Wednesday, June 25, 2014

NARF welcomes 2014 Summer Law Clerk and Siletz Grant Recipient, Hunter Cox

Attorney Matt Campbell, Law Clerk Hunter Cox, and
Executive Director John Echohawk recognize the grant
received from the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund.

Each summer, NARF hosts the summer clerkship program, a ten- to twelve-week program for second-year law students.  Unlike most law clerk projects that consist mainly of legal research and writing, NARF’s projects are extremely challenging because NARF practices before federal, state, and tribal forums, and because most of its cases—whether at the administrative, trial, or appellate level—are complex and involve novel legal issues.

This summer the law clerk program was supported by a grant from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians through the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund.  NARF currently has six law clerks—two in the Alaska office, one in the D.C. office, and three in the Boulder office.  Law Clerk Hunter Cox (Prairie Band of Potawatomi Nation) was chosen to be the recipient of this grant due to his recent and impactful work collaborating with NARF Staff Attorney Steve Moore to protect the rights of Native high school students to wear their eagle feathers during their graduation ceremony.

Earlier this month, NARF, California Indian Legal Services (CILS), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Northern California advocated on behalf of Native students in Lemoore, California, who wanted to wear eagle feathers at their graduation ceremony.  The gift of an eagle feather is a great honor and is typically given to recognize an important transition in a young person’s life.  Many graduates are given eagle feathers in recognition of their educational journey and the honor the graduate brings to his or her family, community, and tribe.  Hunter, along with Steve, CILS, and the ACLU, sent a letter on the students’ behalf requesting the school district to allow the students to wear their eagle feathers during graduation.  After receiving the letter, the school district relented and allowed the students to wear their feathers, despite originally denying the students' request.
 
To read the letter sent on the students’ behalf, click here.  And, to read the press about the students wearing their feathers, click here.

NARF thanks the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund for its grant to further the NARF law clerk program, which allows Native law students to make an impact on Indian law and to Native people during their term at NARF. 

For questions regarding eagle feathers, please contact NARF Staff Attorney Steve Moore at (303) 447-8760.  For questions about NARF's Law Clerk Program, please contact NARF Staff Attorney Matthew Campbell at (303) 447-8760.