Montana State University

Indian land subject of MSU Indian Issues Week, April 12-13

March 13, 2007

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
The fractioned history of Indian land will be the topic of the 2007 Indian Issues Week Symposium set April 12-13 in the Hager Auditorium of Montana State University's Museum of the Rockies.

"Inheriting Indian Land: Indian Land Tenure in the Wake of the American Indian Probate Reform Act" is held in conjunction with the 32nd annual Montana State University American Indian Council Pow Wow, which is scheduled April 13 and 14 in MSU's Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.

According to Kristin Ruppel, MSU professor of Native American Studies, the symposium will provide a forum for tribal leaders and advocates, legal experts, individual Indian landowners and Indian land lessees.

"All of them are plagued in different ways by the problems of fractionated Indian land ownership," Ruppel said.

Scheduled speakers at the conference include: Doug Nash and Cecelia Burke of the Institute of Indian Estate Planning and Probate at Seattle University School of Law; Maylinn Smith, director of the Indian Law Clinic at the University of Montana School of Law; Patricia McDonald-Dan, administrative law judge, Department of Interior, Office of Hearings and Appeals in Albuquerque, N.M. Gail Small, director of Native Action in Lame Deer, will be the keynote speaker. Friday's schedule includes panels on how both tribal leaders and community outreach organizations are dealing with fractionation of Indian lands. Breakout workshops sessions will follow.

The fee for the symposium is $25, which includes 12.50 Montana CLE credits. For more information, go to

Kristin Ruppel (406)994-5261 or 994-3881,