BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
When any of the young people of my
tribe announce their plans to attend
college, they are repeatedly told (as I
was) by tribal members that they would
be “walking in two worlds.” To which my
response at the time was “oh puh-leez”
(visualize my eyes rolling). However,
now that I have been practicing law
for many years, I must inform you that
much of my time is spent serving as a
translator between these two worlds.
Native American gill netting
platform for catching salmon
in the nearby Columbia River.
Native American teepee,
Descendants of horses, perhaps obtained from conquis-
tadors, roam the reservation. Photo taken by the author
in the Medicine Valley (Towtnukpum) on the Yakama
Reservation, where he grew up.
MERELY PASSING THE BAR EXAM
QUESTIONS ON FEDERAL INDIAN
LAW DOES NOT PREPARE YOU TO
PRACTICE IN OUR TRIBAL COURTS.
THOSE PRINCIPLES ARE GENERAL.
EACH TRIBE IN THIS STATE THAT
OPERATES A TRIBAL COURT HAS
ITS OWN LAWS, REGULATIONS,
PRECEDENTS, AND COURT RULES.