|Joseph Morsette awarded rare law fellowship|
Joseph Morsette, third year UND law student, has been awarded a fellowship, the first of only three offered, to enter the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) master of laws program for the academic year 2009-2010 at the University of Arizona at Tucson.
Morsette is the son of Jim D. Morsette. His paternal grandparents were Joseph Morsette and Ida Gardipee Morsette. Morsette is an enrolled tribal member of the Chippewa-Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy, Mont., and has also served as a tribal judge on his reservation. His first attempt to complete law school was interrupted when he was activated by the North Dakota Air National Guard after Sept. 11, 2001. He is also a veteran of the first Gulf War, having served in the Air Force military police in the Middle East.
In 2005, Morsette completed a master's degree in criminal justice administration at the University of Great Falls before returning to UND to complete his legal studies.
“Law school at UND has been a long but fulfilling journey for me, and I look forward to continuing that journey at the University of Arizona,” said Morsette.
The master of laws program at Arizona promises to provide its American and foreign graduates, “rigorous training in the law of indigenous people’s rights under domestic legal systems and international human rights.” It also promises Morsette the opportunity to engage in faculty-supervised legal and policy research on projects relating to indigenous peoples’ rights and status under domestic and international law. The program includes legal clinical placement in the field of legal and policy development related to indigenous peoples here and abroad.
“I have a great deal of confidence that Joseph will succeed at the University of Arizona. He has the intelligence, motivation, and curiosity that a focus on Indian law demands,” said Richard Shafer, professor of journalism, who has collaborated with Morsette on editing Indian law journal articles Morsette has authored and submitted for publication.
Morsette has two children, a 14-year-old son Tony, and a 13-year-old daughter, Jenna Dee, both star athletes. Tony plays right defense on the Havre (Mont.) Ice Hawks, and Jenna Dee plays on the Rocky Boy Morning Stars.
-- Richard Shafer, communication.