HEATHER TANANA portrait
  • Research Assistant Professor, College Of Law - Dean
801-585-0480

Education

  • B.A., Biology modified with Psychology, Dartmouth College
  • J.D., Law, University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law. Project: Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law
  • M.P.H., Public Health, Johns Hopkins University - Bloomberg School of Public Health. Project: Certificate in American Indian Health

Biography

Heather Tanana, JD, MPH (Diné) is an Assistant Professor (Research) & Wallace Stegner Center Fellow at the S.J. Quinney College of Law. Heather is experienced in state, federal, and tribal courts and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. She also founded the Indian Law Section of the Utah State Bar Association. In recognition of her work related to Tribal communities and the pandemic, Heather was awarded 2020 Attorney of the Year from the Energy, Natural Resources & Environmental Law Section and the Jimi Mitsunaga Excellence in the Law Award from the Utah Minority Bar Association. 

Heather is also Associate Faculty at the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health, where she works with the Center’s Training team on developing and teaching Institute courses and collaborates on health policy related work.

Heather’s research interests include exploring the overlay between environmental and health policy, promoting better practices in Indian child welfare, and criminal justice in Indian Country. She chairs the Indian Child Welfare Act Committee of the Indian Law Section. She is also part of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors of the Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake.