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Law School Alumni to Serve on MAIBA

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota American Indian Bar Association chose Jennifer Beck-Brown, Deputy Solicitor for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, as President to lead the sixteen (16) year old organization.  Ms. Beck-Brown and the presiding officers of the organization, as well as a new Board of Directors, were installed at the organization’s Annual Meeting on September 23, 2006 at the Grand Casino on the Mille Lacs Reservation.  

  • Jennifer Beck-Brown, President. Jennifer Beck-Brown, former recipient of the MAIBA scholarship, is a 2003 graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law. Jennifer Beck-Brown is a Deputy Solicitor General for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. She also is a member of the Minnesota Army National Guard Staff Judge Advocate General. Her tribal affiliation is the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe.
  • Sarah Wheelock, Vice President. Sarah Wheelock practices with Faegre & Benson's regulatory litigation group, focusing on Indian Law and Environmental Law. She graduated from the University of Iowa, with distinction and honors, and the University of Iowa College of Law, with distinction. Ms. Wheelock is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association Board of Directors.  She is a member of the Meskwaki Nation (Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi).
  • Rebecca Chapman, SecretaryRebecca Chapman is a 2002 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School.  Rebecca Chapman is a Deputy Solicitor General for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.  Her practice areas include Indian Law, Zoning, Construction, Landlord/Tenant, Real Estate, Probate, Litigation and Intergovernmental Relations.  Ms. Chapman is sits on the Hennepin County Bar Association Board of Directors.  She is a member of the Wyandotte Nation of Anderdon.
  • Rjay Brunkow, Treasurer.  Rjay Brunkow is the Wells Fargo Relationship Manager for the Midwest Region, where he works with Indian tribes and tribal entities. Mr. Brunkow is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe. After earning his bachelor's in businesseconomics, magna cum laude, from South Dakota State University, Mr. Brunkow gradated cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School.  He was a 2003-2004 MAIBA scholarship recipient.

MAIBA’s Board of Directors also includes Jennifer Beck-Brown, Rjay Brunkow and Sarah Wheelock.  Seated among the new and occupied positions of the Board of Directors, are the following individuals:

  • George Soule is a trial attorney and founding partner of Bowman and Brooke LLP. For eleven (11) years, Mr. Soule served on the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection and was Chair from 1999-2003. He is a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe. Soule is a graduate of Harvard University Law School, magna cum laude, and Moorhead State University, summa cum laude.  Recently, George Soule served as the President of MAIBA through the 2005-2006 fiscal year.
  • Lenor Scheffler is Chair of the Native American Law Practice group and a partner at Best & Flanagan, LLP. She practices in the areas of federal Indian law, tribal financing, Indian gaming regulation, tribal taxation, tribal election representation, tribal governance, and securities law. She is a member of the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities.   She is a graduate of St. Olaf College and William Mitchell College of Law.
  • Stacey Thunder is the legal counsel and a member of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation. Her practice includes business, gaming, employment and Indian law, and is also the host of an upbeat, magazine-style television show called "Native Report". Before joining the Red Lake Nation, Ms. Thunder worked at the Mille Lacs Band Corporate Commission, Anishinabe Legal Services, and the Indian Child Welfare Law Center. She is a graduate of Hamline University and William Mitchell College of Law.
  • Jill Kehaulani Powers Esch is a law clerk for the Honorable John McShane. Jill Esch, a Native Hawaiian, is currently the coordinator of MAIBA's Annual Scholarship golf tournament and a 2003 recipient of the MAIBA Scholarship.
  • Angelique EagleWoman, Wambdi A. WasteWin, is an Assistant Professor of Law at Hamline University School of Law.  Her areas of practice are Native American Law, International Indigenous Law, and Economic Development.  She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University.  She attained her J.D. at the University of North Dakota School of Law, and she received her L.L.M. at the University of Tulsa College of Law.  Ms. EagleWoman is a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation.
  • Catherine LaRoque is an attorney with the Indian Child Welfare Law Center in Minneapolis.  Her areas of practice relate to the Indian Child Welfare Act and Indian Law.  She graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2003 and is a member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribe of Wisconsin.
  • Reid LeBeau is an associate at Lockridge, Grindal & Nauen, PLLP.  He has previously clerked at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and worked as a lobbyist for the Hennepin County Intergovernmental Relations.  Mr. LeBeau received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Morris and his J.D. in 2005 from the University of Minnesota Law School.  Mr. LeBeau’s practice areas include Indian Law, Election Law and Litigation.  He is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
  • Shauna L. Coons is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe and will be graduating from William Mitchell College of Law in May 2007.  She plans to focus on Indian Law, Business Law, and Financial Transactions.  She is MAIBA’s area eight (8) representative for the NNALSA. 

The Minnesota American Indian Bar Association ("MAIBA") was founded in 1990 by American Indian attorneys in Minnesota. These lawyers practice in a variety of areas including administrative law, family law, corporate law, juvenile law, civil law, commercial law, construction law, contracts, criminal law, employment law, environmental law, federal Indian law and gaming law, in both the private and the public sectors, and serve as tribal judges both locally and nationally. MAIBA's members also include non-Indian attorneys who practice or are interested in Indian law.

It is the mission of the MAIBA to promote unity, cooperation, and the interchange of ideas among persons associated with Indian law; education of the public with regard to legal issues affecting Indian people; and justice and effective legal representation for all Indian people."

For a PDF version of the news release, click [here].

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