P. Sam Deloria featured guest at USD Indian Law Symposium

VERMILLION, S.D. -- P. Sam Deloria, executive director of the American Indian Graduate Center, will be the featured speaker at The University of South Dakota School of Law’s 10th Biennial Indian Law Symposium, March 6-7.

“Tribal Sovereignty: From Myth to Reality,” the title of the 2008 symposium, will feature panels on Native American voting rights in South Dakota as well as tribal economic development. The two-day event begins with the Charles Hall Dillon Lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 6 in the School of Law courtroom where Deloria, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, will present “Myths and Realities of Tribal Sovereignty.”

In 1972, Deloria became director of the American Indian Graduate Center, which is located on the campus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and he remains involved in numerous worldwide indigenous issues. A founder of the Commission on State-Tribal Relations, Deloria is a member of the National Institutional Review Board for the protection of human subjects of research established by the Indian Health Service, and he was the first Secretary-General of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. Deloria, who received his undergraduate and law degrees at Yale University, also serves as a lecturer at the University of New Mexico School of Law.

The symposium, which was created to educate USD students and South Dakota residents about prominent Indian Law issues, has a full schedule of activities on Friday, March 7 beginning with the opening prayer and drum ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in the School of Law courtroom. Following the 9 a.m. welcome, the first panel, “Jurisdiction” will discuss the diminishment of tribal sovereignty in South Dakota. Additional panels include “Voting Rights: Native Americans and Equal Voting Rights in South Dakota” at 10:45 a.m.; “Lending in Indian Country” at 1:30 p.m.; and closing remarks and the travel song at 3 p.m.

Named for Charles Hall Dillon (1853-1928), a pioneer South Dakota attorney, legislator, jurist and statesman, the Biennial Indian Law Symposium was established in a bequest to The University of South Dakota by his wife, Mrs. Frances D. Jolley Dillon of Vermillion, S.D. After settling in the South Dakota Territory in 1881 after leaving Indiana, Charles Hall Dillon 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.