Dr. N. Bruce Duthu, professor & chair of Native American studies at Dartmouth College, was invited to campus to speak today about tribal sovereignty.

Duthu's lecture will focus on the interactions between the U.S. federal government and the many Native American tribes that function as sovereign nations, a system that has been characterized by disagreement.

Two other similar events have taken place at Bates and Colby, all with "the intent to encourage by example the incorporation of Native American issues and culture into existing courses at the CBB colleges—with a special focus on the Wabanaki Tribes in Maine," said Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology Leslie Shaw.

The aim of the talks is to encourage academic institutions and scholarly communities to explore raising awareness of tribal communities and their ambition of becoming more politically independent entities.

The February lecture at Bates focused on "Learning and Teaching with Wabanaki Culture" and the March discussions at Colby focused on "Ways of Knowing, Speaking and Living in the Wabanaki World."

The program sponsoring the presentations initially set out to increase Wabanaki college enrollment, and has since expanded to including Bowdoin students working with middle school-aged members of the tribes.

A member of the United Houma Nation of Louisiana, Duthu is a published scholar of Native American law and policy, most notably having written "American Indians and the Law." He has taught at multiple universities throughout the world, including Harvard Law School.

Duthu was invited to campus by the Colby-Bates-Bowdoin Mellon Faculty Collaboration Grant and the Wabanaki and academic partnership program (which was launched by the four Maine tribes and the CBB colleges).

The lecture will take place tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium in the Visual Arts Center. It is free and open to the public.