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Samantha C. Skenandore,
Indian Law
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Samantha C. Skenandore


33 East Main Street, Suite 300
P.O. Box 1379
Madison, WI 53701-1379
Phone: (608) 234-6078

Indian Law PDF
Samantha Skenandore is an attorney in the Madison office of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. where she is a member of the Indian Law Team. Ms. Skenandore represents and advises tribal and corporate clients on a variety of issues facing Indian country with a focus on tribal governance/governmental affairs, corporate transactions, Indian gaming and litigation. She has secured favorable results in areas including state and federal legislation, SBA, 8(a) and minority business certifications, labor and employment, cultural resources preservation, complex real estate transactions, including fee to trust conversions, development of tribal commercial districts, zoning disputes and appeals, acquisition of federal surplus property, intergovernmental agreements and contracts. Ms. Skenandore has successfully represented clients before various members of congress, congressional committees and agencies through federal lobbying services.


  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, J.D., 2005
  • University of Wisconsin, B.A., Behavioral Sciences and Law, Certificate in American Indian Studies, 2001
  • University of Tulsa College of Law, Indigenous Peoples Law Program, Geneva, Switzerland 2003


  • Wisconsin
  • Arizona
  • Ho-Chunk Nation Bar
  • Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Bar
  • Tohono O'odham Nation
  • Winnebago Tribal Court
  • Lac du Flambeau Tribal Court

Awards & Distinctions

  • 2012 Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Tribal Excellence Award
  • Named 2011 Wisconsin Up and Coming Lawyers, Wisconsin Law Journal, July 21, 2011
  • Featured in 2008 Business Watch Magazine, Dane County (WI) Forward Focus, "Amazing Women in Business"

Representative Work

  • Represented a tribe seeking various developments ancillary to a Class II gaming facility. Representation involved pre-litigation of a tribal-state intergovernmental agreement, zoning and rezoning, right-of-way access and agreements, road and parking improvements including coordination with the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Reservation Roads Program, assertion of tribal rights to erect signage and technical analysis of highway improvement options favorable to tribal enterprises.
  • Represented a tribe and its Class III flagship casino enterprise in all phases of a federal highway improvement project. Representation involved all aspects of negotiating, securing, interpreting and enforcing intergovernmental agreements concerning a multimillion-dollar bypass project; successfully avoiding condemnation of the tribe's fee land within the bypass project; securing optimal casino enterprise signage, secured various agreements minimizing tribal costs and impediments related to the project; securing favorable agreements that ensured the aesthetical bypass corridor landscape designs would promoted access and interest in tribal casino facility; securing additional lanes, lighting and views to improve safety to access points in tribal community; securing favorable ingress/egress access points to tribal properties within the project area; safeguarding sacred and environmental sites within the project's scope; and securing favorable shared cost agreements with the state on utilities to undeveloped tribal properties.
  • Represented a wholly owned tribal enterprise engaging in national professional services. Representation involved favorable pre-litigation of Wisconsin's first ever wholly owned tribal entity with pending contracts with state and federal agencies as to status and profit margins, securing more than $10 million in profits for the same; successfully representing the entity in SBA disadvantaged business entity determinations post acquisition; and providing counsel to tribal council for the same.
  • Represents various Native American-owned companies. Representation includes startup, business entity formation, filing with state or tribal agencies, preparation, analysis and submission of all organic corporate documents including SBA corporate filings; provides preparatory services, analysis, submission and defense of minority-owned business entity status applications on the tribal, local, state and federal level; provides day-to-day corporate counsel services for corporate clients including professional services regarding contracts, labor law, governmental affairs and lease negotiations, prepares entities for investment opportunities, technical review and negotiation of investor terms, and to negotiate, draft and enforce notes.

Professional Associations

  • State Bar of Wisconsin (Board of Directors for Indian Law Section, 2008-2011)
  • Federal Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Member of the Ho-Chunk Nation
  • Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley (serving the Gila River Indian Community) (Board of Directors, 2012-present)
  • Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Historic Preservation (Board of Directors, 2006-2011)
  • Madison Children's Museum (Board of Directors, 2009-2011)
  • United Way of Dane County (Account Executive, 2008-2009)

Articles and Presentations

  • Wisconsin State Bar Indian Law Section Annual Conference , presenter, various topics, 2014, 2010 and 2009
  • Wisconsin Department of Transportation Tribal Transportation Annual Conference, presenter, various topics, 2009-2015
  • Lac du Flambeau Band's Economic Development Summit, presenter, 2013
  • WisDOT/Tribal Historic Preservation Officers Annual Listening Session, presenter, 2013
  • Doing Business Under Tribal Employment Rights Ordinances, Small Business Contracting, presenter, College of Menominee Nation's Tribal Economic Summit, June 18-19, 2010
  • Tribal Employment Rights Ordinances, presenter, Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Annual Tribal Transportation Conference, March 2, 2010
  • Section 106 Tribal - Federal Conservation, presenter, National Training Conference for Federal Planners, APA-Federal Planning Division, Las Vegas, NV, April 24, 2008.
  • Land Restoration/Preservation Initiatives, Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) and Use of Legal Priority in Acquiring Excess BRAC Property, presenter, Indian Land Working Group 17th Annual Indian Land Consolidation Symposium, Oneida, WI, Nov. 1, 2007

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