Mar 18, 2014

USD School of Law announces Biennial Indian Law Symposium: ‘Public Safety in Indian Country’

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Law is hosting its long-standing Biennial Indian Law Symposium, April 2-4, in its Courtroom facilities. Along with USD Law’s Native American Law Student Association (NALSA), the School of Law will present “Public Safety in Indian Country: Tribal, Federal & State Responses.” Students, practitioners, judges, scholars and the general public are invited to join this year’s events that will focus on public safety, the protection of women and the recent federal Tribal Law & Order Act.

This year’s symposium begins at 7 p.m. on April 2 with a keynote address by Brendan Johnson, United States Attorney for the State of South Dakota. Additional activities include panel discussions on the specific topics of the implementation of the recent federal Tribal Law & Order Act; specific issues and efforts involving the protection of women in Indian Country and finally; and Tribal and State relations regarding public safety.

Several experts are scheduled to attend and contribute at this year's symposium: Derrick Beetso, counselor to the Secretary of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs; Captain Yuma House, Bureau of Indian Affairs Police - Lower Brule and Elishia Stewart, supervisor for the battered women’s shelter on the Tulalip Reservation in Washington state. In addition an accomplished set of USD Law alumni will participate, including Dani Daugherty, BIA Deputy Regional Director for Indian Services in Aberdeen; Janet Routzen, executive director, White Buffalo Calf Women Society from the Rosebud Reservation; and JR LaPlante, South Dakota Secretary for Tribal Relations. Helping to lead these events will be USD Law’s own nationally-recognized Indian Law professor, scholar and Tribal appellate court judge Frank Pommersheim.

A schedule of events is available at Panels on April 3 are from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m. with a final session at 9 a.m. on April 4.

This year’s Symposium is dedicated in the memory of USD Law Alumnus Jennifer J. Fyten “Duta Winyan” (1964-2013) Flandreau Santee Sioux. The late Ms. Fyent’s dedication to Indian peoples will be honored. As is this Symposium’s tradition, a commissioned art piece to commemorate these events is being produced by artist Jon Mark Tiger (Creek) from Eufaula, Okla. These events will also be acknowledged by honoring songs performed by local singers.

About The School of Law

The University of South Dakota School of Law provides a high-quality legal education that prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota and for success in private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. The USD American Indian Law Program provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary to meet the challenges and opportunities in working with sovereign tribes and native people. A nationally recognized professor directs a unique and extensive curriculum with a concentration in the study of American Indian law. Nine American Indian Reservations are located within the borders of South Dakota. The law school hosts the longest running biennial Indian Law Symposium in the United States, supports the Native American Law Student Association (twice named national chapter of the year), and works closely on the USD campus with all Native organizations. For information about Indian Law or USD School of Law, please contact Interim Associate Dean and Diversity & Inclusion Officer John Glover or (605) 677-5393(605) 677-5393.

About The University of South Dakota
Founded in 1862, The University of South Dakota is designated as the only public liberal arts university in the state and is home to a comprehensive College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Health Sciences, the state's only School of Law, School of Medicine, the accredited Beacom School of Business and the College of Fine Arts. USD has an enrollment of more than 10,000 students taught by more than 400 faculty members. More information is available at

This material is available in an alternate format upon request. Please contact University Relations at 605-677-5759. If you are a person with a disability and need a special accommodation to fully participate in any university activity or event, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389 as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the event, so that appropriate arrangements may be made.


Peter Carrels
The University of South Dakota
(605) 216-1233
< Back to news
414 East Clark Street • Vermillion, SD 57069
605-677-5759 • 605-677-6534 fax