foists upon us cookie-cutter compacts,
agreements, and legislation as though
one size fits all, rather than dealing with
tribes independently. Please be informed
that our people find this offensive.
And, by the way, fellow members of
the Washington State Bar Association,
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. We are
offended when practitioners do not
take the time to familiarize themselves WSBA member JACK
FIANDER practices law in
Indian Country. Part I of his
article, “True Confessions
of a Reservation Attorney,”
appeared in the December 2006 issue of the
Washington State Bar News.
1. 384 F. Supp. 312 (W.D. Wash. 1974), aff'd, 520 F.2d
676 (9th Cir. 1975)
2. Similarly, in our culture, tribal names are hereditary property. I have therefore had to explain
to a vintner why my people are not honored by
naming a wine after Chief Kamiakin.
3. The word “nye” in native Sahaptin language
roughly translates into “that is all I have to say.”
Finally, I apologize for my harsh
tone. Once one achieves a certain age,
he or she is free to be who they are.
Apparently, I am now an Elder. For too
long, due to misunderstandings, our
peoples have been uneasy inhabitants
of the same region. We all want what is
best for our future generations. Please
join me in trying to bring our people
together for the betterment of our
Jack and Nephew.
Yakama Petroglyphs, Ancient Native
American carvings on a stone cliff.
Elevated view of several farms in Yakima, WA.
36 NWLawyer | DEC 2018