Indian Reserved Water Rights Claims Symposium

Since 1991, the Native American Rights Fund and the Western States Water Council have sponsored a biennial symposium to discuss the settlement of Indian reserved water rights claims.

The next symposium will be held August 13-15, 2019 at Harrah’s Resort Southern California (Funner, CA).

Draft agenda included below.

The meetings will be held at the Harrah’s Resort Southern California in Funner, California.  The hotel is holding a block of guest rooms for the nights of August 12-14. The cut-off date to book rooms is July 13, 2019.

The early registration fee ($400) deadline for the symposium is June 28. After that date, the registration fee will increase to $450 though August 6, and the late registration fee will be $500. Payment must be received prior to admittance.

Please visit the Western States Water Council website for hotel information and registration.

DRAFT AGENDA

AGENDA IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AND WILL BE UPDATED AS SPEAKERS ARE CONFIRMED

TUESDAY, AUGUST 13, 2019
8:00 am WESTERN WATER LAW AND INDIAN RESERVED WATER RIGHTS: A PRIMER
Norman Johnson, Utah Assistant Attorney General, Natural Resources Division

9:00 am INTRODUCTORY REMARKS
John Echohawk, Executive Director, Native American Rights Fund
Tony Willardson, Executive Director, Western States Water Council

Invocation – Chris Devers, Pauma Band of Mission Indians

9:30 am WELCOME
Christiana Snider, Tribal Advisor, Governor Newsom’s Office
Jeanine Jones, WSWC Chair, California Department of Water Resources
Bo Mazzetti, San Luis Rey Water Authority

10:00 am KEYNOTE ADDRESS
Jeanne Whiteing, Water Rights Counsel, Blackfeet Nation

10:30 am Break

10:45 am NEGOTIATION OF INDIAN WATER RIGHTS CLAIMS: THE BASICS. Gathering Background Information and the Role of Technicians in Negotiations
MODERATOR – Native American Rights Fund
Choctaw Tribe (invited)
Doug Oellerman, Bureau of Reclamation
Jay Weiner, Assistant Attorney General, Civil Services Bureau, Montana Office of the
Attorney General

12:30 pm Lunch Break

2:00 pm IDENTIFYING PARTIES AND ISSUES AND HOW NEGOTIATIONS BIND LARGER GROUPS
MODERATOR – Western States Water Council
Sara Gibson, Legal Counsel, Oklahoma Water Resources Board
Dave Harder, Department of Justice (invited)
Pechanga (invited)

3:30 pm Break

4:00 pm WATER PLANNING: SCARCITY AND COLLABORATION
OVERVIEW AND MODERATOR –
Governor Stephen Roe Lewis, Gila River Indian Community
Tom Buschatzke, Director, Arizona Department of Water Resources
Leslie Meyers, Phoenix Area Office Manager, Bureau of Reclamation
Kevin Moran, Sr. Director, Colorado River Program, Environmental Defense Fund

5:30 pm Adjourn

6:00 pm Reception

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2019

8:00 am PLENARY SPEAKER
Mike Connor, Partner, Wilmer Hale

9:00 am THE ADMINISTRATION’S SETTLEMENT POLICY
Presentation
Alan Mikkelsen, Sr. Advisor to the Secretary for Water & Western Resources Issues, Department of the Interior
Pam Williams, Director, Secretary’s Indian Water Rights Office, Department of the Interior

10:30 am Break

10:45 Response Panel
MODERATOR – Native American Rights Fund
Arianne Singer, Deputy General Counsel, New Mexico State Engineer’s Office
Tule River Tribe (invited)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe (invited)
Norman Johnson, Natural Resources Division Director, Utah Attorney General’s Office

11:45 am Administration Policy Q&A

12:00 pm Lunch Break

12:30 pm FILM: SAN LUIS REY INDIAN WATER RIGHTS SETTLEMENT –
“ONCE THERE WAS A RIVER”

2:00 pm DESCRIPTION OF THE SAN LUIS REY TRIBE’S WATER RIGHTS SETTLEMENTS
MODERATOR – Western States Water Council
Robert Pelcyger, Counsel, San Luis Rey Indian Water Authority and the La Jolla, Rincon, San Pasqual, Pauma and Pala Bands of Mission Indian
John Carter, Counsel for the Vista Irrigation District
Chris McKinney, Director of Utilities for the City of Escondido
Metropolitan Water District (invited)
Christopher Watson, Attorney, Division of Water Resources, Office of the Solicitor
San Luis Rey Tribe

2:30 pm FIELD TRIP

THURSDAY, AUGUST 15, 2019

8:00 am SETTLEMENT IMPLEMENTATION: IMPACTS OF POLICY CHANGES
Shalee Russette, Project Manager, Chippewa Cree Construction Corp
Deon Stockert, Client Program Leader, Advanced Engineering and Environmental Services

9:00 am SETTLEMENT LEGISLATION: GETTING BILLS THROUGH CONGRESS
Congressional Outlook for Indian Water Rights Settlements
Brandon Ashley, Majority Senior Policy Advisor, Senate Indian Affairs (invited)
Josh Mahan, Minority Counsel, Senate Indian Affairs (invited)
Lane Dickson, Majority Professional Staff, Senate Energy and Natural Resources (invited)
David Brooks, Minority Professional Staff, Senate Energy and Natural Resources (invited)
Matthew Muirragui, Majority Professional Staff, House Natural Resources (invited)
William Ball, Minority Staff Director, House Natural Resources (invited)

10:45 am Break

11:00 am Response Panel
MODERATOR – Western States Water Council
Tracy Goodluck, Deputy Director, Secretary’s Indian Water Rights Office,
Department of the Interior
Stanley Pollack, Attorney, Navajo Nation
Tom Buschatzke, Director, Arizona Department of Water Resources

12:15 pm WRAP-UP/SUMMARY

12:45 pm Adjourn

 

Materials from past conferences are available on the website of the National Indian Law Library.

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