The Indian Legal Program was established in 1988 to provide legal education and generate scholarship in the area of Indian law and to undertake public service to tribal governments. The Indian Legal Program trains students to effectively engage the representation of Native peoples and seeks to promote an understanding of the differences between the legal systems of Indian Nations and those of the state and federal governments. Today, the Indian Legal Program has become one of the best in the nation, and graduates of the ILP are working at all levels of tribal, state and federal government, as well as in private practice. The ILP provides a unique set of academic and clinical opportunities for students and is committed to maintaining strong partnerships with American Indian Nations and other native governments and organizations.
ILP screens film, “The Cherokee Word for Water”
“The Cherokee Word for Water,” a film that tells the true story of Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation, was screened recently by the Indian Legal Program. The film follows Mankiller’s efforts to bring running water to a community based on the traditional Cherokee principle of coming together for a common good. The Sept. 16 event at Armstrong Hall was followed by a Q&A session led by the film’s producers, Charlie Soap and Kristina Kiehl. Soap worked with Mankiller on the waterline project depicted in the film and later married her. Soap and Kiehl told the audience that they would continue to work to raise awareness about Native people in the modern world.
The Indian Legal Program celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Since the 1988 creation of the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, more than 250 students from tribes across the country have earned law degrees and gone on to serve in their communities, government and the private sector.