OSA Lectures and Presentations

Olea, Solórzano & Austin prides itself on the credentials of its members and what they can offer to Indian Country. This page was created for educational purposes and as a way for OSA members to share their knowledge and insight with those willing to listen and learn. Below are some lectures and presentations that were delivered by members of OSA. Click the links below the video descriptions to watch the lectures. Grab a notepad and pen to take notes or just get some popcorn and enjoy!

The Legal Traditions of Native America

On November 2, 2018, Austin was invited to speak at Southern University Law School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His presentation, called "The Legal Traditions of Native America," begins with an overview of federal Indian law and later addresses the use of tribal common law in tribal courts. It focuses primarily on the Navajo method of jurisprudence. Austin's presentation was for the Tribal Courts and Tribal Sovereignty Symposium, the first conference in Louisiana to touch on tribal courts and Indian law topics. It was also the first conference to bring together all tribal court judges in Louisiana, as well as tribal leaders and attorneys. 

Tribal Courts and Tribal Law: Your Guide to Everything Tribal

Austin was invited to speak to the federal Indian law class at the University of Arizona College of Law. In his lecture, Austin teaches students about the importance of understanding Indian law and having familiarity with tribal courts and tribal law. He illustrates his points with examples, hypotheticals, and cold calling students to participate in the socratic method. At the end of the lecture, students attempted to illustrate peacemaking. However, due to confusion, the demonstration did not turn out as it should have. Special thanks to the student volunteers and the law college!

Words of the Talking God

Navajo Law and Justice

Joseph Austin is a lawyer from the Navajo Nation specializing in tribal court practice. He practices solo in the areas of tribal law and Indian law. Much of his work parallels that of his father, Raymond D. Austin (Justice Emeritus of the Navajo Nation Supreme Court): weaving together western and indigenous concepts and theories in order to rebuild native nations. His lecture, “Words of the Talking God: Navajo Law and Justice,” explores the evolution of the Navajo Nation court system and the use of customary law in Navajo judicial decision making. Austin uses the Navajo model as a way to illustrate how native nations can continue to survive and prosper in an age of globalization. The solution is for them to use what they already know and have, and rebuild from the inside out. For the Navajo Nation, this means listening to and remembering the words of the Talking God.

The Fools Who Thought They Killed the Wolf

Indigenous Peoples and International Trade

Joe Austin addressed a packed room of Native leaders and business folks at the Twin Arrows Casino in Flagstaff, Arizona. His presentation, "The Fools Who Thought They Killed the Wolf," addressed a number of topics pertaining to economic development in Indian Country and the Navajo Nation. However, the crux of Austin's presentation revolved around an innovative concept: re-engaging international trade between Native Nations. Austin is considered the leading expert on international trade involving Native Nations.

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