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Conference to explore collaborations between Indian tribes, states

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

LAWRENCE – American Indian law scholars and advocates will gather at the University of Kansas this week to discuss “Tribal-State Collaborations: Advantages & Obstacles” during the 22nd annual Tribal Law & Government Conference.

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 9, in 104 Green Hall.

“In the modern era, tribes have an increasing presence beyond the reservation. As a result, interactions between tribes and states and localities have also increased by necessity,” said Elizabeth Kronk Warner, professor of law and director of KU’s Tribal Law & Government Center. “This conference explores obstacles to effective collaboration between these sovereign entities, as well as offering insights into best practices.”

Judge William Thorne, the first Native American appointed to the Utah judiciary, will deliver the keynote address. Thorne began his service as a tribal court judge in 1979 with an appointment as a pro tem judge on the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Court. Since then, he has served as a tribal judge in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Montana, Wisconsin, Washington, Michigan and California. In 2000, Thorne was appointed to the Utah Court of Appeals after serving 14 years as a state trial judge. He is now retired.

Other presenters:

  • Sarah Deer, professor, KU
  • Matthew L.M. Fletcher, professor and director, Indigenous Law & Policy Center, Michigan State University College of Law
  • Tonya Kowalski,  professor, Washburn University School of Law
  • Hon. Michael Petoskey, chief judge, Pokagon Band
  • Victoria Sweet, program attorney, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • Hon. Korey Wahwassuck, judge, Ninth Judicial District, Minnesota
  • Heather Whiteman Runs Him, staff attorney, Native American Rights Fund.

Thorne’s address will be followed by two panel discussions exploring collaborations between state and tribal courts and tribal-state collaborations related to law enforcement, cultural preservation and the Indian Child Welfare Act. The program will conclude with an ethics presentation on maintaining tribal confidences.

The event is open to the public, but the registration deadline has passed. Walk-in registrations may be accommodated by contacting Emily Sharp.

Five hours of continuing legal education credit, including one hour of ethics, are approved in Kansas and Missouri. Preview the schedule on the conference website.