VERMILLION, S.D. -- Secretary Leroy “JR” LaPlante of the South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations will deliver the University of South Dakota School of Law’s annual Dillon Lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 12.
LaPlante, a 2009 graduate of the USD School of Law, will share “Revisiting Reconciliation in South Dakota” in the law school courtroom. An enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, LaPlante is a practicing attorney in Vermillion and serves as the Chief Judge and Court Administrator for the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe in Fort Thompson, S.D. LaPlante, who was born at Eagle Butte, is a member of the first cohort of Native Nation Rebuilders selected by the Bush Foundation in 2010 and served as an Equal Justice Works, AmeriCorps Legal Fellow with South Dakota Access to Justice in 2009. He was the former Administrative Officer for the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and has an extensive background working for Native American human service organizations.
The 2012 Dillon Lecture is presented in conjunction with the biennial Indian Law Symposium, the longest-running Indian law symposium in the nation. “Tribal-State Relations: A Symposium” begins at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 13 and features national and regional speakers, and panelists to share their expertise on various aspects of Indian law issues, including Indian Child Welfare Act, intergovernmental relations, criminal jurisdiction and civil jurisdiction.
The Dillon Lecture is named for Charles Hall Dillon (1853-1928), a pioneer South Dakota lawyer, legislator, jurist and statesman. Presentation of this lecture alternates between the School of Law and the Department of Political Science. 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. The last years of his life were spent in Vermillion. He died Sept. 15, 1929 at the age of 75.