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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.


USD’s Knudson School of Law prepares students for leadership in the administration of justice in South Dakota, including in rural areas where the demand is great, and for private practice, public service, business and other law-related endeavors anywhere. Its joint degree program allows students to also earn one of nine master’s degrees within the traditional three-year law curriculum, which includes course tracks in business, commercial, constitutional, criminal, employment, environmental, Indian, real estate and tax law as well as civil litigation and estate planning.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 78 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.

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.


Hanna DeLange
USD News