an investigator on a project led by David Natcher, “A Participatory Approach to Aboriginal Tenure Reform in Canada.” This project, funded by the Sustainable Forest Management Network, started in April 2005. Sarah WEber and Eddison Lee-Johnson are graduate students on this project, which involves cooperation from the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council. Starting in the summer of 2006, I am working with John Innis on a project titled “Common knowledge, values and perceptions of sustainable forest management held by First Nations communities.” Graduate student Justin Barnes will work with us in getting this project started. It is funded by the Forest Science Program.”

Joel Frank owns One Sky, Inc. since it’s formation in 1995 One Sky has assembled a dedicated team of Indian and non-Indian experts in business, law and marketing in order to provide a variety of assistance and services to American Indian tribes, helping them to maximize their economic opportunities. As an example, OSI won an RFP bid in 1996 to develop an Indian gaming venture in Northern California. This project became what now operates as Casino San Pablo, a highly successful casino operation. “I have dedicated my life to helping the Indian cause. During the last three decades I have been pleased to witness the blossoming of Indian enterprise. As success follows success and economic development expands, the need arises for cash flow to preserve, manage and grow your business. My partners and I started One Sky Financial Solutions because we believe that only an American Indian-owned company can be sensitive to the unique needs of Indian Country. I believe that no other company can match what One Sky Financial Solutions is offering: first-rate financial solutions and personal service from an American Indian-owned company.” — Joel M. Frank Sr.

Working Group Documents

Native American Trade Protection Act Purpose

Provide an economic incentive for Native American Tribal Enterprises (including ANC’s and Native Hawaiian owned enterprises) to produce products for trade and commerce with other Native American Tribal Enterprises free of barriers and restricted created by multiple jurisdictions.


Indian tribes are sovereign nations that have since time immemorial possessed inherent powers to regulate commerce within our territories.

2007 Winter Conference Resolution

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians supports the principle of free trade between indigenous nations and the right of US tribal nations to freely engage in trade with other tribal nations and their enterprises…

A New Paradigm: The Indian Country Economy

A PowerPoint presentation by Alan Parker, faculty for Native Law & Policy The Evergreen State College, Olympia WA

Climate Change

Terry Williams (Tulalip) has served Since 1982 as a Fisheries and Natural Resources Commissioner for the Tulalip Tribes. In this role, he directs pre-season fisheries negotiations, governmental planning and cooperative habitat management. Since 1985, Williams has served on the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. He has also represented the Tulalip Tribes on the Pacific Fisheries Management Council since 1985 and served on the Pacific Salmon Commission since 1997. Appointed by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Carol Browner, Williams served as the director of the EPA American Indian Environmental Office in Washington, D.C. from 1995 to 1996. This office addressed specific environmental issues of Indian tribes nationwide. From 2003 to 2004, Williams served as Chair of the Tribal Committee of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. This year, he was a participant in the EPA Tribal Trust Program that addressed cultural sustainability via restoration and protection of endangered species.

Billy Frank, Jr. (Nisqually) has been Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) for 22 years. In this capacity, he “speaks for the salmon” on behalf of 19 Treaty Indian Tribes in western Washington. Under his leadership, the tribal role over the past 30 years has evolved from that of activists, fighting the state to secure fishing rights reserved in treaties with the United States government, to managers of the resource. NWIFC was formed in 1975, to support tribal fisheries management activities and to enable the tribes to speak with a united voice. In addition to helping the tribes develop cooperative fisheries plans, the NWIFC board of commissioners and the commission staff help coordinate such programs as enhancement and habitat management. This example of state/tribal cooperation has had its challenges, but it has been fundamentally successful and has inspired similar efforts in other parts of the U.S. and the world. With Frank’s leadership, the NWIFC and the tribes it serves are working to protect and restore the salmon resource for Indians and non-Indians alike.

Dr. Zoltan Grossman is a member of the faculty in Geography and Native American & World Indigenous Peoples Studies at The Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington. He edited the 2006 NIARI report “Climate Change and Pacific Rim Indigenous Nations.” He was a co-founder of the Midwest Treaty Network, which coordinated the Witness for Nonviolence program monitoring the Wisconsin Ojibwe spearfishing conflict, and which later brought together Native Americans with their former adversaries in sportfishing groups, to protect the fish from mining projects. Zoltan earned a Ph.D. in Geography with a minor in American Indian Studies in 2002 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His doctoral dissertation studied Unlikely Alliances: Treaty Conflicts and Environmental Cooperation between Native American and Rural White Communities Zoltan taught human geography at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2002-05. Website:

Working Groups Documents

Possible Climate Change Responses for a United League of Indigenous Nations

Zoltan Grossman Senior Research Associate Northwest Indian Applied Research Institute

Border Crossing

Mervin “Louis” Guassac, better known as Louie, was born and raised in San Diego County. Mr. Guassac is a member of the Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indians where he serves as Chair of the HIP Committee and Co-Chair of the Economic Development Committee, Kumeyaay Cultural Repatriation Committee (KCRC), and Tribal Historian. Mr. Guassac was the lead person to Develop the first stand alone Indian Housing Authority on a reservation in the an Diego County that provided thirty-five HUD homes for tribal member’s (1989-1993). He is the owner and CEO of Guassac & Associates, an Indian owned consulting company and majority owner of Talking Rocks Media, LLC a starte of the art multi-media firm. The main purpose of Guassac & Associates is to identify economic development opportunities and to assist with diversifying tribal governments economic development portfolios. Louis Guassac is also the Executive Director of the Kumeyaay Border Task Force (KBTF) through the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and KBTF is comprised of federally recognized Kumeyaay bands interested with resolving the pass and re-pass issue for Baja Kumeyaay tribal members.

KBTF has spent years educating various federal agencies of the aboriginal territory of Kumeyaay that spans the international border separating the United States (Southern California Region) and Mexico (Northern Baja California). Mr. Guassac with tribal government support directed KBTF in creating solid working relations with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service; Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA); Department of Justice; Office of Tribal Justice; United States Consulate (Tijuana); Mexican Consulate (San Diego); INI (Mexican BIA); Baja California Governor’s Office. In addition, KBTF played an important role in the recent passage of a Joint Resolution (AJR 60) of the State of California Assembly that in addition to supporting the continued pass and re-pass for Baja Kumeyaay but also acknowledging the Trans-Border status but also recognizing the aboriginal territory of Kumeyaay by the State of California.

Working Group Documents

Proposed Regs Border Crossing

The excerpt below is from a June 25 proposed rule by Dept. of State: “Documents required for travelers departing from or arriving in the US at …ports of entry.” Their proposal is self-evident and the issue is whether US, Canada and Mexico tribal nations, or others, would have a united position regarding a response with recommendations.

Indigenous Nations Relations

Chief Jaret Cardinal – Sucker Creek First Nation 150 A: I am Cree and I have been elected to the position of Chief of the Sucker Creek First Nation which is signatory to Treaty No. 8. The Sucker Creek First Nation is the original location upon which Treaty relations were concluded between our forefathers and the Queen’s Representatives (Treaty No.8). Over the past ten years, I have had the opportunity to work with the leadership from the First Nations in Alberta, Canada, and gain extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with Treaty Rights, Aboriginal Rights, Case Law, and governance issues In this time, I have had the opportunity to play a critical role in the development of our Treaty Bilateral process, to ensure that our interests are being addressed through the implementation of Supreme Court of Canada decisions; I played a lead role in the development of policies related to Specific Land Claims and governance. Prior to my election as Chief of the Sucker Creek First Nation, I have worked as the Chief of Staff for the AFN Alberta Regional office. During this time, I have gained valuable experience in working in preparation for the first meeting on Aboriginal issues with the First Ministers since the Constitutional conferences of the 1980’s. As a professional, I have dedicated my time towards improving the conditions facing First Nations communities, and the advancement of First Nations Treaty and Aboriginal Right’s issues. Finally, I operate my own independent consulting company, J. Cardinal Consulting, and this has provided with the opportunity to work closer with my own community and develop governance related tools such as a Code of Ethical Conduct for the Chief and Council of the Sucker Creek First Nation. I have been married for close to ten years to my wife Becki, and we have two children, Adam 5 years old, and Mya 2 years old.

Jewell James (Lummi),

Steve Newcomb, Indigenous Law research coordinator at D-Q University at Sycuan and Indian Country Today columnist, has eloquently documented in these pages, plenty of shenanigans accompany the intense pressure of the past two years to quiet Western Shoshone land claims forever. To view the U.S. treatment of the Western Shoshones at this time is to witness how harshly and unfairly the loss of Indian assets has been throughout history. It stands as a living textbook example of the theft of billions upon billions of dollars of American Indian assets, complete with all the necessary plot conventions any swindle of this magnitude requires. The United States can be a hospitable and fair sovereign but it can also be blind when ruthless behavior and greed results in the dispossession of tribes. This is neither fair nor honorable. Too often, documents Newcomb, the well heeled and the corporations end up with land and resources worth billions, while the Indians end up “with a pittance.” Newcomb points out how the powerful forces that most ardently advocate for a final settlement over Western Shoshone lands are precisely in the company of those who would profit most from the quieting of Indian title. Writes Newcomb, “The traditional Western Shoshones contend that Senator Reid is attempting to remove any Indian title-cloud from their homelands so that he can privatize those lands for wealthy real estate developers and mining companies, and so vast Shoshone water resources can also be privatized.”

Professor Rice earned his B.A. from Phillips University in 1973, and his J.D. at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1978. Prior to joining the faculty in 1995, he spent 18 years in private practice representing Indian Tribes and entities. He has served as the Attorney General for the Sac and Fox Nation, Chief Justice for the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Assistant Chief and Chief Judge for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee in Oklahoma, and in other capacities with various Indian tribal governments. He successfully argued on behalf of the Sac and Fox Nation in the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Oklahoma Tax Commission v. Sac and Fox Nation, 508 U.S. 114 (1993), where the Court decided 9-0 that the State of Oklahoma had no jurisdiction to tax the income of tribal members earned within the Indian Country or to require those tribal members to pay state taxes on their automobiles in the form of car tags. He also taught at Antioch School of Law’s Indian Paralegal program, visited at the University of Oklahoma and Cornell Law School, and served as the Director of the Northern Plains Tribal Judicial Training Institute at the University of North Dakota School of Law. He has served as the official representative of the United Keetoowah Band and the Sac and Fox Nation to the United Nations’ ECOSOC Working Group on Indigenous Populations. He is a contributor to the latest revision of Felix Cohen’s classic Indian law treatise, the “Handbook Of Federal Indian Law,” and has written extensively in the Indian law area. He is currently working on chapters of this treatise for the forthcoming revision of the Handbook in addition to his regular writing interests. Regularly called upon to speak at scholarly and governmental meetings, his speaking engagements have included presentations to the United Nations’ Workshop on Indigenous Children and Youth, the University of Paris VII – Denis Diderot, The Federal Bar Association’s Indian Law Conference, the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s Sovereignty Symposium, and numerous appearances at functions sponsored by major University Law Schools and Indian Tribes. Teaching and writing interests include Indian law with an emphasis on the revitalization of the legal and political systems of Indian Tribes; Jurisprudence with an emphasis on the comparison of western and American Indian concepts of law; and Constitutional law. His regularly taught courses include a course on the law of Tribal Government, Native American and Indigenous Rights, Jurisprudence, and American Constitutional law. He was the founding Director of the LL.M. Degree in American Indian and Indigenous Law, and currently serves as Co-Director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Tulsa College of Law. Professor Rice is an enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma with tribal headquarters located southeast of Tulsa, and lives with his family on the Sac and Fox reservation southwest of Tulsa.

Oren Lyons, (Onondaga Nation) North America: The issue of nuclear and toxic waste dumps on our precious lands; the policy of finding a place for the waste with the poorest and most defenseless of peoples today. This brings the issue of the degradation of our environment by these waste dumps, over-fishing, over-cutting of timber, and toxic chemicals from mining processes throughout our lands. Treaty violations: We have with the United States and Canada 371 ratified Treaties and Agreements. The Ruby Valley Treaty of the Western Shoshone is a prime example of what the violation of treaties brings: human rights violations, forced removals, disenfranchisements of traditional people with confiscations of their property and livestock. The refusal to recognize and support religious freedoms of our people and the decisions by the (U.S.) Supreme Court which incorporates this attitude into Federal Law. This translates into the violation of Sacred Sites. Mt. Graham in the Apache Country is now a project site for an observatory, causing great stress to the Apache People who have depended upon the spiritual forces of this mountain for survival. Ironically, a partner in this project is the Vatican, and even further, it has proposed to name this project ‘Columbus.’ The appropriation of our intellectual properties is continuous and devastating. Land is the issue. Land has always been the issue with Indigenous Peoples. Original title is a problem for all of you. We must try to reach an agreement on a more level playing field that allows us to, at least, a chance for survival. Indeed, we became resources of labor for goldmines and canefields. Life for us was unspeakable and cruel. Our black and dark-skinned brothers and sisters were brought here from distant lands to share our misery and suffering and death. Yet, we survived. I stand before you as a manifestation of the spirit of our people, and our will to survive. The Wolf, our Spiritual Brother, stands beside us and we are alike in the Western mind — hated, admired, and still a mystery to you, and still undefeated. So then, what is the message I bring to you today? Is it our common future? It seems to me that we are living in a time of prophecy, a time of definitions and decisions. We are the generation with the responsibilities and the option to choose the The Path of Life for the future of our children, or, the life and path which defies the Laws of Regeneration. Even though you and I are in different boats, you in your boat and we in our canoe, we share the same River of Life — what befalls me, befalls you. And downstream, downstream in this River of Life, our children will pay for our selfishness, for our greed, and for our lack of vision. 500 years ago, you came to our pristine lands of great forests, rolling plains, crystal clear lakes and streams and rivers. And we have suffered in your quest for God, Glory, and Gold. But, we have survived. Can we survive another 500 years of “sustainable development?” I don’t think so. Not in the definitions that put ‘sustainable’ in today. I don’t think so. So, reality and the Natural Law will prevail: The Law of the Seed and Regeneration. We can still alter our course. It is NOT too late. We still have options. We need the courage to change our values to the regeneration of our families, the life that surrounds us. Given this opportunity, we can raise ourselves. We must join hands with the rest of Creation and speak of Common Sense, Responsibility, Brotherhood, and PEACE. We must understand that The Law *is* the Seed and only as True Partners can we survive.

Frank Ettawageshik,During the celebration, Odawa Tribal chairman Frank Ettawageshik paid homage to the site in a song that honored Mother Earth and God. His ancestors had used the big rock on the nearby Lake Michigan shore as a navigational aid and meeting place for hundreds of years. He said the plant, built in 1960, had completed its circle of life. “The big rock was a landmark for our people,” he said. “Although this is an ending, this is also a beginning. This was a place of service for jobs and energy. “Today is a transition. This is a time when this land will remain in service as a group of us is working to retain this land in a way that will be useful for future generations.”

Working Group Documents

NCAI Letter to Maori Leaders

Meeting to discuss NCAI proposal for Treaty of Indigenous Nations Dear Chairman Mead and Honorable Tribal Delegates and Scholars.

Cornell Conf July

Presented by Chairman Frank Ettawageshik, November 17, 2006 Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY

UN Draft Resolution

Expressing support for the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and urging the United States Ambassador to the United Nations General Assembly to adopt without amendment the Declaration as approved by the United Nations Human Rights Council on June 29, 2006.

St. Mary’s River Treaty

Regarding the preservation, protection and enhancement of the waters of the St. Mary’s River Ecosystem.