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Sault Tribe member teaches Indian law at KU

Win Awenen Nisitotung
Brenda Austin
Friday, November 16, 2012

Elizabeth Ann Kronk is an associate professor of law and director of the Tribal Law and Government Center at the University of Kansas (KU). She is also a Sault Tribe Appellate Court Judge and a Sault Tribe member. Kronk was the tribe’s chief appellate court judge from the spring of 2008 until February of this year when her term expired and has since been reappointed to another four-year term. She accepted her current position at KU this past June overseeing the university’s Indian Law Program. She also directs and supervises students working for credit hours at the Tribal Judicial Support Clinic. Clinical students provide support for the four federally recognized tribes in Kansas and any other tribal court seeking their assistance by drafting memoranda, developing tribal codes and whatever other legal work is requested – with the tribes as their clients.

Kronk enjoys teaching Indian Law and said that many of her students refer to Indian law as complex. “There are always interesting concepts that are new to students. Recently, we were looking at two cases that, taken together, hold for the proposition that the U.S. Constitution does not apply in Indian Country. This is because tribes predate the information of the federal government. So when you say to a law student that the U.S. Constitution doesn’t apply in Indian Country, their eyes go wide and it’s hard for them to understand that."