The Work of Sovereignty Symposium - Oklahoma Center for the Humanities
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The Work of Sovereignty Symposium

The Work of Sovereignty Symposium is a national gathering held over three days in Tulsa, Oklahoma, that features thought leaders in the fields of law, history, art and culture to explore the complex history and future of Native sovereignty in and beyond Oklahoma. Hosted by The University of Tulsa, TU’s College of Law and the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities, this extraordinary conference includes keynote lectures alongside panel discussions on topics of governance, inter-institutional cooperation, theories of sovereignty and Native futures and more.

Events will be held at the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at 101 E. Archer St. in downtown Tulsa; Lorton Performance Center on the TU campus; and the Cherokee Nation’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in east Tulsa. The symposium is free and open to all. Registration is required.

Special thanks to the Richard B. Risk Jr. Practicum Endowment Fund, which is sponsoring Continuing Legal Education credit for panels designated with an asterisk(*).

Click here to register for free admission.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, March 30, at 101 E. Archer St.

5:30 p.m. – Extended Gallery Hours

6 p.m. – Reception

7 p.m. – Keynote Address: Rebecca Nagle (Cherokee), This Land podcast

Friday, March 31, at Lorton Performance Center, TU campus

9 a.m. – Opening Remarks: Brad Carson (Cherokee), President, the University of Tulsa

9:30 a.m. – Opening Keynote: Amanda Cobb-Greetham (Chickasaw), Professor, University of Oklahoma

11 a.m. – Panel Session: Tribal Sovereignty* (one hour CLE credit)

  • Doug Endreson, Partner, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, L.L.P. (Washington, D.C.)
  • Lauren van Schilfgaarde (Cochiti Pueblo), Assistant Professor of Law, UCLA
  • Dylan Hedden-Nicely (Cherokee), Associate Professor of Law, University of Idaho College of Law; and Director, Native American Law Program

12:30 p.m. – Break for lunch

2 p.m. – Panel Session: Tribal Governance* (one hour CLE credit)

  • Joe Kalt, Ford Foundation Professor Emeritus of International Political Economy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; and Co-Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
  • Angela Riley (Citizen Potawatomi), Professor of Law, UCLA; Director, MA/JD Joint Degree Program in Law and American Indian Studies; and Director, Native Nations Law and Policy Center
  • Stephen Greetham, Principal, Greetham Law, P.L.L.C.

Saturday, April 1, at 101 E. Archer St.

9:30 a.m. – Panel Session: Representing Sovereignty

  • Karen Shade-Lanier (Cherokee, Dine’ [Navajo] Near to Water Clan), Exhibits Manager, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism
  • Carly Treece (Muscogee [Creek], Cherokee), Artist, Tvlse Studios
  • Brettlyn Bevenue (Muscogee [Creek]), Outreach Specialist, Cherokee Nation Film Office

11 a.m. – Panel Session: The Work of Tribal Government* (one hour CLE credit)

  • Kristen Carpenter, Council Tree Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School, Boulder; and Director, American Indian Law Program
  • Sara Hill (Cherokee), Attorney General, Cherokee Nation
  • Richard Luarkie (Laguna), President & CEO, Tamaya Ventures (Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico)

12:30 p.m. – Break for lunch

2 p.m. – Panel Session: Native Futures

  • Gregory Smithers, Professor of History & Eminent Scholar, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Kalyn Fay Barnoski (Cherokee, Muscogee [Creek]), NACF LIFT Fellow; MAAA Artist Leadership Fellow; and Assistant Curator of Native Art, Philbrook Museum of Art
  • Carly D. Griffith Hotvedt (Cherokee), Associate Director, Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative

3:30 p.m. – Break for location change

Saturday, April 1, in Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s Sequoyah Ballroom

5 p.m. – John W. Hager Distinguished Lecture in Law

  • The Honorable Brenda Pipestem, Associate Supreme Court Justice, Eastern Band of Cherokee


The Work of Sovereignty exhibition and public symposium have been made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in partnership with the Social Science Research Council.

Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Social Science Research Council.