Mr. Roberts draws upon his over 20 years of experience in federal Indian law to assist Tribes in reaching solutions on Federal Indian law matters administratively or in the courts. Mr. Roberts’ experience is in the agencies Tribes engage with most often, including: the Department of the Interior, the National Indian Gaming Commission, the Department of Justice and the EPA. His work with the Department of the Interior was in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, including leading Indian Affairs from the previous Assistant Secretary’s departure at the end of 2015 through January 20, 2017. During his tenure in Indian Affairs, Mr. Roberts also served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs’ portfolio is broad and includes: the restoration of tribal homelands; energy and economic development; fostering tribal self-determination and self-governance; Indian gaming; the Indian Child Welfare Act; law enforcement; transportation; natural resources; leasing and rights-of-way; reservation boundaries; and treaty rights protection. .
Prior to his appointment to Interior, Mr. Roberts served as the General Counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission. In serving as the chief legal officer, he advised the Chairwoman and Commissioners on all matters before the Commission, including: litigation, enforcement actions, Commission decisions, and the adoption of Commission rules and policies.
Mr. Roberts began his legal career as a trial attorney with the United States Department of Justice. His work within the Indian Resources Section included litigation concerning tribal reserved treaty rights, reservation boundaries, tribal water quality standards, fee-to-trust acquisitions, tribal land claims and other matters implicating tribal rights. Mr. Roberts’ work with EPA was in the Office of General Counsel, where he provided legal advice regarding the implementation of federal environmental programs in Indian country.
A citizen of the Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin, Mr. Roberts is a recipient of numerous awards including the National Congress of American Indians’ Governmental Leadership Award (2017), the Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General’s Award for Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Department of Justice Meritorious Award, the Department of Justice Special Commendation for Outstanding Service, and the University of Wisconsin Indigenous Law Students Association Alumnus of the Year.
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University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D. (1995)
University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A., Political Science and Sociology (1992)
District of Columbia (2003)
Federal District Court for the District of Columbia
Institute of American Indian Arts, Board of Trustees (2017)
American Bar Association, Section of Environment, Energy and Resources, Native American Resources Committee, Chair (2003-2005)
Federal Bar Association’s Federal Indian Law Conference in Washington, D.C., Co-Chair (2011 and 2000)
Obama Campaign Tribal Director for Wisconsin (2008)
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