MSU Law Director of Clinics Recognized for Outstanding Service

Professor Fort and Ms. Campbell
MSU Law Professor Kathryn E. Fort was honored by the National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) with the 2023-2024 Outstanding Service Award. Professor Fort was recognized for her significant contributions to Haaland v. Brackeen and her support of tribal courts.

The NAICJA presented the award during the 54th Annual National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference by the association’s Executive Director, Nikki Borchardt Campbell. Professor Fort and law college colleague, Wenona Singel, also participated in the conference as guest speakers.

A Plenary Session speaker, Professor Fort, Director of Clinics, Director of Indian Law Clinic, and Academic Specialist discussed “Brackeen v. Haaland: Outcome and Ramifications,” and shared her insights on the decision’s implications in the state and tribal courts. Professor Fort also gave a presentation on “Tribal Appellate Courts: Importance of Appellate Codes and Procedures” and served as a panelist on “BIA Tribal Justice Support Tribal Court Assessments: Correcting the Misconceptions, Misunderstanding, and Misinformation.”

Professor Wenona Singel, Director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center and Associate Professor of Law, addressed the conference on “Healing the Legacy of Indian Boarding Schools: Roles for Tribal Courts.” Her presentation provided a “focus on the unique capacities that Tribal Courts have to promote healing and justice.”

The NAICJA, according to the organization’s website, “is a national association comprised of tribal justice personnel and others devoted to supporting and strengthening tribal justice systems through education, information sharing, and advocacy. NAICJA is a non-profit corporation established in 1969…following enactment of the Federal Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968.”