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Indian law students take week-long course at Ho-Chunk, Inc., in Nebraska
Lance Morgan, left, CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., with 10 students from the Indian Legal Program who took a week-long cours on the Winnebago reservation in Nebraska.
Ten students from the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law recently attended a special week-long course in Indian Law and Economic Development at the Ho-Chunk, Inc., headquarters in Winnebago, Neb.
The course was conducted by Lance Morgan, CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., and a practicing attorney who has taught a course for second-year law students in the Indian Legal Program on the Tempe campus each of the last several years.
This year, Morgan worked with Kate Rosier, Director of the Indian Legal Program, and Ann Marie Downes, Faculty Associate and an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, to bring the classroom into the “real world.”
Students listen to Lance Morgan, CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., discussing Indian Law and Economic Development.
Ten second-year law students, mostly Native American from across the United States, traveled to the Winnebago Indian Reservation in northeast Nebraska, where they attended lectures and took related tours.
“This class will open your mind to how the law can change real people’s lives
if it is ignored,” said student Kevin Heade. “Lance Morgan’s class combines out-of-the-box thinking with experiential learning, both of which are refreshing alternatives to the stifling day-to-day interactions in law school.”
Heade described Morgan as “someone who is working to challenge dominant paradigms so that a new one can be created.”
Topics included how to build a tribal economy, taxation, government and current legal issues facing tribes. They toured the Ho-Chunk, Inc., corporate offices, several subsidiary operations and community development projects, including the Ho-Chunk Village, a residential and commercial development on the reservation begun in 2003.
Lance Morgan, CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., takes students on a tour.
“I really enjoyed the out of classroom experience,” said student Khia Grinnell. “It was great to see the law in action.”
The students also will perform a special service project for the Winnebago Tribe in return for the opportunity to visit the reservation and study with Morgan.
“This was an outstanding opportunity for students to really get an understanding of how the theory of Indian law and Indian economic development gets applied in a ‘real world environment,” Morgan said. “We’re fighting battles every day to grow our community and our economic self-sufficiency as a tribe. There are battles that are being waged on several fronts to handicap our efforts right here in the state of Nebraska. This was excellent timing for the students to experience the real issues in taxation, politics, tribal sovereignty and economic development going on every day in our state capitol and in Washington, D.C., that directly impact the Winnebago Tribe and our goals.”
The Indian Legal Program was established in 1988 to provide legal education, scholarship and public service to tribal governments. It was designed to help train Indian lawyers and promote an understanding of the
Buffalo on the Winnebago reservation in Nebraska.
differences between the legal systems of Indian nations and the United States. The program has become one of the best in the nation, educating students in Indian law and providing students with practical work experience.
Ho-Chunk, Inc., is the award-winning economic development corporation of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. It was launched by Morgan in 1994 with one employee. Today Ho-Chunk, Inc., operates 24 subsidiaries with more than 1,400 employees across the United States and in four foreign countries. The company has developed diversified operations in construction and housing; information technology and professional services; technology products and supply chain tools; wholesale distribution; retail and marketing.