Professor Chase Velasquez will discuss the status of American Indian tribes, as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court, beginning in the 19 th Century to the present. Specifically, Professor Velasquez will discuss the current sovereign powers of tribes, ranging from criminal and civil jurisdiction over non-members, to building strong economies and tribal courts. Finally, Professor Velasquez will offer suggestions on the future of tribes.
About Professor Chase Velasquez:
Chase Velasquez is an enrolled member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. He was raised on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, located in northeastern Arizona. Chase obtained his law degree from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law.
After law school, Chase served as a legal fellow for the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, at the University of Arizona. Chase worked on legal and policy issues relating to constitutional law, federal Indian law, and international human rights law. Notably, Chase assisted with the legal representation of Maya indigenous peoples and villages in Belize, to secure and protect land rights. This included Chase traveling to Paris, France and the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland to assist the Maya Leaders Alliance of Southern Belize advocate for the property rights of Maya indigenous villages under international standards.
Following the fellowship, Chase became an attorney for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice. There, Chase advised the Nation’s Departments of Economic and Community Development on commercial/industrial development, leases, corporate law, gaming, real estate, and procurement. He handled multi-million-dollar transactions for the Nation and chapter houses relating to construction and infrastructure. Chase also worked as a prosecutor for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, where he prosecuted felonies under the Tribal Law and Order Act, and crimes committed by non-Natives against Native victims, pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act.
For the last four years, Chase has served as an Assistant Attorney General for the San Carlos Apache Tribe’s Department of Justice. He advises the San Carlos Council, the Tribe’s governing body, and its departments, programs, and committees on matters arising under federal, state, and tribal law. Chase also serves as the Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Under this role, he assists with the federal investigation and prosecution of crimes under federal law on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in the U.S. District Court of Arizona.