Tribes Training Tribes
Judge Abby Abinanti, Chief Judge of the Yurok Tribe, sitting in the Yurok Tribal Court.
The CA Trial Advocacy Skills Training is a collaborative effort between the Tribal Justice Support Directorate (Bureau of Indian Affairs), the Yurok Tribe of Northern California, and the Tribal Justice Project at the UC Davis School of Law. The goal of this training is to provide tribes with culturally appropriate information on how to prosecute illegal narcotics (e.g., marijuana and opioids) and violence in their communities. The theme of this training - and other trainings like it around the country - is to promote the idea of "tribes training tribes." This theme is important for it incapsulates the belief that the future of tribes lies in their successful reliance on each other and the the assertion of their sovereignty alongside their state and federal partners.
This particular training at the UC Davis School of Law will focus on the environmental impacts of illicit marijuana growth on tribal lands. Specifically, the training will focus on the impact of chemicals that contaminate groundwater as a result of the marijuana refining process. Additionally, the training will explore the powers and limitations of tribal police and the ramifications of such limitations on tribal courts. This training is extremely valuable for tribes in California and other Public Law 280 States, as well as other tribes who face environmental degradation from illegal narcotics activity in their communities. Moreover, this training will bring together experienced trainers who have worked on other "access to justice" initiatives, both at the federal and state level, to teach attendees the skills necessary to make an opening statement, to make a closing statement, to admit items into evidence, and much more. We hope you can join us for this exciting opportunity.