Angela R. Riley (Citizen Potawatomi Nation) is an internationally-renowned indigenous rights scholar.  She received her undergraduate degree at the University of Oklahoma and her law degree from Harvard Law School. In 2003 she became the first woman Justice of the Supreme Court of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma.  In 2010, she was elected as Chief Justice.  She also serves as Co-Chair for the United Nations - Indigenous Peoples’ Partnership Policy Board, which is a commitment to implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Angela is a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law and Director of UCLA's J.D./M.A. joint degree program in Law and American Indian Studies and the Native Nations Law and Policy Center.  She served as the Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in Fall 2015. Her research focuses on issues related to indigenous peoples’ rights, with a particular emphasis on cultural property and Native governance.  Her work has been published in the nation’s most elite legal journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, California Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal and many others.

She was raised on a farm at Saddle Mountain in southwestern Oklahoma where she learned to butcher chickens, chop cotton, castrate hogs, and live free. She now resides with her family in Los Angeles, California.

 

Career Highlights

KEY Appointments

Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor, Harvard Law School, Fall 2015

Director, UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 2010 – 2015

Director, UCLA MA/JD Joint Degree Program in Law & American Indian Studies, 2011-present

Director, UCLA Native Nations Law and Policy Center, 2015-present

Elected Member, American Law Institute, September 2012

Co-Director, UCLA Native Nations Law and Policy Center, 2011-2015

Chief Justice, Supreme Court of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, 2010-present

Co-Chair, United Nations – Indigenous Peoples Partnership Policy Board, 2013-present

Expert, United Nations – Indigenous Peoples Partnership Policy Board, 2011-2013

Evidentiary Hearing Officer, Morongo Band of Mission Indians, 2007-present

Justice, Supreme Court of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, 2002-2010

HONORS AND AWARDS

Women Inspiring Change In honor of International Women’s Day, the Harvard Law and International Development Society and the Harvard Women’s Law Association are hosting the 3rd Annual Harvard Law School International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit. (February 29 - March 11, 2016)

9 Notable Women Lawyers Who Rule Indian Law Legal systems are never easy to navigate, as the U.S. vertical hierarchy of courts, jury options and appeals processes attest. In dealing with Indians and the United States' judicial system, with its purported goal of integrating the principles of 567 nations (counting the U.S.), tribal law, state law, federal law, the inherent and reserved rights of Indigenous Peoples and treaty obligations, establishing and defending the rights of Natives is a job that requires the best minds of the times. The field requires the ability to understand complex relations and theory, the strength to stand by their principles and the maturity to respect other people’s points of view. The nine women profiled here have taken up the task.

2013 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service Awardees | 2013 Distinguished Alumna Angela Riley (Video) Each year the College of Arts and Sciences presents its highest honor, the Distinguished Alumnus Award, to up to four graduates of the college. (February 21, 2013)

Selected lectures

Tribes as Extra-Constitutional Entities, Harvard Law School Symposium, Harvard Law School, October 13-14, 2016 (speaker and conference organizer).

Crime and Governance in Indian Country, Harvard Law School Faculty Workshop, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 28, 2016.

The Jurisgenerative Moment in Indigenous Human Rights, Federal Bar Association/Native American Bar Association Annual Indian Law Conference, Phoenix, Arizona, April 7, 2016.

Keynote: Justice for Native Nations, Pitzer College, Pomona, California, April 28, 2014.

Equality or Exceptionalism, Critical Race Theory Conference, Yale Law School, New Haven, ConnecticutApril 5, 2014.

Indigenous Peoples’ Traditional Knowledge and Customary Law, Griffith University, Brisbaine, Australia, March 27, 2014.

Equality or Exceptionalism, Endowed Caughey Foundation Address, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CaliforniaMarch 15, 2014.

Keynote: Equality or Exceptionalism, Stanford University School of Law, Palo Alto, CaliforniaFebruary 7, 2014.

Insights from a Scholar and Indigenous Rights Lawyer, Harvard Law School 60th Alumnae Celebration, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, September 27, 2013.

University of Oklahoma College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award Public Lecture, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, February 21, 2013.

The Supreme Court and Native American Property Rights, The Supreme Court Historical Society Lecture Series, The United States Supreme Court, Washington, D.C. November 14th, 2012.

Implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Protection of Indigenous Cultures and Sacred Sites, Consultation with the UN Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, Tucson, Arizona, April 26-27, 2012.

Keynote: Making Sui Generis Protections Work, United Nations, World Intellectual Property Organization Side Event, Geneva, Switzerland, July 18, 2011.

Keynote Diversity Lecture: Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Property, Center for Social Justice and Public Service, Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, California, February 3, 2011 (with honorarium)

Keynote Address, Tenth Annual Indian Law Conference, California Indian Law Association, Pala, California, October 8, 2010.

American Indians and the American Dream, Allison Davis Lecture, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, November 2009.

 

Download Full CV (PDF)

 

Media

 

Women Inspiring Change In honor of International Women’s Day, the Harvard Law and International Development Society and the Harvard Women’s Law Association are hosting the 3rd Annual Harvard Law School International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit. (February 29 - March 11, 2016)

NALSA Conference | Lunch and Keynote Address with Angela R. Riley Stanford's Native American Law Student Association hosted the "Contemporary Issues in Indian Law Conference" at Stanford Law School. (February 6-7, 2014)

9 Notable Women Lawyers Who Rule Legal systems are never easy to navigate, as the U.S. vertical hierarchy of courts, jury options and appeals processes attest. In dealing with Indians and the United States' judicial system, with its purported goal of integrating the principles of 567 nations (counting the U.S.), tribal law, state law, federal law, the inherent and reserved rights of Indigenous Peoples and treaty obligations, establishing and defending the rights of Natives is a job that requires the best minds of the times. The field requires the ability to understand complex relations and theory, the strength to stand by their principles and the maturity to respect other people’s points of view. The nine women profiled here have taken up the task.

The Allan C. Lebow Supreme Court Review - Equality Under The Roberts Court UCLA School of Law's 2013 annual review of the Supreme Court's most recent term and its implications for lawyers, academics and citizens. (August 27, 2013)

2013 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service Awardees | 2013 Distinguished Alumna Angela Riley (Video) Each year the College of Arts and Sciences presents its highest honor, the Distinguished Alumnus Award, to up to four graduates of the college. (February 21, 2013)

Native American Lands and the Supreme Court Angela R. Riley spoke in the Supreme Court chamber about the history of the Supreme Court and Native American lands. The lecture, which took place in the Supreme Court chamber, was one in a series hosted by the Supreme Court Historical Society on the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and property rights. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg introduced Professor Riley. (November 14, 2012)

UCLA American Indian Studies Center 40th Anniversary Angela R. Riley, acting director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center, talks about the centers 40th anniversary and the significance of the milestone.

 

 

Publications

Native Nations and the Constitution: An Inquiry into "Extra-Constitutionality",130 Harv. L. Rev. F. 173 (2017).

Crime and Governance in Indian Country, 63 UCLA Law Review 1564 (2016). 

Owning Red: A Theory of Indian (Cultural) Appropriation (with K. Carpenter), 94 Texas Law Review 859 (2016).

Indigenous Peoples and the Jurisgenerative Moment in Human Rights (with K. Carpenter), 102 California Law Review 173 (2014).

The History of Native American Lands and the Supreme Court, 38 Journal of Supreme Court History 369 (2013).

Tribal Rights, Human Rights (with K. Carpenter), 2013 Michigan State Law Review 293 (2013).

Indians and Guns, 100 Georgetown Law Journal 5 (2012).

The Story of Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, in Indian Law Stories (edited by Philip Frickey, Carole Goldberg, and Kevin Washburn, Foundation Press, 2011).

Clarifying Cultural Property (with K. Carpenter & S. Katyal), 17 International Journal of Cultural Property 581-98 (2010).

Book Review, Frank Pommersheim, Broken Landscape: Indians, Indian Tribes, and the Constitution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 424, 60 Journal of Legal Education, Number 3 (February 2011).

Op-Ed: Sucking the Quileute Dry, New York Times (February 7, 2010).

In Defense of Property (with K. Carpenter & S. Katyal), 118 Yale Law Journal 1022 (2009).

(Tribal) Sovereignty and Illiberalism, 95 California Law Review 799 (2007).

Good (Native) Governance, 107 Columbia Law Review 1049 (2007).

"Straight Stealing": Towards an Indigenous System of Cultural Property Protection, 80 Washington Law Review 69 (2005).

Recovering Collectivity: Group Rights to Intellectual Property In Indigenous Communities, 18 Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal 175 (2000).

 

Contact

For Media Requests and Consultation Services, contact info@angelarriley.com

You can also visit me at my UCLA Law faculty webpage.