In Conversation: Catawba Law and Indigenous Sovereignty
July 20, 2023
6:30 pm-7:30 pm
Join us during extended Thursday hours for a conversation on Indigenous sovereignty with Jeff Harris, Catawba citizen and tribal governance attorney for the Catawba Nation, and Marcia A. Zug, the Miles and Ann Loadholt Professor of Family Law at the University of South Carolina. With a complicated history with state and federal courts in the U.S., tribal nations and their attorneys must navigate complex legal ecosystems to protect the rights of their citizens both locally and federally. Harris discusses his experiences as legal representation for the Catawba Nation, where he works in constitutional reform, governing ordinances, and improving the tribal court of laws, while Marcia A. Zug shares her perspective as a professor of Federal Indian Law at USC. The pair discusses some of these significant issues as well as their collaborative work at the USC School of Law leading students to help develop a full code of laws for the Catawba Nation.
Free with membership or admission.
Jeff Harris is a citizen of the Catawba Nation as well as its tribal attorney. In this capacity, he leads the in-house legal department of the Nation and directs the establishment and development of a tribal public safety department, tribal courts, and related justice services. In addition, he serves on the Tribal In-House Counsel Board of Directors and Iswa Head Start Policy Committee and volunteers as a youth mentor at the Catawba Nation Boys & Girls Club. Harris graduated from Duke University School of Law in 2011.
Professor Zug teaches family law, advanced family law, and American Indian law at the University of South Carolina School of Law. She has published numerous articles on family law, immigration law and policy, and American Indian law. Much of her research focuses on the history of marriage as well as the intersection of family law and Indian law. Her book Buying a Bride: An Engaging History of Mail-Order Matches was reviewed in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The Times Literary Supplement. Her latest book, You’ll Do: A History of Marrying for Reasons other than Love, was published by Steerforth Press in January 2023. Zug’s law review articles have appeared in publications such as The Yale Law Journal, The American Indian Law Review, and The Family Law Quarterly. She has also advised national organizations such as The Women’s Refugee Commission, The National Indian Child Welfare Association, and The Southern Poverty Law Center on the legal issues facing Native American and immigrant families.
Portrait of Monty Branham (detail), 2022