School of Law to present 9th Biennial Indian Law Symposium

School of Law to present 9th Biennial Indian Law Symposium
The University of South Dakota School of Law will host the 9th Biennial Indian Law Symposium on March 30-31.

The symposium invites national and regional speakers and panelists to share their expertise on various aspects of Indian law issues. The theme of the 2006 symposium is "Brightening the Outlook of Indian Youth." Panels on juvenile justice, education in Indian country and other topics will be held on Friday, March 31.

The symposium begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, with the Dillon Lecture in the law school courtroom, presented by Tracey Fischer, a Piedmont lawyer who served as executive director for the South Dakota Equal Justice Commission. Fischer's speech is titled "South Dakota Equal Justice Commission: Building a Legacy of Fairness for Minority Youth in South Dakota."


Fischer, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, is an attorney and consultant concentrating on tribal-state relations, tribal infrastructure and energy development, and tribal financial and real estate transactions. She works in an advisory capacity for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and several other tribes in the Dakotas. Fischer recently served as the executive director of the South Dakota Equal Justice Commission, which was created by the South Dakota Supreme Court to identify and, where possible, devise remedies for the disparate treatment of minorities in the South Dakota Judicial System.

"The symposium began in an effort to bring Indian law issues out of the classroom, and into the broader spectrum of the law school," said Janet Routzen, president of the Native American Law Student Association. "It also seeks to educate students at The U and citizens of South Dakota about prominent Indian law issues."

Friday's session will open with a ceremony, followed by a lecture titled "A Call For The Appraisal Of The Welfare of Indian Children in South Dakota," presented by Professor Patrice Kunesh. She joined the USD law faculty in fall 2005 and teaches in the Indian law program, along with Professor Frank Pommersheim, who will also present opening remarks on Friday. Both professors serve as co-advisors to the Native American Law Student Association (NALSA), which coordinates the symposium events.

The first panel at 10 a.m. on "Education: Attendance, Discipline, Due Process" will feature Dr. Roger Bordeaux, superintendent of Tiospa Zina Tribal School; Dr. Mark Daniels, chair and director, USD Department of American Indian Studies; Dana Hanna, attorney general for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Catherine Kim, attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union; and Larry Long, attorney general for South Dakota.

At 1 p.m. Friday, a panel discussing "Juvenile Justice: Adjudication and Treatment" will include Patricia Broken Leg-Brill, administrator, Wanbli Wiconi Tipi Juvenile Detention Center, Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Doug Herrmann, juvenile division, South Dakota Department of Corrections; the Hon. Janelle Sulley, Rosebud Sioux Tribal judge; and the Hon. Merton Tice, judge, Seventh Judicial Circuit of South Dakota.

The Indian Child Welfare Act is the topic for the final panel at 3 p.m. Scheduled panelists include Steve Emery, attorney, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe; Sharon Red Deer, pro se law clerk, Northern District of Iowa; Hon. Arthur Rusch, presiding judge, First Judicial Circuit of South Dakota; and Shannon Smith, attorney, ICWA Law Center, Minnesota.��

The Biennial Indian Law Symposium's Dillon Lecture is named for Charles Hall Dillon (1853-1928) a pioneer South Dakota lawyer, legislator, jurist, and statesman. The lectureship in law and political science was established in a bequest to The University of South Dakota by his wife, Frances D. Jolley Dillon of Vermillion. Charles Hall Dillon settled in the Mitchell area in 1881, drawn to Dakota Territory from Indiana. He practiced law in Mitchell for about two years before moving to Yankton, where he resided until his retirement from the State Supreme Court in 1926. The last years of his life were spent in Vermillion.

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