MSU law professor to present USD's Dillon Lecture: 'Rebooting Indian Law in the Supreme Court'

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Matthew L.M. Fletcher, associate professor of law at the Michigan State University College of Law, is the keynote speaker for The University of South Dakota’s annual Dillon Lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18.

Fletcher, director of the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at MSU and a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, will present the lecture, “Rebooting Indian Law in the Supreme Court” in the law school courtroom. This year’s Dillon Lecture is being presented in conjunction with two other major events at the USD School of Law – the biennial Indian Law Symposium, combined with a South Dakota Law Review Symposium, scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 18, in the Law School courtroom. USD’s is the longest-running Indian law symposium in the nation. In addition, USD’s Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) is hosting the 2010 National NALSA Moot Court Competition, Feb. 19-20. Close to four dozen NALSA teams from across the United States will compete in this preeminent Indian law competition, including teams from USD’s NALSA chapter.

In addition to teaching courses in Indian law, Fletcher sits as an appellate judge for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and the Hoopa Valley Tribe, and is a consultant to the Seneca Nation of Indians Court of Appeals. An author of several articles published in national law journals, including the Harvard Journal on Legislation, Houston Law Reviewand Tulane Law Review, he is currently writing a book on the history of the Grand Traverse Band.

A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Michigan, Fletcher has worked as a staff attorney for four Indian Tribes: the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Hoopa Valley Tribe, the Suquamish Tribe, and the Grand Traverse Band. He has also litigated more than 20 tribal court cases. A photograph of Matthew is available at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Matthew_Fletcher.jpg.

Presentation of USD’s annual Dillon Lecture alternates between the School of Law and the Department of Political Science. The 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, Mrs. Frances D. Jolley Dillon of Vermillion, S.D. Charles Hall Dillon settled in the Mitchell, S.D., 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.