Section Sponsored Two Informative Programs at 2005 Midyear Meeting
The Section sponsored two exciting programs with impressive panels at the 2005 ABA Midyear Meeting in Salt Lake City.
The Committee on Native American Concerns sponsored a program on the United States’ responsibility to Indian trust beneficiaries. Tex Hall, President of the National Congress of the American Indian and tribal leader, spoke about the impact that the mismanagement of both individual and tribal Indian trust lands has had on the Native American population. Other panelists included Eric Eberhard, Vice-Chair of the Native American Concerns Committee and an Indian Affairs attorney since 1973; Charles Hobbs, who has worked for Indians, Indian tribes, and Indian organizations since beginning his legal career in 1958; and Keith Harper, lead council for the plaintiffs in the landmark Cobell v. Norton case, which resulted the requirement that all sales and transfers of Indian-owned land by the Department of the Interior (DOI) include a detailed, court-approved notification of the landowner's rights as trust beneficiaries and class members, marking the first time in history that such notification has been required of DOI before the agency sells Indian land. Geoffrey Strommer, of Hobbs, Strauss, Dean & Walker, LLP, moderated the panel and served as program chair.
Gloria J. Browne-Marshall, Section Council Member and Director of The Law and Policy Group, Inc. in New York, developed and moderated a panel on slavery and post-slavery redress, which was co-sponsored by the Council on Racial and Ethnic Justice. As noted in the program description, with the approach of the 40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, questions surrounding slavery and post-slavery redress remain unanswered. The panel examined how a federally funded study of this issue could be a major step in resolving some of these issues.
Charles Ogletree, Professor of Law at Harvard University and Founding and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, discussed the history of redress in the U.S. Section Chair-elect Paul M. Igasaki and Floyd Mori, former president of the Japanese American Citizens League, discussed the redress issue as it applied to Japanese-American internment during WWII.