The American Indian Law Section of the State Bar of Texas held this year’s CLE conference on Feb.8, 2013. This year’s conference featured expert speakers on the following topics of interest relating to American Indian law:

Kimberly Kiplin, Former General Counsel, Texas Lottery Commission; Senior Counsel, Dykema Gossett. P.L.L.C., Austin, Texas 
Federal Indian Law Update: An overview of important federal Indian Law cases in 2012 and facing 2013
Ray Torgerson, Partner, Porter & Hedges, Houston; Chairman and Council Member, Texas State Bar American Indian Law Section

Ethics and Tribal Justice – A Look at the State Bar of Texas Grievance Governance System and its Use as a Template in Developing Ethical Guidelines in a Tribal Justice System
Gaines West, Partner, West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry, College Station; Council Member, Texas State Bar American Indian Law Section

Reburial and Repatriation
Brian Quintero
Senior Assistant County Attorney, Harris County Attorney’s Office

Eagle and Migratory Bird Laws as Applied to American Indians
Jay Hurst, Assistant Attorney General, State of Texas, Austin, Texas; Treasurer and Council Member, Texas State Bar American Indian Law Section

This year’s Indian Law Conference was blessed with the attendance and participation of Bill Voelker and Troy, both co-directors of SIA, the Comanche Nation Ethno-Ornithological Initiative, who brought with them a male golden eagle, Nuepi (which means “Tornado” in Comanche), and a female White Medicine Bird (a white red-tailed hawk), Wakiyah (which means "Carries Medicine Talk").

Every Indian Law Conference includes awarding the Tom Diamond Award of Excellence and the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is followed by an honoring ceremony featuring traditional Native American singing, drumming, and dancing. The award and honor ceremonies are always open to the public, especially moving and informative, and all are encouraged to attend this portion of the conference free of charge. This year’s honoring ceremony was presented by the Eagle Point singers and dancers, headed by Robbie Bass.

This year’s Tom Diamond of Excellence Award was presented to Ron Jackson, general counsel, Yselta del Sur (Tiguas), El Paso. The Section’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Jay Hurst, assistant attorney general, Austin.