2005-07: Indigenous Peoples: National Policy and International Human Rights

Guided by former UO Law Dean Rennard Strickland, the inquiry on indigenous peoples paid respect to the original occupants of the territory of the United States and other lands in this hemisphere. As the world moved into a new millennium, the importance of Native cultures became increasingly clear. There are lessons to be learned from traditional peoples, and those lessons can only be taught by the peoples themselves. Our guests discussed and shared practices on several key topics including tribal leadership and development, the role of women, education, cultural preservation, medicine and community health.

Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics

2005-06 Wilma Mankiller
Wilma Mankiller served 12 years in elective office at the Cherokee Nation, the first two as Deputy Principal Chief followed by 10 years as Principal Chief. She retired from public office in 1995. Among her many honors, Mankiller was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton.

During her residence at the Wayne Morse Center, Mankiller taught a class and spoke on “Context is Everything: History and Culture in Contemporary Tribal Life.” (pdf)


(2006-07) W. Richard West, Jr.
W. Richard West, Jr. was the founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. He is a graduate of Stanford Law School and served as counsel to tribes and non-tribal organizations. During his time at the Wayne Morse Center he gave a public address on “Native America in the 21st Century: Out of the Mists and Beyond Myth.”(pdf)


Resident Scholars

Rennard Strickland

Rennard Strickland is a former Dean of the UO School of Law and author of over forty books. The Wayne Morse Center hosted a symposium in Strickland’s honor: “From the Warrior Viewpoint: the Next Generation of Indian Law and Policy,”  on April 14, 2006.

Brian Klopotek
Brian Klopotek is an associate professor of Ethnic Studies. He published a paper titled “I guess your warrior look doesn’t work every time: Challenging Indian Masculinity in the Cinema.” (pdf)

Mary Wood
Mary Wood is a UO Law professor. Along with co-authors Wayne Morse Fellows Zach Welcker and Matt O’Brien, she wrote “Tribes as Trustees Again: The Emerging Tribal Role in the Global Conservation Movement.”

“Tribes as Trustees Again (Part I): The Emerging Tribal Role in the Conservation Trust Movement.”

“Tribes as Trustees Again (Part II): Evaluating Four Models of Tribal Participation in the Conservation Trust Movement.”


Distinguished Speakers

Peterson Zah, Assistant to the President, Arizona State University, former President, Navajo Nation. “The Navajo Sovereignty in Education Act of 2005,” October 20, 2005.

Rebecca Tsosie, Professor of Law, Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar, Arizona State University. “Women in Tribal and Community Leadership.” November 10, 2005.

Noenoe Silva, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii. “Ho’ohemokolonaio: Why Political Decolonization is Not Enough for Kanaha Maoli in Hawai’i,” on Monday, February 12, 2007.

Suzan Shown Harjo, President and Executive Director of The Morning Star Institute. “Mascots, Museums and Indian Identity.” September 14, 2006.


Project Grants

  • Environment and Natural Resources Center and the Center for Appropriate Dispute Resolution at the UO School of Law coordinated a conference on “Deciding Where the Water Goes: Emerging Possibilities in Water Settlements.”
  • Center for Tribal Water Advocacy, for the Third Annual Tribal Water Conference.
  • Department of Anthropology, for a series of three courses and a speaker series.
  • Center for Indigenous Cultural Survival, for speakers from North America and the Pacific Rim.
  • E-Law, to bring Miskito lawyer Lottie Cunningham Wren from Nicaragua to the UO.
  • Demystifying Native Americans, panel  in conjunction with a special issue of the Quarterly on tribal issues.
  • Indigenous Peoples: National Policy and International Human Rights, film festival organized by Eugene Weekly and the Wayne Morse Center.
  • Intersections of Native American Culture, Politics and Law, a conference organized by UO anthropology professor Shari Huhndorf and Stanford University graduate student Beth Piatote.
  • The Passage of Time: Columbia River Treaties, Endangered Salmon, and the Federal Hydrosystem, research and presentations by UO School of Law Professor Mary Wood.
  • Second Annual Conference on Northwest Tribal Water Rights
  • Work for Native Justice: Speaker series “Women’s Voices of Struggle and Survival: Stories from the Heart of Indigenous Communities,” a speaker series featuring women’s leadership in indigenous communities.


Sovereignty and Native Education
October 20, 2005. This symposium featured the Honorable Peterson Zah, assistant to the president of Arizona State University and former president of the Navajo Nation, who spoke on “The Navajo Sovereignty in Education Act of 2005” and Brenda Child, an associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota, discussing “Boarding Schools as Metaphor.”

Context Is Everything: History and Culture in Contemporary Tribal Life
November 9, 2005. Public address by Wilma Mankiller.

Women in Tribal and Community Leadership
November 10, 2005. A symposium honoring Wilma Mankiller, Cherokee Nation; Sue Shaffer, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians; and Kathryn Harrison, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Rebecca Tsosie, professor of law, Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Scholar and executive director of Arizona State University’s Indian Legal Program, gave the keynote speech. Featured speaker was Beverley Jacobs, president of the Native Women’s Association of Canada.

Marquee Massacres: Native Americans in 100 Years of Global Movie Graphics
January 27 to March 4, 2006. Exhibit of rare movie posters and other ephemera depicting indigenous peoples, curated by Resident Scholar Rennard Strickland and cosponsored by the Jacobs Gallery and City of Eugene.

Indigenous Nation-Building 
March 13, 2006. Speakers at this seminar, organized by Resident Scholar Brian Klopotek, included Jennifer Nez Denetdale from New Mexico and Kehulani Kauanui from Hawaii.

From the Warrior Viewpoint: The Next Generation of Indian Law and Policy 
April 14, 2006. Wayne Morse Center Resident Scholar Rennard Strickland and invited speakers discussed the future of Indian law during this symposium.

Preserving Our Pasts, Telling Our Stories: Indians, Museums and the Management of History
September 14-15, 2006. A symposium presented by the Wayne Morse Center and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History exploring the development and future of Indian involvement in museum and cultural center management.
View abstracts of papers presented at symposium

Native America in the 21st Century: Out of the Mists and Beyond Myth
October 3, 2006. Public address by W. Richard West, Jr., 2006-07 Wayne Morse Chair of Law and Politics.

Civil Liberties, Security, and the Balance of Power
October 30, 2006. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden spoke about issues currently facing the American government.

Fair Trade: Equity Within Reach
November 1-2, 2006. A symposium organized by the Wayne Morse Fellows examining fair trade and its impact on native peoples.

Indigenous Language and Cultural Preservation
February 12, 2007. Workshop exploring the issues of indigenous language and cultural preservation.
Presented by Wayne Morse Distinguished Speaker Noenoe Silva.

Ho’ohemokolonaio: Why Political Decolonization Is Not Enough for Kanaka Maoli in Hawai’i
February 12, 2007. Lecture by Wayne Morse Distinguished Speaker Noenoe Silva.

Tribes as Trustees Again: The Emerging Tribal Role in the Land Trust Movement
April 6, 2007. Symposium organized by Wayne Morse Resident Scholar Mary Wood to discuss her research on the role of tribes in the conservation movement.