How I represent clients at Schwabe

I work with tribal governments and entities to achieve self-governance and economic development goals while protecting tribal resources and sovereignty. Before joining Schwabe, I worked in tribal government for more than ten years, advising tribal departments and councils on various matters, including contracts, real estate development, and legislation. My work mainly focuses on tribal tax and real estate matters, including the fee-to-trust process. I have extensive experience with issues involving Indian trust land.

I understand the importance of bringing business to Indian Country to strengthen tribal economies. I frequently advise companies doing business in Indian Country, helping them navigate tribal and federal laws and contracts with tribal entities. Furthermore, I work with tribes and tribal members on estate planning and probate matters. I am an enrolled member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.


  • Drafted various tribal codes, including HEARTH Act leasing, probate, environmental enforcement, and site investigation code for environmental emergency response.
  • Advised corporation on Indian trust land matters, including lease renewal, partition, and fractional interest acquisition.
  • Advised numerous tribal governments on lease and right-of-way compliance issues, including breach of contract, violation of federal and tribal law, and the new federal leasing and right-of-way compliance issues, including breach of contract, violation of federal and tribal law, and the new federal leasing and right-of-way regulations.
  • Represented tribal corporation in federal litigation defending its lease on tribal trust land.
  • Assisted and advised numerous tribal corporations in business and finance transactions, including tax planning for a tribal Section 17 corporation’s acquisition of a state-chartered corporation.
  • Advised tribal government on federal low-income housing tax credit application and partnership.
  • Prepared, submitted, and advised on fee-to-trust applications with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Assisted tribal radio station with FCC licensing.


  • University of Washington, School of Law, Master of Laws (LL.M.) Taxation
  • University of Wisconsin School of Law, Juris Doctor
  • University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts


  • Arizona Federal District Courts
  • Arizona State Courts
  • Navajo Nation Tribal Court
  • Oregon State Courts
  • Snoqualmie Tribal Court
  • Tohono O'Odham Tribal Court
  • Washington State Courts


  • Northwest Indian Bar Association
  • Tribal In-House Counsel Association
  • National Tribal Land Association
  • King County Bar Association Diversity Committee
  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Washington State Judicial Diversity Program
  • Red Eagle Soaring Native Youth Theater Board of Directors
  • Leadership Tomorrow, Class of 2014
  • Seattle University School of Law, Center for Indian Law and Policy Executive Council
  • Adjunct Faculty, Seattle University School of Law Center for Indian Law and Policy
  • Appellate Judge, Northwest Intertribal Court System
  • The Foundation for Natural Resource and Energy Law, Member


  • National Native American Law Students Association, Alumni of the Year (2005)
  • Selected to the Washington Super Lawyers Rising Stars List, Native American Law (2017)

Additional Events

Rights-of-Way in Indian Country, May 20-21, 2019

What Does the Future Hold for Tribal Governments Under the New Administration? A 2017 Update, May 18, 2017

Negotiating Contracts on Tribal Lands, May 11, 2017, Boise, ID

Taxation on Indian Trust Land, Tribal Land Staff Conference, March 21-23, 2017, Tamaya Resort, New Mexico

Leases on Indian Trust Land and the HEARTH Act, NBI Continuing Legal Ed, Boise, ID

Federal Indian Law
Indian National Finals Rodeo – Las Vegas, Nevada
Nov. 11, 2016

Contracting in Indian Country
NBI Continuing Legal Education
Oct. 22, 2016
Day-long CLE on Indian law and contracting with tribes and tribal organizations.

Rights-of-Ways in Indian Country II
Falmouth Institute
Sept 26-28, 2016
Advanced course on rights-of-way on Indian land, Instructor

Federal Indian Probate, Inheritance, and Cultural Patrimony, ACTEC Rocky Mountain Regional Conference, Park City Utah, Sept. 9, 2016

Tribal Self-Governance
Intertribal Environmental Council Conference – Hard Rock Hotel, Tulsa, OK
July 19-21, 2016

State Taxation of Indian Trust Land; Tulalip Tribes v. Smith – Spokane County Bar Association Indian Law Conference

Rights-of-Way in Indian Country – Idaho State Bar Association Indian Law Section CLE

Community Activities

  • American Bar Association Section on Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) Committee Articles Vice-Chair and Board Member (2021-present)
  • National Native American Bar Association, Board of Directors (2020-present)
  • Northwest Indian Bar Association, President (2016-present)
  • Northwest Indian Bar Association, Governing Council (2012-present)
  • National Tribal Land Association
  • Tribal In-House Counsel Association, Secretary
  • King County Bar Association Diversity Committee

Outside Interests

Anything on or near the water—surfing, paddle boarding, scuba diving or loading my dogs in the RV and heading to the beach.

Get in touch

Sign up

Ideas & Insights