Angelique EagleWoman

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Angelique EagleWoman
EagleWoman in 2016
Born (1969-12-01) December 1, 1969 (age 53)
NationalitySisseton Wahpeton Oyate
Other namesWambdi Awanwicake WasteWin
EducationStanford University (BA)
University of North Dakota (JD)
University of Tulsa (LLM)
OccupationLegal scholar
Known forFirst Aboriginal person appointed as a dean of a Canadian law school.

Angelique EagleWoman (Dakota: Wambdi Awanwicake WasteWin; born 1969)[1] is a Dakota law professor and scholar of Indigenous law. She is a citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation. EagleWoman was the Dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada from 2016 until she stepped down in June 2018, citing issues of systemic racism leading to constructive dismissal.

She filed a civil suit against the university in November, 2018, claiming $2.67 million for lost wages, human rights violations as an Indigenous woman, and "harm to dignity". "In a statement of claim filed in Ottawa, EagleWoman alleges she experienced ongoing micro-management, a failure on the university to provide her with the resources and support needed to carry out the law school's mandate, a lack of support with managing faculty and a hostile work environment."[2] Further, "EagleWoman added that her abilities to lead the law school were continually undermined by the school's senior administration as they regularly made decisions about the law school without consulting her."[3] The claim was settled in 2020 "to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.[4]

During the 2017-2018 academic year, EagleWoman taught all of the first-year students in two sections of the mandatory Indigenous Legal Traditions fall course and taught the entire second-year class of students in the mandatory Aboriginal Legal Issues course to ensure that the courses were taught by an Indigenous legal academic.

She holds a law professor position and is the Co-Director of the Indian Law Program at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.[5]

Early life and influences[edit]

Angelique EagleWoman was born in Topeka, Kansas. During her childhood years in Kansas, she was raised mostly in a single-parent household by her mother; her family, including a brother, faced poverty conditions. When she was 8 years old, she watched her aunt and uncle on television after they won a lawsuit against the Shawnee County Sheriff's department for brutally beating her uncle, an African-American, when he went to pay a speeding ticket.[6]

As a teenager, she moved with her father and brother to her home reservation, the Lake Traverse Reservation of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate. Her grandmother, Ramona (DeCoteau) Washington and her father, Stephen L. Jackson Sr., both attended mandatory government boarding schools in South Dakota. When she was 15 years old, she received her woman's name in the Dakota language of Wambdi Awanwicake Was'teWinyan in a family ceremony on her reservation.[7]

As a young woman, she was mentored by Roger Jourdain, former Chairman of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, and a strong sovereignty advocate for Indigenous nations. She has one son named Maverick Jourdain Eagle. His middle name is in honor of her mentor.


Before being appointed Dean at Lakehead University, EagleWoman taught at the University of Idaho College of Law, established the Native American Law Emphasis Program, held a position in the law faculty at Hamline University School of Law teaching Native American Law and Contracts, and a visiting position at the University of Kansas School of Law and in the master's degree program, Indigenous Nation Studies. Her classes focus on tribal economic development, legal code development, litigation, contract law, and international Indigenous law.[8]

Several times, EagleWoman has served on the board for the National Native American Bar Association. Additionally, she holds memberships with the District of Columbia, Oklahoma, and South Dakota Bar Associations. Of particular note is her time serving as General Counsel to the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate, working as an associate attorney with Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse and Endreson in Washington D.C., and her work as a Tribal Public Defender for the Kaw Nation and the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma.[8]

On January 12, 2016, the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University announced that EagleWoman would be the new Dean of Law.[9][10] Her tenure, which began in May 2016, made her the first Indigenous law dean in Canada.[11] Her appointment was welcomed by the Indigenous legal community, including the Indigenous Bar Association. In June 2018, EagleWoman stepped down from her position citing systemic racism in the university and the law school.[10][12]

She currently is a visiting law professor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, MN where she teaches in the Indian Law Program and courses in contract law and civil dispute resolution.[5]

Education and awards[edit]

EagleWoman has her BA in Political Science from Stanford University, her JD from the University of North Dakota School of Law with distinction, her LLM from the University of Tulsa College of Law, with honours, studying American Indian and Indigenous Law.[13]

During the spring of 2008, EagleWoman received the Kansas University Center for Indigenous Nation's Crystal Eagle Award. This award was for recognition of her leadership and dedication in helping members and students in Indigenous communities. Other awards include:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Award, 3rd Annual "For Service to the Spiritual Life of the University of North Dakota" (January 14, 2000)
  • Kansas University Center for Indigenous Nation's Crystal Eagle Award (2008)
  • William F. and Joan L. Boyd Excellence in Teaching Award (January 2010)
  • One of twelve national Emerging Scholars by Diverse Issues in Higher Education[14] (January 7, 2010)
  • Recognition as Distinguished Alumni Scholar by Stanford University (May 2010)
  • Inspirational Faculty Award by the University of Idaho Office of Alumni Relations (December 2010)
  • Allan G. Shepard Distinguished Professor at the College of Law (2011-2012)
  • Named one of 9 Notable Women Who Rule American Indian Law[15] by Indian Country Today (October 2013)
  • University of Idaho Athena Woman of the Year Award for Faculty (April 2014)[8]
  • University of Idaho College of Law Diversity & Human Rights Award (2016)
  • University of Idaho Dr. Arthur Maxwell Taylor Excellence in Diversity Award (2016)
  • Federal Bar Association, Indian Law Section, Recognition for Service (2016)



  1. ^ Warren, May (January 24, 2016). "First aboriginal woman to head Canadian law school lives up to her name". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on August 2, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2018.
  2. ^ Chronicle-Journal, The (22 November 2018). "EagleWoman sues Lakehead University". The Chronicle-Journal. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  3. ^ "Former law school dean sues Thunder Bay's Lakehead University for 'racial discrimination'". CBC. 2018-11-21. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  4. ^ "Lakehead settles discrimination suit with former law dean". 8 February 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Angelique EagleWoman – Faculty, Staff, and Administration". Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  6. ^ "ContractsProf Blog: Contracts Prof Weekly Spotlight: Angelique EagleWoman (Wambdi WasteWin)". Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  7. ^ "First aboriginal woman to head Canadian law school lives up to her name | The Star". The Toronto Star. 24 January 2016. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  8. ^ a b c "Angelique EagleWoman". University of Idaho Law. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  9. ^ "Angelique EagleWoman named dean at Bora Laskin Faculty of Law". 12 January 2016. Retrieved 2019-09-25.
  10. ^ a b Yang, Jennifer (April 11, 2018). "Celebrated Indigenous law school dean resigns claiming systemic racism". Toronto Star. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  11. ^ Loriggio, Paola (January 13, 2016). "First aboriginal woman appointed as dean of Canadian law school". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  12. ^ "Lakehead University 'acknowledges' law school dean's resignation | CBC News". CBC News. April 4, 2018. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  13. ^ "Angelique EagleWoman appointed Dean of Lakehead's Bora Laskin Faculty of Law". Lakehead University. January 12, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  14. ^ "Diverse | Archive | Emerging Scholars". Retrieved 2016-07-20.
  15. ^ "9 Notable Women Who Rule American Indian Law". 13 September 2018.