Associate Professor, School of Law
- American Indian Law, Indigenous People and the Law, Secured Transactions, Corporate Law, Conflict of Laws, Civil Procedure
Professor Christensen joined the faculty at the University of North Dakota in 2015 after previously teaching at the University of Toledo, the University of Oregon, and at Charlotte Law. His courses include Federal Indian Law, Civil Procedure, Jurisdiction in Indian Country, and an expierential Tribal Clerkship & Codification course. In addition to his teaching respondibilities, he is the Director of the Indian Law Certificate program at UND, the co-chair of the ABA Business Law section's Tribal Litigation subcommittee, an ABA Business Law Fellow (2018-2020), a member of the American Association of Law School's section on sexual orientation & gender identity, and a member of the Sustainable Market Actors Network, a global research group focused on companies, markets, society and the environment hosted by the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo.
While at UND, Professor Christensen's research and teaching interests focus on indigenous peoples and often intersect with corporate law, secured transactions, taxation, and jurisdiction. He is one of the co-author's of the ABA Business Law Section's annual update of developments in business law (contributing material for the Tribal Litigation chapter) and has contributed chapters to several projects published by Cambridge University Press, including providing an indigenous perspective to the Cambridge Handbook on Corporate Law, Corporate Governance, and Sustainability. In addition to law review articles and book chapters, he has co-authored two textbooks American Indians: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives and Reading American Indian Law: Foundational Perspectives (forthcoming 2019).
In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities, Professor Christensen serves as the faculty advisor to the Black Law Students Association and co-coaches the Native American Law Student Association's moot court team.
Prior to entering academia Professor Christensen was awarded a Fulbright research grant by the State Department to conduct research in Lithuania, the first such grant given in law to the post-Soviet nation. His research focused on international, bilateral, and multilateral treaty law and its prospective application to the interpretation of treaties between the United States and Indian Tribes.
Professor Christensen holds a J.D. from Ohio State and an LL.M. in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy from the University of Arizona. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Richmond, completing B.A. degrees in both Political Science and American Studies (with a focus on American Indians).
My research focuses on the intersection of Corporate/Commercial Law and Indigenous Peoples/American Indian Law. I originally began with a commercial focus, teaching Secured Transactions and writing a couple pieces on priority and the perfection of security interests (the William & Mary Business Law piece being cited by Judge Posner). I expanded the commercial law work to include corporate law in 2017 after being selected to contribute a chapter on Indigenous perspectives of corporate governance for the Cambridge Handbook on Corporate Law, Corporate Governance, and Sustainability (Cambridge Press, Forthcoming 2019). In writing the chapter I learned just how little academic work has been done on Indigenous principles of corporate governance and Indigenous corporations – and realized I had found a niche in the academy to which I could contribute genuinely new insights.
Grant Christensen & Melissa Tatum. Reading Indian Law: Foundational Principles (Cambridge University Press) (Forthcoming 2019).
Sebastian Braun, Grant Christensen, & Birgit Hans. American Indians: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company) (2017).
Grant Christensen, Business Trusts & American Indian Law, __ U. Cinn. L. Rev. ___ (2019).
Grant Christensen, The Extraterritorial Reach of Tribal Court Criminal Jurisdiction, 46 Hastings Const. L.Q. 294 (2019)
Grant Christensen, Civil Rights Notes: American Indians and Banishment, Jury Trials, and the Doctrine of Lenity, 27 Wm. & Mary Bill of Rts. J. 363 (2018)
Grant Christensen & Melissa Tatum, Reading Indian Law: Evaluating Thirty Years of Indian Law Scholarship, 54 Tulsa L. Rev. 81 (2018)
Grant Christensen, A View from American Courts: The Year in Indian Law 2017, 41 Seattle U. L. Rev. 805 (2018)
Grant Christensen, Personal Jurisdiction and Tribal Courts after Walden and Bauman: The Inadvertent Impact of Supreme Court Jurisdictional Decisions on Indian Country, 68 Rutgers L. Rev. 1365 (2016)
Grant Christensen, Selling Stories or You Can't Own This: Cultural Property as a Form of Collateral in a Secured Transaction Under the Model Tribal Secured Transactions Act, 80 Brook. L. Rev. 1219 (2015)
Grant Christensen, Allocating Loss in Securities Fraud: Time to Adopt a Uniform Rule for the Special Case of Ponzi Schemes, 3 Wm. & Mary Bus. L. Rev. 309 (2012)
Grant Christensen, Judging Indian Law: What Factors Influence Individual Justice’s Votes on Indian Law in the Modern Era, 43 U. Tol. L. Rev. 267 (2012).
Grant Christensen, Creating Brightline Rules for Tribal Court Jurisdiction Over Non-Indians: The Case of Trespass To Real Property, 35 Am. Indian L. Rev. 527 (2011).
Christensen, G. What Does it Mean to be Sustainable: The Relationship Between Corporations and Indigenous People in Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance, and Sustainability (Beate Sjåfjell & Christopher M. Bruner eds., 2019) (Cambridge University Press) (Forthcoming) (2019).
Christensen, G. The Supreme Court’s Indian Law Jurisprudence: A Feminist Perspective in Gender Justice and the Law (Elaine Wood ed.) (Co-Published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press & Rowman & Littlefield Publishing) (Forthcoming 2020).
Christensen, G., Rewritten Opinion in United States v. Rickert, in Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions (Bridget J. Crawford & Anthony C. Infanti eds., 2017) (Cambridge University Press).
Christensen, G., Dreveskracht, R., Galanda, G., and McNeil Staudenmaier, H., Tribal Court Litigation, in Recent Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation. Published by the American Bar Association – Business Law Section (2017 ed.)
Christensen, G., Dreveskracht, R., Galanda, G., and McNeil Staudenmaier, H., Tribal Court Litigation, in Recent Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation. Published by the American Bar Association – Business Law Section (2018 ed.)
Christensen, G., Dreveskracht, R., and McNeil Staudenmaier, H., Tribal Court Litigation, in Recent Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation. Published by the American Bar Association – Business Law Section (2019 ed.)
Christensen, G., Dreveskracht, R., and McNeil Staudenmaier, H., Tribal Court Litigation, in Recent Developments in Business and Corporate Litigation. Published by the American Bar Association – Business Law Section (2020 ed.) (Forthcoming)
BOOK REVIEWS, BAR JOURNALS, & OTHER:
Grant Christensen, Treaty Rights Case Shows that for Tribes, Trump Improved on Scalia with Gorsuch, Minneapolis Star Tribune, May 29, 2019.
Grant Christensen, Provincial Courts are the Wrong Forum to Resolve Custody Disputes Between Canadian Indigenous People, Law360, October 4, 2018.
Anne Mullins and Grant Christensen, Psichologija JAV ir Lietuvos Teiseje: Pakeliui ar Atskirai? (American Psychology and Lithuanian Law: Together or Separate?), 29:1 Teismai 9-11 (2018).
Law at Little Big Horn: Due Process Denied. By Charles E. Wright. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 2016. Published in Great Plains Research Vol. 27 No. 1 (2017)
American Indian Treaties: A Guide to Ratified and Unratified Colonial, United States, State, Foreign, and International Treaties and Agreements, 1607-1911. By David H. DeJong. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2015. Published in Great Plains Quarterly Vol. 36 No. 4 (2016)
Alaskan Native Corporations as Models of Corporate Governance and Sustainability: Polar Law Symposium – Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
December 1-4, 2019 – Hobart, Australia
Tribal Corporations and the Due Process Rights of Shareholders: 10th Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium at Loyola School of Law
November 8-9, 2019 – Chicago, Illinois
Indigenous Perspectives on Corporate Governance: Central States Law School Association – University of Toledo Law
September 20-21, 2019 – Toledo, Ohio
Indians and Voting Rights: Minnesota American Indian Bar Association Annual Meeting
May 3, 2019 - Prior Lake, Minnesota (Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community)
Indian Law Principles in North Dakota: North Dakota Legislature
April 4, 2019 – Bismarck, ND
Indigenous Women, Domestic Violence & Indian Country: Pre-Law Spring Lecture Speaker – Concordia College
March 21, 2019 – Moorhead, Minnesota
Autochthonous Law, Indigenous Perspectives, and Business Trusts: 30th Corporate Law Symposium – University of Cincinnati College of Law
March 15, 2019 – Cincinnati, Ohio
Civil Rights Notes: Indians and the Constitution: Legal Scholarship Workshop Series - University of Toledo College of Law
March 12, 2019 – Toledo, Ohio
Due Process, Conflict of Laws & Indian Tribes: Does the Choice of Chthonic Law in a Contract Violate Due Process? - 9th Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium at Loyola School of Law
November 2-3, 2018 – Chicago, Illinois
American Indians, Voting Rights, and North Dakota: Native Disenfranchisement After the Supreme Court Denied the Stay in Brakebill v. Jaeger - The American Constitution Society at the University of North Dakota
November 1, 2018 – Grand Forks, North Dakota
Indigenous Governance, Sustainability, & Chthonic Law - Faculty Scholarship Series
October 30, 2018 – Grand Forks, North Dakota
Tribes, ANSCA, AIPRA and the Testator - Trusts & Estates Meets Gender, Race, & Class – Wisconsin Law Symposium
October 11-12, 2018 – Madison, Wisconsin
Native Alaskans and an Indigenous Perspective on Corporate Governance - 11th Annual Polar Law Symposium hosted by the University of Tromso
October 2-4, 2018 – Tromso, Norway
The Effect of Cooper v. Aaron on American Indian Law - Univ. of Arkansas Little Rock 60th Anniversary of Cooper v. Aaron Symposium
September 28, 2018 – Little Rock, Arkansas
Post-Parker Developments in Indian Country - 2018 Minnesota American Indian Bar Association Indian Law Conference
May 4, 2018 – Prior Lake, Minnesota (Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community)
Indigenous Governance and Strong Sustainability - Northern Plains Indian Law Center Distinguished Indian Law Speaker
April 20, 2018 – Grand Forks, North Dakota
Annual Review: Recent Developments in Business Litigation with Perspectives from the Bench - ABA Business Law Section Spring Meeting
April 12-14, 2018 – Orlando, Florida
What Does it Mean to be Sustainable: The Relationship Between Corporations and Indigenous People - Cambridge Handbook Symposium
March 11-13, 2018 – Oslo, Norway
Implementing the Indian Child Welfare Act in a New Era: The 2016 Regulations - Violence Against Women, Tribal Law & Order Act and Indian Child Welfare Training to Enhance Tribal Judicial Practices
February 20-21, 2018 – Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana
Indigenous Taxation of Non-Native Activity in Alaska: The Problems Created by Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie - 10th Annual Polar Law Symposium hosted by the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law at the University of Lapland
November 13-14, 2017 – Rovaniemi, Finland
Where Federalism and Preemption Meet: Rethinking the Supreme Court’s Tribal Tax Jurisprudence - 8th Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium at Loyola School of Law
November 3-4, 2017 – Chicago, Illinois
Implicit Bias: The Role of Law in Intergenerational Trauma and the Effect it can have on Clients - University of North Dakota Law – Homecoming CLE
October 6, 2017 – Grand Forks, North Dakota
Tribal Civil Jurisdiction - United Tribes Technical College – Tribal Leaders Summit
September 5-7, 2017 – Bismarck, North Dakota
Reclaiming Sovereignty: An Argument in Favor of a Return to Treaty Making - University of Alberta School of Law
May 9, 2017 – Edmonton, Alberta
Religion, the Constitution, and American Indian Tribes: A Virtually Unknown Example of the Ability to Establish Religion and Enshrine Religious Values in the Law in an Otherwise Avowedly Secular Nation - Religious Perspectives on the Rule of Law at Bar Ilan University School of Law
November 20-22, 2016 – Tel Aviv, Israel
Excluding Indians Not Taxed: Extant Discrimination in the 21st Century and the Story of how Tribes were Forced to Trade their Sovereignty for Citizenship - 7th Annual Constitutional Law Colloquium at Loyola School of Law
November 4-5, 2016 – Chicago, Illinois
Securing Title to the Arctic in North America: A Reexamination of the Doctrine of Discovery in Light of Obligations Undertaken in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - 9th Annual Polar Law Symposium at Faculty of Law of University of Akureyri
October 5-9, 2016 – Akureyri, Iceland
Excluding Indians Not Taxed: Extant Discrimination in the 21st Century and the Story of how Tribes were Forced to Trade their Sovereignty for Citizenship - Central States Law Schools Association at Univ. North Dakota School of Law
September 23-24, 2016 – Grand Forks, North Dakota
Choice of Law, Probate, and Indian Tribes: Expanding the Concept of Domicile at Death to Embrace Tribal Sovereignty - Trusts & Estates Meets Gender, Race, & Class at Oklahoma City University Law
September 10, 2016 – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Indians and Voting Rights: The 14th Amendment’s ‘Excluding Indians Not Taxed’ and the Story of how Tribes were Forced to Trade their Sovereignty for Citizenship (In)visibility, Law, and Culture Conference at St. Mary’s University
September 5-6, 2016 – London, United Kingdom
Excluding Indians Not Taxed: Extant Discrimination in the 21st Century and the Story of how Tribes were Forced to Trade their Sovereignty for Citizenship - LatCrit Gender Race & Law Conference at Universidad Iberoamericana
May 19-21, 2016 – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Tribal Sovereignty and International Law: A Historical Perspective of ‘State’ v. ‘Nation’ - International Law Society
November 13, 2014 – Charlotte, NC
Understanding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - International Law Society
October 13, 2013 – Charlotte, NC
Structure and Curriculum in American Legal Education - Invited Lecture at Vilnius University
September 12, 2013 – Vilnius, Lithuania
Fundamentals of American Property Law - LAWIN (Largest Law firm in the Baltic nations).
July 26, 2013 – Vilnius, Lithuania
Incoterms, the Hague Convention, and the International Chamber of Commerce - International School of Management
March 19, 2012 – Vilnius, Lithuania
International Commercial Law – Comparative Issues in Commercial Arbitration - International School of Management
February 27, 2012 – Vilnius, Lithuania
The UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: What America’s Commitment Means for American Indian Law – The University of Oregon NALSA
September 27, 2011 – Eugene, OR
International Organizations and the Human Rights Regime: The Intersection of Law and Organization – The Ohio State University
July 6, 2011 – Columbus, OH
Tribal Sovereignty and the Environment: American Indians and Federal Environmental Law – The University of Toledo Environmental Law Students Assoc.
March 15, 2011 – Toledo, OH.
LL.M. - Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy - University of Arizona (2010).
J.D. - Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (2006)
B.A. - American Studies - University of Richmond (2004)
B.A. - Political Science - University of Richmond (2004)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribal: 2018 – Present
Tribal Supreme Court Judge
Havasupai Nation: 2011 – 2013
Tribal Appellate Judge
ABA Business Law Section Co-Chair: Tribal Litigation Subcommittee (2015 – Present)
ABA Business Law Fellow: Corp. Governance, Bus. & Corp. Litigation (2018-2020)
AALS Exec. Com.: Section on Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity (2018 – Present)
Peer Reviewer: The American Indian Law Review (2010 – Present)