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Recent Broadcast and Print References

University of Wisconsin, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, "Homelands: Historical Research and Legal Advocacy for Tribal Sovereignty over Natural Resources," Virtual Panel, September 28, 2022:

South Dakota State News, "Two State Historical Society Supporters to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award," April 15, 2022:

Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan, "Author: Dams Continue to Impact Tribes," May 12, 2021:

South Dakota Public Broadcasting, “The Dawes Act of 1887 Diminished Tribal Ownership,” June 23, 2020:

Native Business Magazine,  “Move to Strip MHA Nation of Missouri Mineral Rights Is a ‘Land Grab’ and ‘Attack on Our Trust Resources.’” June 16, 2020:

Minot Daily News, “Tribe responds to Interior Department’s river mineral rights opinion,” June 4, 2020:

South Dakota Public Broadcasting, “Cheyenne River Tribe Says Oahe Dam Has Caused Problems for Decades,” October 17, 2019:

American Historical Association, Perspectives on History, “For the Future:  Doing Indigenous History After Standing Rock,” March 2018:

The Nation, “This Government Agency Has the Power to Stop the Dakota Access Pipeline, Will It?,” November 14, 2016:, “Michael Lawson:  Roots of the #NoDAPL movement go back decades,” November 8, 2016:

The Dallas Morning News, “Oil safety or environmental racism? SMU forum shows Dakota Access Pipeline divide, October 25, 2016:

New York Times, ‘I Want to Win Someday:’ Tribes Make Stand Against Pipeline,” September 8, 2016:, “About Michael L. Lawson:”

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MLL Consulting LLC provides general research and consultation on historical and ethnohistorical topics, specific document search and retrieval services, and expert analysis, reporting, and testimony, particularly on Native American issues.

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Our specialists have extensive experience in conducting applied research in the branches of the National Archives, as well as in regional and local repositories throughout the Nation. They also have considerable experience in conducting oral histories for tribal communities, as well as tracing tribal ancestry. Our researchers have provided consultation and reports for Native American tribal entities, law firms, and private clients. They have likewise provided expert reports and testimony on facts at issue in litigation, legislative hearings, and administrative appeals before Federal agencies.



Dr. Michael L. Lawson (pictured left above) has more than 40 years experience in providing research and consultation on Native American issues. During a 20-year career in Federal Government, he served as an historian for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Smithsonian Institution, and the National Park Service. His research over three decades, including his classic work Dammed Indians:The Pick-Sloan Plan and the Missouri River Sioux,  provided the factual basis for Congressional legislation establishing tribal recovery trust funds totaling $385.8 million for five Sioux Tribes. He subsequently assisted the Shinnecock Nation of New York and Pamunkey Indian Tribe of Virginia in successfully gaining Federal acknowledgment. 

   Dr. Lawson earned his Ph.D. in history at The University of New Mexico after receiving bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.



  • Mattaponi Indian Tribe, VA

  • Kenah Consulting, LLC, Richmond, VA

  • Brave Heart Society, Lake Andes, SD

  • Yale University, School of the Environment, CT

  • University of Wisconsin, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

  • Missouri Sedimentation Action Coalition, Springfield and Yankton, SD

  • Rosebud Tribal Land Enterprise, SD

  • Peebles Kidder Law Firm, Rapid City, SD

  • Stillaquamish Tribe, WA

  • Kilpatrick Townsend Law Firm, Seattle, WA

  • Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation, ND

  • Robins Kaplan Law Firm, Bismarck, ND

  • Protection of Rights Alliance, MI

  • Dykema Gossett Law Firm, Lansing, MI

  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe, SD

  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, SD

  • Fredericks Pebbles Law Firm, Omaha, NE

  • Perkins Coie Law Firm, Washington, DC

  • Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians, CA

  • Pace Government Relations, Washington, DC

  • Mesa Grande Band of Diegueno Mission Indians, CA

  • Mescalero Apache Tribe, NM

  • University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK (Canada)



  • MLL Consulting's Professional Affiliates are based primarily in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area, close to the most extensive collections of documents and publications in the Nation related to Native American history and ethnohistory and Federal Indian law and policy. These resources include the National Archives, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the libraries of Federal agencies, such as the Department of the Interior, and several University Law Schools.

  • Michael L. Lawson, Ph.D. (History), The University of New Mexico

  • Michelle L. Kiel, Ph.D. (Anthropology), The University of Florida

  • Richmond L. Clow, Ph.D. (History), The University of New Mexico

  • Kurt Kemper, Ph.D. (History), Louisiana State University

  • Ashley Spivey, Ph.D. (Anthropology), The College of William and Mary

  • Jean M. Kelley, M.A. (Native American Studies), The University of Arizona

  • Boris A. Sanders, M.A. (History), George Mason University, and Executive Master (Natural Resources), Virginia Tech

  • Luis Blandon, M.A. (International Relations), The George Washington University

  • Marcia G. Lawson, M.A. (English), The University of Arizona

  • Mark Leutbecker, M.A. (History), Louisiana State University

  • Vicki Killian, M.A. (Science, Technology, and Public Policy), The George Washington University

  • Kate April, M.A. (Anthropology), University of Connecticut.



"As an attorney who has spent his entire career as an advocate for tribal governments, I have learned firsthand the key role that ethno-historical experts play in the vindication of tribal rights and the promotion of tribal sovereignty. I have worked with Michael on several occasions over the last nine years during which time he has served as an historical expert for several of my tribal clients. Michael works with legal counsel to gain an understanding of the legal theories and evidentiary needs of the case to assist the legal team in presenting a thoroughly researched and fully documented historical record. He endeavors to understand and interpret history from the point of view of the tribe and documents its continuing impact on present-day tribal communities. His reports are insightful and painstakingly written. His knowledge of historical resources is second to none. He is also sensitive to budget needs and conducts the necessary research in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. In short, I highly recommend Michael’s services to tribes and their attorneys when the development of a comprehensive historical record is necessary to the successful resolution of any matter. "
Derril Jordan
Maglio Christopher & Toale, P.A.
Washington, D.C.

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Our professional and interdisciplinary affiliates work in close coordination to develop efficient document collection and database management, objective interpretive analysis, detailed fact-checking, and well-written final reports.



From the Beltway to the Badlands and Beyond, MLL Consulting's Professional Affiliates provide our clients with applied research and consultation that meets the highest academic and legal standards.



MLL Consulting, L.L.C.

8606 Battailles Court

Annandale, Virginia 22003

Phone and Text: (202) 415-1321

Fax: (703) 503-5531


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