The “Who Belongs? From Tribal Kinship to Native Nation Citizenship to Disenrollment” Conference will be held at the James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona, March 9-10, 2017.
This first-of-its-kind conference will bring together prominent scholars in the field of Federal Indian Law, International Law, and American Indian Studies, as well as tribal government officials, to discuss recent trends in Indian Country dealing with citizenship and community belonging, including disenrollment.
“The conference is designed to address the sensitive issues surrounding who has a hereditary and/or cultural right to be a part of a Native and Aboriginal community, and what are an individual’s responsibilities to that community,” said conference organizer Professor Robert Hershey. “It is our hope that an atmosphere of respect, understanding, listening, and learning will be fostered, and that our gathering will promote utmost dignity.”
Confirmed participants include thought-leaders Stephen Cornell, Matthew Fletcher (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa & Chippewa Indians), Norbert Hill (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin), Joseph Kalt, Richard Luarkie (Pueblo of Laguna), Pamela Palmater (Mi’kmaq), Patricia Riggs (Ysleta del Sur Pueblo), Lorinda Riley (Cherokee/Native Hawaiian), Wenona Singel (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians), Kevin Washburn (Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma), David Wilkins (Lumbee),
Additionally, as highlighted last month by the New York Times, disenrollment has reached an epidemic level, with as many as 9,000 Native Americans having been jettisoned from nearly 80 tribes in recent years. As Professor Robert A. Williams, Jr. (Lumbee) recently stated in the New York Times, “It’s almost become an industry in some parts of Indian Country.”
The conference is designed for attendance by tribal leaders and citizens, tribal and federal government officials, attorneys and advocates practicing Native American and Indigenous Peoples law, Native and Indigenous people, officers of tribal enrollment and constitution reform committees, and faculty and students of American Indian Studies and law.