Mark Tilden

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Mark C. Tilden (Navajo) is a graduate of Creighton University and University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. He was with a private law firm before joining the nonprofit Native American Rights Fund (NARF) as a staff attorney in 1994. He left NARF in 2010 to form the law firm of Tilden McCoy + Dilweg LLP. And in August, 2016, he formed the law firm of Tilden Toelupe LLC with Brandy Toelupe. He represents tribal governments and Native peoples with an emphasis on general counsel representation, tribal governance, federal recognition, tribal housing, Indian gaming law and economic development, legislative advocacy at the state and federal level, and Indian child welfare and protection services law. Since 1992 to the present, he writes, lectures, and provides training ranging on topics from the Indian Child Welfare Act, Indian Housing law, Water law, Tribal Sovereignty, Indian Education, and general topics related to Federal Indian law. He was awarded the Environmental Achievement Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for outstanding work with the Oglala Sioux Tribe on developing a tribal environmental code. He is an author and contributing author to a number of books and publications, including as a contributing author, lead attorney and project manager of NARF’s A Practical Guide to the Indian Child Welfare (online at and author of the Tribal Constitution Handbook, A Practical Guide to Writing or Revising a Tribal Constitution (2011). He has participated in ICWA cases, including at the appellate level in a number of states, and is currently working on a ICWA compact between a tribe and state. He has worked or testified on ICWA legislation at the federal and state levels including testimony in 1995 before the U.S. House of Representatives, Subcommittee on Native American and Insular Affairs of the Committee on Resources, and Colorado in 2002 and Wisconsin in 2009. He is admitted to a number of professional associations and memberships, past and present, including the ABA Presidential Advisory Council on Diversity in the Profession, Teen Dating Violence Prevention Initiative ABA Advisory Board, ABA Steering Committee on the Unmet Legal Needs of Children and ABA Commission on Homelessness and Poverty. Colorado Governor Hickenlooper appointed him to serve on the Board of Directors to the Colorado Children’s Trust Fund from 2011 to 2013. And, he served on the Board of Trustees to Boys Town from 2012 until 2016.


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