Indian Tribes

Richard McLellan is Chair of the Native Nations Foundation, a Michigan non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing sovereignty for Indian tribes.

McLellan has represented Indian tribes in Michigan and clients working with Indian tribes for over 20 years. He was actively involved in both rounds of Indian tribal gaming compact negotiations.

McLellan successfully argued in the Michigan Supreme Court for the decision in TOMAC v. State of Michigan, 471 Mich. 306, 685 N.W.2d 221 (2004), recognizing the distinct sovereignty of Indian tribes and the plenary authority of the State Legislature to enter into agreements with tribes. The decision upheld the four most recent gaming compacts entered into with the State of Michigan.

McLellan drafted and helped enact legislation permitting the Bay Mills Community College (BMCC), a tribally-controlled community college, to act as an authorizer of charter public schools under the Michigan School Code. BMCC is now one of the largest authorizers of charter schools in the state.