The Feb. 13 conference focused on "Innovations in Tribal Governance."
While most people think of Indian treaty making as a convention of the past, Clinton, a leading tribal scholar, made a case for its resurgence. His presentation was part of a lineup that represented a forward-focused view of tribal law and governance.
"The speakers are experts in their field and represented a good interdisciplinary cross-section of law and policy," said Stacy Leeds, professor of law and director of the Tribal Law and Government Center at the KU School of Law. "In contrast to many conferences that focus on federal case decisions and federal law as it relates to Indian tribes, the speakers at this conference offered observations on the role of tribal law and tribal governments.
"They each discussed new approaches or new perspectives on tribal decision making and tribal governance with an eye toward the future. The presentations did not dwell on the history of federal Indian law and policy but instead, on the future of indigenous law and policy making."
In addition to Clinton, who is chief justice of the Winnebago Supreme Court and associate justice of other tribal courts, conference presenters were: Patrice Kunesh, University of South Dakota School of Law, "Tribal Self-Determination in the Age of Scarcity;" Aliza Organick, Washburn University School of Law, "Teaching Culture in the Classroom: Tribal Law and Best Practices in Legal Education;" Steve Russell, Indiana University, "Sequoyah Rising: Doing What We Can with What We've Got;" Christine Zuni-Cruz, University of New Mexico School of Law, "'Who are You?' Indigenous Identity and the Lines of Tribe;" and Jeff Corntassel, University of Victoria School of Law, "Indigenous Governance Amidst the Forced Federalism Era."