Professor Robert A. Williams, Jr., Professor of Law and Faculty Co-Chair of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona College of Law, presented Sovereign is He Who Decides on the Exception: Tribal Jurisdiction, the Supreme Court, and Racially Constructed Reservation Environments for this year’s 9th annual Rennard Strickland Lecture.
The Rennard Strickland Lecture Series was established in 2006 to honor the legacy of Dean Rennard Strickland and to build on his contributions to the field of Indian law, to legal education, and to the Environmental and Natural Resources and Indian law programs at the University of Oregon School of Law. The theme of the lecture series is the examination of native leadership and vision for environmental stewardship in the 21st century.
Williams previously served as Harvard Law School’s Bennet Boskey Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Law and was subsequently named the first Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law. He has represented indigenous peoples and tribes before the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples.
He served as Chief Justice for the Court of Appeals for the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation and as Justice for the Court of Appeals for the Tohono O’odham Nation. Williams has published many articles and books, including his most recent, Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization, in 2012. Professor Williams received his B.A. from Loyola College and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.