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Posted: July 21, 2020
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National American Indian Court Judges Association Takes Annual Conference Virtual in October

Sessions to focus on lessons from COVID-19, resources for court clerk personnel and legal and judicial skills.

BOULDER, Colo.—July 21, 2020—The National American Indian Court Judges Association (NAICJA) is taking its annual National Tribal Judicial and Court Personnel Conference to a virtual platform on October 20-23, 2020. NAICJA joins many tribal organizations moving to online meeting spaces in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the organization intends to continue its conference tradition of delivering top-notch training, cutting-edge information and invaluable opportunities to network with and learn from their colleagues.

“The NAICJA annual conference is the leading tribal justice event that would normally bring together over 300 tribal court professionals for a weeklong gathering, but we are adapting to the virtual climate and eager to expand our reach to tribal judges, court clerks and attorneys across the nation,” said NAICJA Executive Director Nikki Borchardt Campbell. “Judicial education for court judges and personnel has direct benefits and impacts on the functioning of tribal courts and as a result ensures the safety of our communities.”

The virtual conference will span three days with morning plenaries and afternoon concurrent breakout sessions. Each session is one hour, and attendees are only asked to commit to four hours per day. Session topics will focus on three main training tracks: Lessons from COVID-19, Resources for Court Clerks and Legal and Judicial Skills. Attendees will also have opportunities to network with colleagues and make new connections during evening social events, including a silent auction. Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits will also be available.

This year, NAICJA is working with the Wisconsin Tribal Judges Association (WTJA) to spotlight courts and tribes from the Midwest region as the in-person conference was originally planned to be in Green Bay, Wis. The WTJA will host a culture night that will feature regional talents and entertainers.

NAICJA’s virtual conference is building on the success of its Rapid Response Webinar Series ̧ Administering Justice in Tribal Courts During COVID-19 Pandemic, which attracted over 700 attendees to eight webinars in over two months.

“Tribal courts are important to promoting and strengthening tribal sovereignty and tribal court personnel are on the frontlines of defending our tribal jurisdiction at all levels,” said NAICJA President Richard Blake, who is the Chief Judge of the Redding Rancheria Tribal Court. “The NAICJA annual conference helps tribal court personnel in their role as the first line of defense, especially when threats are made against our community’s most vulnerable populations and in circumstances like we are in today with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Learn more about NAICJA’s virtual conference at: www.naicja.org.

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