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Tribal Legal Advocacy Training Series

National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) is the Tribal Justice Training and Technical Assistance provider under the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Tribal Civil and Criminal Legal Assistance (TCCLA) program, offering Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) to TCCLA Grantees and Sub-grantee Legal Aid organizations.

NAICJA’s TCCLA program seeks to increase and improve access to legal assistance in Indian Country by providing TTA for the development and enhancement of tribal justice systems. Further, TCCLA will assist in strengthening the capacity and the quality of indigent criminal defense services and defense strategies for tribal justice systems.

NAICJA, in collaboration with the Center of Indigenous Research and Justice (CIRJ), developed the Tribal Legal Advocacy Training Series. The training series is tailored for entry-level legal services attorneys either just starting out or those looking to bolster their tribal advocacy skills. The training series will cover the basics of tribal court advocacy through interactive virtual training modules, webinars and podcasts.

Attorneys may be eligible for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits upon completing the Tribal Legal Advocacy Training Series modules, podcasts and webinars.

Virtual Training Modules

The three (3) interactive training modules are instructor-led virtual training courses that allow the instructor to guide participants virtually through learning materials and exercises. The online interactive training is a recent technology, the goal of which is to replicate the interactions of in-person learning through a virtual platform.

CIRJ used Articulate’s Rise 360 platform to develop the training modules. Rise 360 is an all-encompassing authoring tool that creates intuitive and customizable e-learning programs. Rise 360 automatically adapts courses to every device, making it usable on a desktop, tablet or phone. Rise 360 allows the author to create assessments easily with customizable interactive quizzes.

These training modules are broken up into categories and sub-categories, and include a test at the end of each section to test the participants’ knowledge before moving on to the next topic. The training modules are self-paced, and participants are able to move between topics at their own speed.

  • Child Welfare Advocacy
  • Criminal Defense
  • Trial Advocacy Skills

Webinars

Elder and Youth Courts

This webinar on Elder and Youth Courts, is presented by Ron Whitener, President of CIRJ. The webinar gives an overview of elder and youth court models in tribal court.

How to Establish a Tribal Public Defender

This webinar on How to Establish a Tribal Public Defender is presented by Ron Whitener, President of CIRJ. The webinar gives an overview of the steps to take when creating a tribal public defender position or office.

The Indian Civil Rights Act for Tribal Criminal Defenders and Civil Legal Aid Advocates

This webinar on The Indian Civil Rights Act (ICRA) for Tribal Criminal Defenders and Civil Legal Advocates, is presented by Ron Whitener, President of CIRJ. The webinar gives an overview of what ICRA is, its history, and the caselaw that has shaped ICRA into what it is today.

Panel Justice

This webinar on Panel Justice, is presented by Ron Whitener, President of CIRJ. The webinar gives an overview of how tribal courts use panels of judges to administer justice.

Peace Circles as an Option for Criminal Jurisdiction

This webinar on Peace Circles as an Option for Criminal Jurisdiction, is presented by Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks. The webinar gives an overview of using peace circles as a justice model in tribal court.

Tribal Law and Order Act Enhanced Sentencing and VAWA Special Domestic Violence Jurisdiction- Constitutional Standards for Tribal Judges

This webinar on TLOA Enhanced Sentencing and VAWA Special Domestic Violence Jurisdiction- Constitutional Standards for Tribal Court Judges is presented by Ron Whitener, President of CIRJ. The webinar gives an overview of the requirements and standards for tribal judges under TLOA and VAWA.

Tribal Law and Order Act Overview

This webinar on Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) Overview, is presented by Ron Whitener, President of CIRJ. The webinar gives an overview of what TLOA is, its history, and the caselaw that has shaped TLOA into what it is today.

Podcasts

The three (3) podcasts present brief, introductory material and feature tribal legal experts and practitioners in tribal courts and communities. The podcasts provide an easily digestible snapshot of a given topic and last between 15-20 minutes. These podcasts are designed to be concise, readily accessible, and easy to process and cover basic competencies for tribal court advocates.

You can also find the Tribal Court Legal Advocacy Series podcasts on the following formats:

BJA Disclaimer

This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-AL-BX-K002 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). The BJA is a component of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the SMART Office. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.