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SU to host conference for journalists on Indian law April 15-17
SU to host conference for journalists on Indian law April 15-17March 15, 2005Jaime Winne Alvarez firstname.lastname@example.org
The Syracuse University College of Law’s Center for Indigenous Law, Governance, and Citizenship and the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications will co-host a conference on Indian law, April 15-17. The conference is open to journalism students and to journalists who want to strengthen or start coverage of Indian issues.
“Recent attention to Indian issues has focused on the proliferation of Indian gaming throughout the country, but issues related to land claims, taxation and jurisdictional conflicts are also the subject of interest,” says Robert Odawi Porter, director of the Center for Indigenous Law, Governance, and Citizenship and senior associate dean for research in the College of Law. “What these and related issues have in common is a focus on Indian nation sovereignty and its implications. Invariably, to make the most sense of these issues, we need to understand the law and history between the U.S. and its indigenous sovereigns.”
Charlotte Grimes, Knight Chair in Political Reporting in the Newhouse School, emphasizes the role of journalists in explaining these issues to the broader public. “We too often don’t understand that Indian nations are also ‘sovereign’ countries, with powers and rights laid out in treaties and laws. Those powers and rights sometimes put Indian nations and their neighboring communities, or other governments, into conflict,” says Grimes. “These are highly emotional, deeply controversial and strongly political issues that the press needs to better understand and better cover.”
The conference program includes registration and an opening reception at the Newhouse School on April 15.
Mark Trahant, editorial page editor for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and a member of Idaho’s Shoshone-Bannock tribe, will present the conference’s keynote address on April 16. Trahant was previously CEO of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, a nonprofit corporation working to expand journalism opportunities for people of color. In 1989, he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for the series “Fraud in Indian Country,” about the U.S. government’s mishandling of Indian trust money. He is past president and a current member of the Native American Journalists Association and a trustee of the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. After his address, Trahant will sign copies of his book “Pictures of Our Nobler Selves: A History of Native American Contributions to the Media” (Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, 1995).
The remainder of the conference will be devoted to panels on Indian tribal sovereignty and recognition by the United States; the federal recognition process for Indians; Indian gaming regulation, law, policy and practice; New York land claims, taxation and state-tribal conflicts; understanding and reporting on Indian law, government and politics; and the challenges of Indian Country journalism.
Invited speakers for panels include Carrie E. Garrow, executive director of SU’s Center for Indigenous Law; Rennard Strickland, former dean and professor of law at the University of Oregon; Paula Hart, U.S. Department of the Interior; Bill Carey, News 10 Now; Jim Odato, Albany Times-Union; Scott Rapp, Syracuse Post-Standard; Jose Barreiro, Indian Country Today; Frank King, Native Voice; and Dennis McAuliffe Jr., Native American Journalist in Residence at the University of Montana and director of Reznet, an online newspaper written by Native American students at tribal colleges. Reznet is a program intended to increase the number of Native Americans pursuing journalism careers. Five Reznet student journalists will attend the conference as participants, with financial support from the Densford Fund of the Riverside Church, New York City.
“This is a rare and distinctive conference on the law. Its tight, specific focus will give journalists a deep, rich understanding of the basic force that shape many of the conflicts among Indian nations, other governments and neighboring communities,” says Grimes.
The cost for participating in the conference is free for student journalists with SU I.D., or $10 if they wish to purchase lunch, and $25 for journalists or non-SU student journalists. Registration and information are available at http://www.law.syr.edu/indigenous or by calling (315) 443-9542. Media are also invited to cover conference proceedings.
The Center for Indigenous Law, Governance, and Citizenship was established in 2003 with a focus on five programmatic areas: Policy analysis, research, law reform, education and training. It is the only center of its type east of the Mississippi.