Archive for the ‘Law and Legal Issues’ Category

Institute for Advanced Sovereignty

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007


The Institute for Advanced Sovereignty is a four-day program focused on enhancing the legitimacy and effectiveness of American Indian tribal governance. To ensure stronger self-government, Indigenous peoples must appreciate the transformation that has occurred in tribal governance to date, as well as the various pathways to reform that exist. Achieving this goal requires an understanding not only of historic approaches to governance, but also of the ways in which colonial Indian control laws may have had a disruptive effect. Ideally, to be successful, Indigenous nations must move beyond purely western conceptions of law and governance and embrace modern Indigenous governing philosophies.

The Institute for Advanced Sovereignty is an opportunity for tribal leaders meet in an informal educational environment and study various ways for strengthening their sovereignty through government reform. The course will include instruction on Indigenous sovereignty, concepts of good governance, and how to engage in a successful government reform process.


Robert Odawi Porter
Robert Odawi Porter, the founding director of the Center for Indigenous Law, Governance & Citizenship, is Senior Associate Dean for Research, Professor of Law and Dean’s Research Scholar of Indigenous Nations Law at Syracuse University College of Law. Porter is a citizen of the Seneca Nation (Heron Clan) and was raised in the Nation’s Allegany Territory. He earned his undergraduate degree from SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and his law degree from Harvard Law School.

Porter’s professional experience includes private law practice in Washington, D.C. and government service as the first Attorney General of the Seneca Nation and the first Chief Justice of the Sac & Fox Nation of Missouri. He has been a member of the tenured law faculty at the University of Kansas and the University of Iowa. Porter is also the Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel for the Seneca Nation. Porter’s scholarship has appeared in leading law reviews and has focused on American Indian law and governance (particularly the Haudenosaunee), as well as Indigenous citizenship and political participation, eurocolonialism, and indigenization. His commentary has appeared in national newspapers and newsmagazines, including the New York Times. He is also the author and editor of Sovereignty, Colonialism and the Indigenous Nations: A Reader (Carolina Academic Press 2005).

Carrie E. Garrow
Carrie E. Garrow, the Executive Director of the Center for Indigenous Law, Governance & Citizenship, is a member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and was raised at the Akwesasne Territory in New York. She received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, her law degree from Stanford Law School, and a Master’s in Public Policy degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Garrow is a former deputy district attorney, Chief Judge of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Courts, and the co-author of Tribal Criminal Law and Procedure (Altamira, 2004). Her work has focused on tribal justice issues, including assistance to the Oglala Sioux Tribe with a participatory evaluation of a U.S. Department of Justice initiative (Comprehensive Indian Resources for Community and Law Enforcement) and also to the Grand Traverse Band of Chippewa Ottawa Indians with a juvenile code reform project. She has worked previously as a consultant for the Tribal Law and Policy Institute, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, and the Native Nations Institute. She is also a beadwork artist and won Best of Division for Beadwork at the 12th Annual Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market in June 2004.


The course has a limit of twenty (20) students. No prior courses or degrees are required, however, preference will be given to tribal leaders and staff.


Date: June 19 – June 22, 2007

Location: Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel

Course Cost: $595 (which includes course materials)

Room and Board: Participants are responsible for their own lodging.

Registration deadline: An initial nonrefundable deposit of $100 is due by May 31, 2007 to reserve a place in the Institute. Full payment of $595 minus your deposit must be made by June 18, 2007.

For more information contact:
Carrie Garrow, Executive Director


Each class session will run approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes with a break.

June 19, 2007

Morning Session – Introduction to Indigenous Law and Sovereignty

Afternoon Session – Federal Indian Control Law – the Scope of Federal Powers

June 20, 2007

Morning Session – The Threats to Tribal Sovereignty

Afternoon Session – Tribal Sovereignty Development

June 21, 2007

Morning Session – Why a Constitution?

Afternoon Session – Drafting Codes and Constitutions

June 22, 2007

Morning Session – Drafting Codes and Constitutions continued

Afternoon Session – Politics and Government Reform