The University of South Dakota will observe Constitution Day on Tuesday, Sept. 17 with a 2 p.m. lecture in the School of Law courtroom by nationally-recognized Indian law expert Professor Frank Pommersheim. The presentation, entitled “Broken Landscape: Indians, Indian Tribes, and the Constitution,” is free and open to the public, and students, teachers and professors are encouraged to attend.
The program will provide Pommersheim’s latest views on Indian tribal sovereignty under the Constitution and how legal analysis and practice have interpreted and misinterpreted tribal sovereignty since the nation’s founding. The Constitution formalized the relationship between Indian tribes and the government of the United States – a relationship forged through a long history of war and law usurpation – within a federal structure not mirrored in the traditions of tribal governance.
Pommersheim is a widely-respected teacher, scholar, author, poet, and justice on a number of tribal appellate courts. At the USD School of Law he teaches courses on Indian law, federal jurisdiction, rights of indigenous people, criminal law, and criminal procedure. Pommersheim is currently working on a book with the working title of “Justice in Indian Country: 25 Years as A Tribal Appellate Justice and Tribal Court Scholar,” and a volume of poetry entitled “Small is Beautiful: 100 Buddha Poems.” A list of his publications, awards, and honors is found at www.usd.edu/law/frankpommersheim.cfm.
Presented at USD by the School of Law, Constitution Day was established by Congress in 2004 to recognize the ratification of the United States Constitution. All colleges and universities that receive federal funding are required to host an educational event about the Constitution. For more information about the Constitution Day program, please contact the USD School of Law at (605) 677-5443 or e-mail Law.School@usd.edu