Ernest L. Stevens, Jr.
Ernie L. Stevens, Jr. is the Chairman and national spokesperson for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) in Washington, D.C. Stevens is currently serving in his seventh two-year term as the organization’s leader, which is a position elected by the member tribes of the NIGA. As Chairman of NIGA, Stevens serves as the national spokesman for the Indian Gaming industry. Chairman Stevens has previously served as an elected councilman for the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin (1993 – 1999). He is the former First Vice-President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).
As a respected leader in Indian Country, Stevens also serves as a long-standing board member on the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, the Nike N7 Foundation Board, Native American Rights Fund National Support Committee, and was most recently appointed to serve on the Center for Native American Indian Youth executive board, founded by former US Senator Byron Dorgan. Stevens also sits on the Native American Advisory Board for the Boys & Girls Club of America.
Stevens is co-founder of Dreamseekers Foundation of American along with Hulk Hogan to provide contributions to tribal nations that face adversities such as poverty, violence and lack of various resources, specifically focusing on efforts to improve health care and education for Native youth and their families.
Stevens has an Associate’s degree from Haskell Indian Nations University, in Lawrence, Kansas and a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Senario College in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. He is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.
Donald “Del” Laverdure, an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe of Montana (Ties the Bundle Clan) with ancestry from the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana, is Senior Advisor to the Akin Gump law firm in Washington D.C. and Senior Advisor and Counselor to Crow Nation Chairman Darrin Old Coyote. Prior to returning to his homelands, Mr. Laverdure was appointed in 2009 by President Obama to serve at the Department of the Interior. He served almost all of Mr. Obama’s first term as acting assistant secretary, principal deputy assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary for Indian affairs in Washington, D.C.
Before his public service, Mr. Laverdure was Chief Legal Counsel for the Executive Branch of the Crow Tribe working on a wide variety of issues for the tribe including federal water legislation, federal and local (state and tribal) tax issues and submission of tribal and state legislation. Mr. Laverdure has held numerous judgeships, been an assistant professor of law and worked in private practice.
In the fall of 2000, Mr. Laverdure was selected for and participated in President Clinton’s White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. Mr. Laverdure has written, testified (in the U.S. and Canadian Senates) and spoken extensively on a variety of Indian law topics, provided Pro Bono services, and co-created and taught courses for the first four Crow Tribe Bar Exams. Mr. Laverdure earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering in 1995 from the University of Arizona and his Juris Doctorate degree in 1999 from the University of Wisconsin Law School where he is also a LL.M Candidate (Indian tax).
Since 2007, James Washinawatok has worked exclusively with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. First he worked with the Maynes, Bradford, Shipps, & Sheftel LLP law firm in Durango, CO and then, in 2010, he was hired on as an in-house attorney in the Southern Ute Legal Department. He works on a variety of day-to-day tasks, mostly transactional in nature, including Tribal code review and analysis, contract review and drafting, and personnel matters.
James received his bachelors and law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a masters in law from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. He is from Keshena on the Menominee Reservation and is enrolled Menominee and also has Akwesasne Mohawk ancestry. Currently, he resides on the Navajo Reservation in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico, with his wife (Brenna Clani-Washinawatok) and their two children (Dylan and Dezbah).
Professor Michalyn Steele (Georgetown University Law Center ’01) joined the faculty of Brigham Young University Law School in Provo, Utah as an Associate Professor in 2014, following two years as a Fellow and a semester as a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Law School. She has taught Federal Indian Law, Evidence, and Civil Rights. After beginning her legal career with Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, a Washington, D.C. firm specializing in the representation of Indian tribes, Michalyn worked for six years as a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. Michalyn worked in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, where her primary responsibilities included litigation and investigations to enforce the Fair Housing Act, Title II of the Civil Rights Act, and RLUIPA.
Beginning in late 2009, Michalyn worked for several years as a Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Larry Echo Hawk, at the U.S. Department of Interior. She is a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians of New York.
Professor Steele holds a B.A. ('92) and an M.A. ('94) in Humanities from BYU, with an emphasis in English literature and Native American studies.
Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle currently serves as the Deputy Director of Policy, Programs and Advocacy for the National Indian Health Board. Prior to this position, Ms. Hornbuckle worked as a Law Fellow in NIHB’s Legislative Department. Ms. Hornbuckle graduated from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and was awarded her J.D. in 2009. During law school, Ms. Hornbuckle studied federal Indian law and served as an officer for the Native American Law Student’s Association. She completed internships at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona and at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Ms. Hornbuckle’s professional interests include American Indian and Alaska Native health care, wellness and education. Ms. Hornbuckle is of Mohawk descent.