Wilson’s career has been dedicated to protecting the rights of tribal governments and American Indians. Wilson has represented and advised tribal governments on a broad range of issues from treaty rights to minerals production to gaming. A graduate of Stanford Law School and Oklahoma State University, Wilson formerly practiced law at Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, LLP, a law firm based in Washington, D.C. There he established a practice advising and representing tribal clients on a broad range of issues before founding Pipestem Law in 1999.
Wilson served as lead counsel in Osage Nation v. United States, a case in which the Nation alleged federal mismanagement of Osage mineral resources and the funds derived from minerals production. After eleven years in federal court litigation, the federal government and the Nation agreed to settle the case for $380 million, the largest settlement at the time of a single tribe against the United States.
Advocating before the Congress and the federal administrative agencies, Wilson has helped tribes reacquire lands lost as the result of misguided federal policies through both Congressional enactment and administrative decision. He has helped tribes protect their aboriginal territories from encroachment, and successfully advocated for greater tribal control over tribal lands, water, and resources, as well as adjacent federal lands. In 2013, Wilson played a prominent role in the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization that reaffirms the inherent sovereign rights of tribal courts to exercise criminal jurisdiction over all persons who commit domestic and dating violence crimes against Native women. In 2004, he led the advocacy team that achieved Congressional reaffirmation of the inherent sovereign right of the Osage Nation to determine its form of government and membership. The VAWA and Osage laws are two of only three instances in U.S. history that the U.S. Congress reaffirmed inherent sovereign rights after the federal courts had ruled that those rights were extinguished.
Wilson is a frequent speaker on developments in federal law and policy and has taught Federal Indian Law as a Lecturer at Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America and as an Adjunct Professor at Washington College of Law at American University.
Wilson is at citizen of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe and an Osage Headright Owner. He also is a Founding Partner at Ietan Consulting, a federal advocacy firm that also represents Indian tribes.