Speakers Announced for Upcoming Anishinaabe Law Conference

Amy Myszko, Program Manager

The Niibi Center, a local White Earth non-profit, is hosting our first annual Anishinaabe Law Conference June 25th and 26th. Our hope is to learn from other Tribal nations and lndigenous leaders who are currently utilizing natural law in Tribal legal systems and beyond, as well as share wisdom about Indigenous sovereignty and Treaty Rights.

Our first featured speaker will be Tom Goldtooth (Diné and Dakota). As the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Goldtooth has built an organization of 250 Indigenous communities focused on climate justice, energy, toxicity, water, globalization and trade, and sustainable development. A prominent spokesman on environmental justice issues, he was honored in 2010 by the Sierra Club and the NAACP as a “Green Hero of Color.” We are excited to hear his perspective on the use and efficacy of Indigenous law practices locally and on the global scale.

We are excited to welcome Kekik Stark, a Professor of Law with the Alexander Blewitt III School of Law at the University of Montana. In this capacity he is the Co-Director of the following programs: the Indian Law Program; the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic; and the American Indian Governance and Policy Institute. Stark is a Turtle Mountain Ojibwe and member of the Bizhiw (Lynx) Clan. He will share his experience with his work on providing a traditional law-based analysis of the White Earth Appellate Court decision denying jurisdiction in Minnesota DNR v. Manoomin, which is critical to our understanding of how our systems work and how traditional law can be used.

We are also honored to have Rebecca Tsosie, a regent professor of law at the University of Arizona and Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program. She has extensive experience working with tribal communities across Indian Country and currently serves as appellate judge for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation’s Supreme Court and San Carlos Apache Tribe’s Court of Appeals. Professor Tsosie is one of the authors of the casebook American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System, 7th Edition, she has been a cited author of this casebook since the 4th edition, as well as an author on numerous book chapters and published articles on Federal Indian Law.

Our final featured speaker will be David E. Wilkins, a Professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. Dr. Wilkins is a citizen of the Lumbee Nation of North Carolina. He concentrates much of his work on Native politics and governance. The concepts of Native sovereignty, self-determination, and diplomacy are at the heart of Wilkins’ research and teaching. He has focused much of his work on the political and legal relationships between Native nations and states and the federal government. We are looking forward to his perspectives on codifying and integrating Natural law into existing legal systems.

            The White Earth community is invited to attend, and individuals currently working within the WE legal system or who have interest in law are strongly encouraged to attend. We will have opportunities for questions and group discussions. The conference is free for students and Tribal members and it is open to the public. Please register now to secure your space! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/anishinaabe-law-conference-tickets-524712999707

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