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National Native American Bar Association
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For Immediate Release, February 11, 2015
Contact: Mary L. Smith (202) 236-0339


Phoenix, AZ. - On February 9, 2015, the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates passed a resolution co-sponsored by the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) to adopt the recommendations in the Indian Law and Order Commission (ILOC) report of November 2013, “A Roadmap for Making Native America Safer,” with the exception of the new circuit court provision contained in Recommendation 1.2. Following passage by the ABA House of Delegations, this resolution is now official ABA policy.

“The endorsement of the ILOC Report and its recommendations represents a significant advancement of ABA policy on Native American issues and is a further call to action for Congress to address the criminal justice system in Indian country,” said Mary Smith, NNABA president.

In addition to NNABA, the resolution was co-sponsored by the ABA’s Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities (IRR), the ABA’s Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, and the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section. The resolution was primarily drafted by the staff of the Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI). NNABA President Mary Smith introduced and argued for the resolution’s adoption to the ABA House of Delegates. Troy Eid, former Chair of the ILOC, then successfully defended the resolution from an attempt to gut the resolution of all of the recommendations in Chapter 1, which includes the recommendation that tribes have the authority to opt-out of the current Indian country criminal jurisdictional maze.

The ABA has previously expressed its support for the tribal provisions of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013, for the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, and for increased and stable tribal court funding. Significantly, in August 2014, the ABA also amended its Constitution to extend full membership to tribal court practitioners.

Founded in 1973, NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

For more information contact 480-727-0420 or visit

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