Bureau of Indian Affairs Head to Be Keynote Speaker at University of Oklahoma Law Day

Article excerpt

Ross Swimmer, attorney and new head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in his capacity as assistant secretary for Indian affairs of the Department of Interior, will be the keynotespeaker for Law Day at the University of Oklahoma, April 11. His presentation will begin at 11:15 a.m.

Swimmer, sworn into his position on Dec. 5, is the fourth person to hold the office created in 1977. For the previous 10 years he had been principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. With headquarters in Tahlequah, Okla., the Cherokee Nation is the second largest tribe in the country.

Swimmer's address is the highlight of OU Law Day activities, which include a moot court competition, luncheon, awards, presentations and reception.

All events to take place at the OU Law Center, 300 Timberdell Rd., are open to the public and free, except for the luncheon which costs $6.50.

Law Day activities begin at 10 a.m. with the moot court competition before the Oklahoma Supreme Court. A luncheon will be held at 12:30 p.m. following Swimmer's presentation. The annual awards ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. and will be followed by a reception at 3:30 p.m.

Prior to assuming the helm of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Swimmer was co-chairman of a presidential commission on Indian reservation economies, which included tribal and business leaders appointed to seek ways to help tribes improve economic conditions.

Swimmer, who has frequently expressed the view that Indian tribes should be less dependent on the federal government, assisted his tribe in becoming more financially self-supporting. Before Swimmerbecame chief of the Cherokees in 1975, the tribe received 90 percent of its funding from federal and state grants. During the decade Swimmer was chief, the tribal assets grew by $23 million and a $9million payroll boosted the economy of northeastern Oklahoma. By 1985, 42 percent of the tribal revenues were being generated by Cherokee businesses and asset utilization.

Swimmer graduated from the OU law school in 1967 and practiced law as a partner in Hanson, Peterson and Thomkins law firm in Oklahoma City until 1972, when he became general counsel for the Cherokee Nation.

The OU law graduate also was president of the First National Bank of Tahlequah from 1975 to 1984. . .

- Oklahoma City Legal Secretaries Association will hold a legal education seminar April 12 at the Oklahoma Bar Association from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The agenda includes presentations on "Bankruptcy Law," by Kenneth L. Spears; "Wrongful Discharge," by Douglas J. Shelton of Shelton Law Firm; "EEOC," by Richard C. Schramm, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and "Human Rights" by Reba Soloman, Human Rights Commission.

Pre-registration is preferred. The fee is $45 for non-members and $20 for students.

For more information, contact Leah Y. Brashear, CLE Chairman, Oklahoma City Legal Secretaries Association, 3001 Lakeside Dr., Oklahoma City, Okla., 73120. . .

- Representatives of the Oklahoma City University Women's Law Caucus, National Association of Women Lawyers and Central Oklahoma Association of Women Lawyers made a presentation to Gov. George Nigh in acknowledgement of his nominations of women to the judiciary.

The ceremony took place on April 4 on the campus of Oklahoma City University.

Since 1979, Nigh has appointed seven women to various judicial positions, including the first woman Oklahoma Supreme Court justice, Alma Wilson.

Other Nigh appointess are Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger; Reta Strubhar, Oteka Allford and Anne Moroney as associate district judges; Jane Wiseman as district judge and Carol Hansen to the Oklahoma Court of Appeals.

The presentation was one of several events scheduled for OCU's Law Day. …