Effective strategies for protecting and expanding tribal sovereignty require thorough analysis of potential policy impacts of proposed changes in legislation or regulations. At the federal, tribal, or state level, decision makers look for high-quality analysis to assist them in making the right decision. This analysis can take many forms, ranging from historical review of treaties and legal events, economic analysis and modeling, or policy analysis of proposed changes in federal, state, or tribal laws and regulations.
Robert Odawi Porter has served as a tenured professor of Indian law and policy, tribal policy center director, and tribal government policy advisor who has been an expert witness in litigation, conducted legal and historical research and analysis, prepared expert reports, and testified before Congress. Moreover, his experiences as an elected tribal president and former tribal attorney allow for a unique perspective in the public policy arena. As circumstances arise, he partners with recognized experts and professional service firms to support of legal and political advocacy efforts.
Economic and Public Policy Analysis
Traditional approaches for asserting tribal sovereignty have relied heavily on legal and political strategies. Modern strategies should add economic and policy research to validate Indian legal and political claims. Whether they are impact studies, resource valuations, tax analyses, or program evaluations, such analyses help make the case. They can even uncover “win-win” opportunities that unassisted legal and political strategies often miss or preclude.
To complement its internal expertise, Odawi Tribal Strategies engages national-caliber firms like the Taylor Policy Group, Inc. to prepare evidence consistent with the principles of economics and public policy analysis.
Expertise is also essential to litigation, lobbying, and other forms of direct advocacy. Credible expert testimony helps judges, lawmakers, and administrators understand complex issues like tribal tax jurisdiction, Indian treaty legacies, and the contours of gaming compact negotiation. The absence or weakness of experts on the Indian side of the question usually leaves deliberations vulnerable to preconceptions (or, worse, prejudice) against tribal interests.
Odawi Tribal Strategies has a deep reservoir of experience participating as an expert in various situations, as well as the capacity to identify and vet academic expert witnesses for contested proceedings.