Colorado Law Symposium on Bay Mills Decision

Written by: Matthew Fletcher

Primary Source: Turtle Talk

Wenona Singel and I are delighted and honored to speak at Colorado’s symposium on Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community. Thanks to Rick Collins, Sarah Krakoff, Carla Fredericks, Kristen Carpenter, and the rest of the great people at CU.

In honor of the Michigan-centric character if this symposium, it snowed in Boulder.


I am honored to share the stage with Kathryn Tierney, the general counsel for the Bay Mills Indian Community. She is a legend, going back to her work on the LCO treaty rights cases in Wisconsin, the LeBlanc matter in Michigan, and United States v. Michigan. Wenona and I know her from the more calmer days of negotiating the Michigan tax agreements a decade ago.

I’ll be patching together a short talk about lessons we can learn from the decision from the successful strategic moves made by Bay Mills.


My papers on the subject are far from the definitive story on the case, but inform my thinking:

Rights without Remedies

(Re)Solving the Tribal No-Forum Conundrum: Michigan V. Bay Mills Indian Community

And if course “Bullshit and the Tribal Client

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Matthew Fletcher
Matthew L.M. Fletcher is Professor of Law at Michigan State University College of Law and Director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. He is the Chief Justice of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Supreme Court and also sits as an appellate judge for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indians. He is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, located in Peshawbestown, Michigan. In 2010, Professor Fletcher was elected to the American Law Institute.