The Symposium is the premier educational meeting on Native American legal, administrative and cultural issues in the United States.

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Sovereignty Symposium will celebrate its thirtieth anniversary on June 7-8 at the Skirvin-Hilton in Oklahoma City. The Symposium is the premier educational meeting on Native American legal, administrative and cultural issues in the United States.

In honor of this landmark anniversary, the Symposium is honored to host, at the opening ceremony, five former Assistant Secretaries of the Interior for Indian Affairs: Thomas W. Fredericks, Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan, LLC; Ada E. Deer; Neal McCaleb, Chickasaw Ambassador to the United States; Carl Artman, Attorney and Faculty Associate, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and Larry Echo Hawk, Assistant Executive Director, Correlation Department, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Sovereignty Symposium’s opening ceremony will be held at 1:15 p.m. on June 7 at the Skirvin-Hilton Hotel.

The Symposium will also focus on panels of interest to those who deal with the many issues relating to children, including delinquent and deprived juveniles in the court system, the Indian Child Welfare Act and other foster care and adoption issues. Judges and lawyers attending the Symposium will receive continuing education credits. There will be a panel on Land, Wind and Water, which will consider the recent tribal – state agreements on water and the future of water use in the western United States.

Other featured speakers at the Sovereignty Symposium will be Wayne Garnons-Williams, Senior Lawyer & Principal Director, Garwill Law, Canada, Chair, International Inter-tribal Trade and Investment Organization (IITIO). Mr. Williams is one of the facilitators of the IITIO conference to be held at the University of Oklahoma College of Law on June 4-6, 2017. The Symposium is also honored to have as a panelist the Honorable Sara Wilshaw, Consul General of Canada, Dallas.

The Symposium faculty also includes leading names in Native American music and art. The music of noted Chickasaw composer Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate will be featured at a performance at the Oklahoma Judicial Center, 2100 North Lincoln Boulevard, at 6:30 on June 7. He will be joined by members of the Canterbury Choral Society. Mr. Tate will also be featured at the Symposium panel - Visual and Verbal Imagery: Signs, Symbols and Sounds, moderated by Winston Scambler.

The thirtieth Symposium has as its theme, “Restoration.” There will also be panels on Juvenile Law, Education, Land, Wind and Water, Truth and Reconciliation and Economic Development, as well as other topics. Registration and a full agenda are available at

On-site registration is available at 7:30 a.m. on June 7.

The Sovereignty Symposium, co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, was established to provide a forum in which ideas concerning common legal issues could be exchanged in a scholarly, non-adversarial environment. The Supreme Court espouses no view on any of the issues, and the positions taken by the participants are not endorsed by the Supreme Court. The Sovereignty Symposium provides sixteen hours of continuing legal education, including one hour of ethics.

For further information please contact Julie Rorie, Event Coordinator at 405-556-9340.