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Dylan R Hedden-Nicely Associate Professor of Law, Director, Native American Law Program


Dylan R. Hedden-Nicely, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is associate professor of law and director of the College of Law's Native American Law Program. 

Professor Hedden-Nicely teaches a variety of courses, including Native American law, Native American natural resources law, tribal nation economics & law, and civil procedure.  His research interests include Native American natural resources and water law, tribal treaty rights, tribal civil and regulatory jurisdiction, water rights law, the interrelationship of law and science with applications to natural resources law, tribal economic development and tribal governance, as well the under-representation of Native people in the legal profession.   

Professor Hedden-Nicely graduated from the University of Idaho College of Law, magna cum laude, with an emphasis in Native American law, as well as in natural resources & environmental law.  Concurrently, Professor Hedden-Nicely earned a master's degree in water resources (science & engineering).  His thesis focused on the development of a systems dynamics based water balance model to assess the impact of the physical and anthropogenic constraints placed upon Coeur d'Alene Lake in North Idaho.

After law school, Hedden-Nicely joined Howard Funke & Associates, a Native American-owned law firm that focuses exclusively on the representation of American Indian tribes. While in private practice, Hedden-Nicely focused on litigation and negotiation of issues related to Native American natural resources and water rights. Professor Hedden-Nicely represented the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane River Basin Adjudication, a general stream adjudication to determine the nature, extent, and priority of all water rights in the Coeur d’Alene-Spokane River Basin. He is currently chairman of the Idaho State Bar Indian Law Section and sits on the Governing Council of the Northwest Indian Bar Association.  He continues to consult with tribes on issues related to Native American natural resources and water rights.


selected publications



education and training

  • M.S. in Water Resources (Science and Engineering), University of Idaho , Thesis: A Water Balance Model to Assess the Technical, Legal, and Administrative Constraints of Lake Couer d'Alene, ID 2012
  • J.D. in Native American Law, Natural Resource & Environmental Law, University of Idaho , College of Law 2011
  • B.S. in Honours Geography and Geology (Honours Geomorphology), University of British Columbia , Honours Thesis: Verification of the Canadian Climate Model for Use in Snow Melt Models 2009


full name

  • Dylan R Hedden-Nicely