“The framework of tribal self governance must be viewed in the context of the values of the specific People to be a true expression of an Indigenous Nation exercising self government. This fundamental distinction can be traced back to the legal history. The foundational laws regarding interactions with Indigenous Peoples were developed under theories of natural law. The contemporary state practice is conducted under positivist law, with a nod toward developing human rights standards. Only through continued advocacy for the legal recognition of inherent rights will the nation-states be challenged on their self management agenda”.
- Michael Lane
Evergreen’s MPA Program extends an excited WELCOME to new faculty member, AND 1988 Evergreen Alumnus, Michael Lane, Menominee Nation and his family; Sharon Heta, who is Maori from Aotearoa, New Zealand, their three daughters, and their 18 month old grandson. Michael has been a “boots on the ground” advocate for Indigenous Peoples and self- governance for 36 years. Michael is currently obtaining his PhD, in Indigenous Studies with Trent University. He obtained his Masters in Indigenous Studies, with First Class Honors at Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi, New Zealand. His thesis topic involved: Indigenous Peoples Self Government, Tribal Sovereignty, Early Treaty Making, Aboriginal Title/Discovery Doctrine, Legal History of Self Government (Canada, New Zealand, and United States). Michael also graduated from Arizona State University College of Law, in 1994 with a specialty in Federal Indian Law, Juris Doctor.
Michael has worked as a legal researcher, advocate and policy advisor, for over 20 years, with Springs From Earth Advocacy where he focused on representing various tribal interests in the United States, Canada and New Zealand (including resource development, prevention issues, environmental protection, environmental indicators, resource consents, representation and jurisdictional issues); engaged on issues of self- government (structures, strategic plans, etc.). Michael has found himself immersed in research and writing on American Indian Legal History, drafting Policies and Procedures Manuals and Trust Deeds, developing a number of Charitable Trusts and even representing a sacred site protection case in the Environment Court and High Court of New Zealand. Michael also participates as a speaker, presenter, etc. at various forums, conferences, workshops and radio shows.
Michael is no stranger to working on a campus either. From his early work with the Evergreen Indian Center in the late eighties and his Graduate Assistantship with the American Indian Institute of Arizona State University as an American Indian student retention program coordinator, Michael has found himself involved with the student population. More recently, Michael has presented as a lecturer at the Aboriginal Law and Advocacy Program of Confederation College.
Michael’s “boots” have also hit the ground in the literal sense as a regular walker in the five month, across North America, The Longest Walk, from Alcatraz to Washington D.C., affirming Indian Sovereignty. In 1978; as well as The Longest Walk 2: Northern Route, with his family, and The Longest Walk 4: Return to Alcatraz for Indigenous Sovereignty from Washington D. C. to Alcatraz, also with his family.
At Evergreen, we ask our MPA population to use their heads, hearts and minds to put into practice the changes they would like to see in the world. Michael has proven to be a living, breathing vessel for positive change. With actions and conviction, Michael is working to improve the lives of his community. We are thrilled to learn from him and again we extend a warm welcome to Michael and his family as they settle into the beautiful Pacific Northwest.