Heather Kendall-Miller is Denaina Athabaskan and is a tribal member of the Native Village of Dillingham. Since 1993 she has worked as a staff attorney of the Native American Rights Fund (NARF), where she practices exclusively in the area of tribal rights and subsistence. In addition to her work for NARF, Ms. Kendall-Miller serves on the Board of Trustees of the Alaska Conservation Foundation.
Together with fellow NARF staff attorney Lawrence Aschenbrenner, Ms. Kendall-Miller served as lead counsel for both appeals (to the U.S. Circuit Court and to the U.S. Supreme Court) of the landmark case State of Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie , which sought to determine the reach of Indian Country and, specifically, whether tribes in Alaska possessed the same broad powers as Indian tribes on reservations in the lower-48 states. While ultimately unsuccessful, the arguments forwarded by NARF laid important groundwork for new legislation, Native Alaskan government development and further juridical work.
Ms. Kendall-Miller received her B.A. from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in 1988 and her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1991. After law school, she worked as a Judicial Clerk for Chief Justice Ray Rabinowitz of the Alaska Supreme Court. She then received a two-year Skadden Fellowship to work for Alaska Legal Services and NARF in the area of Alaska Native Rights and was subsequently hired full time by NARF.