Montana State University

Symposium on American Indian law set April 10 at MSU

March 27, 2009

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A symposium on "American Indian Law and Resistance" will be held Friday, April 10, in SUB Ballroom A on the Montana State University campus. The symposium is free and open to the public.

Robert Tim Coulter, director of the Indian Law Resource Center and a member of the Potawatomi Tribe, will deliver the symposium's keynote address at 1 p.m. He will speak about "Demanding Change in Unjust Legal Rules: Using Human Rights Law on Indigenous Peoples."

Coulter founded the Indian Law Resource Center with offices in Helena and Washington, D.C. The Center is a non-profit legal organization that provides legal assistance to Indian and Alaska Native nations. www.indianlaw.org

Coulter has practiced human rights and Indian law for more than 30 years, representing indigenous peoples in North, South and Central America. He is the original author of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the U.N. on Sept. 13, 2007 after 30 years of negotiations by hundreds of indigenous leaders.

Denise Juneau, recently elected Montana State Superintendent of Public Instruction and a member of the Mandan-Hisatsa Tribe, will speak at 2 p.m.

Edward Valandra, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and chair of the American Indian Studies Department of the University of South Dakota, will speak at 10 a.m. on "National Co-existence or Colonization: A Matter of Choice."

Dion Killsback, an MSU graduate and member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe who is currently an attorney working in Albuquerque, N.M. for the Holland and Knight Indian Law Practice Group, will speak at 9 a.m. Killsback will speak on "An Indian Law Practitioner's Relationship with Indian Resistance."

A panel of Valandra's students from USD will discuss an intergenerational perspective of American Indian Studies at 8 a.m.

The symposium is being held in conjunction with the MSU American Indian Council Pow Wow, which will be held April 10-11 at MSU's Brick Breeden Fieldhouse.

For more information, contact the MSU Department of Native American Studies at (406) 994-3881.

Jennifer Woodcock (406) 994-3881 or Kristin Ruppel, ktruppel@montana.edu