Principal Investigator: Kirsten Matoy Carlson, J.D., Ph.D.
Kirsten Matoy Carlson is an Associate Professor of Law and Adjunct Associate Professor of Political Science at Wayne State University. Her research focuses on legal advocacy and law reform, with particular attention on the various strategies used by Indian nations and indigenous groups to reform federal Indian law and policy effectively. Carlson’s research integrates traditional legal analysis with social science methodologies for studying legal and political advocacy. From May 2014 through July 2016, she has a National Science Foundation (NSF) Law and Social Science Program grant to fund her current research project, "Legal Mobilization, Rights Claims, and Federal Indian Policy Reform." Carlson previously received a NSF dissertation research grant to study the constitutional entrenchment of Aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada. As a Fulbright Scholar, she researched attitudes towards the Waitangi Tribunal and the treaty claims settlement process in New Zealand. Her articles have been published in the Michigan Law Review, Georgia State Law Review, American Indian Law Review, and the Michigan State Law Review.
At Wayne Law, Professor Carlson teaches federal Indian law, legislation, legal change, and civil procedure. She is also the faculty advisor to the Native American Law Students Society and serves on the State Bar of Michigan Standing Committee on American Indian Law.
Professor Carlson brings a range of professional and academic experience to her teaching and research. Prior to joining Wayne Law, Professor Carlson advocated nationally and internationally to protect the rights of Indian nations as a staff attorney at the Indian Law Resource Center. She led the Center’s advocacy efforts to restore criminal jurisdiction to Indian nations to end violence against women in Indian Country. Professor Carlson has also been a visiting research scholar at the University of Ottawa and a visiting associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. She clerked for the Hon. Diana E. Murphy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Professor Carlson received her J.D. cum laude and a Ph.D. (political science) from the University of Michigan, a M.A. with distinction (Maaori studies) from the University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a B.A. (international studies) from The Johns Hopkins University.