The 2014 graduates of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy program with 1953 alumnus Judge Lawrence Huerta.
The 2014 graduates of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy program with 1953 alumnus Judge Lawrence Huerta.

UA Law Adds Native Nation Building Degree Program

The program is offered by the James E. Rogers College of Law and Native Nations Institute.
Oct. 16, 2015

Two of the University of Arizona's internationally recognized programs focused on serving the higher educational needs of indigenous peoples have teamed up to offer a new certificate and master's degree in indigenous governance, law and policy.

This new programing, offered by the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the James E. Rogers College of Law and the Native Nations Institute at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, allows students to earn University credits and builds substantially on the executive education program the partners have offered since 2012.

The UA's Indigenous Governance Programs, or IGP, are designed to provide the latest research, knowledge and expertise in the emerging field of indigenous governance to indigenous leaders, frontline administrators, tribal attorneys, government policymakers, academics and others interested in master's-level executive education.

Taught by a renowned faculty of leading scholars, experts and practitioners in the fields of Native nation building and indigenous peoples law and policy, the IGP offerings now include a six-unit, non-degree Continuing Education Certificate, which does not require an undergraduate degree; a 12-credit Professional Studies Certificate; and a 30-credit Masters of Professional Studies degree in indigenous governance. Separate enrollment in one or more courses is permitted. By combining intensive live classes with distance learning options, the IGP certificates and master's degree maximize student flexibility in pursuit of an individualized study plan.

A special three-week session called "January in Tucson" is the centerpiece of the IGP, offering students a unique set of opportunities to learn and to forge meaningful connections with internationally recognized faculty and their fellow students. Among the courses to be offered in January 2016 are:

  • Indigenous Peoples' Rights Under International Law, taught by James Anaya, former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and the Regents' and James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights and Policy at the UA
  • Law, Policy, and Economic Development in Indian Country, the definitive course on Native nation building, taught by Joseph Kalt, one of the scholars whose groundbreaking research produced the nation building principles, and the Ford Foundation Professor Emeritus of International Political Economy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government
  • Comparative Legal Systems and Their Role in Nation Building, taught by Robert A. Williams, Jr., the E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law at the UA, and author of "Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization"
  • Comparative Indigenous Governance, co-taught by Stephen Cornell, director of the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, UA professor of sociology and co-founder of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
  • Evidence for Indigenous Governance Principles, taught by Miriam Jorgensen, research director for both the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development and the Native Nations Institute at the UA and editor of the seminal book "Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development"
  • Native Economic Development, co-taught by Jorgensen and Joan Timeche, executive director of the Native Nations Institute and a former director of Arizona Native American Economic Coalition
  • IGP also will offer distance-learning courses, internship opportunities, a thesis option and supervised independent study, all for credit toward certificates or a master's degree in indigenous governance.

The faculty members have worked with Native nations and indigenous communities in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Africa and Asia and are uniquely qualified, said Ryan Seelau, manager of the Indigenous Governance Programs. 

Seelau said: "Professors Kalt and Cornell are the unquestioned leaders in the field of Native nation building; Professor Williams is a leading legal scholar who literally wrote the book on federal Indian law and has been instrumental in bringing the principles of Native nation building into the legal context; and Professor Anaya is a former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples and Nobel Peace Prize nominee who is recognized around the world for his work on Indigenous peoples' human rights. Miriam Jorgensen is widely known for her research on how the principles of Native nation building can be used to strengthen meaningful self-determination and sustainable economic and community development for indigenous peoples and their communities."

Seelau also noted the unique setting offered by IGP's "January in Tucson" session.

"Tucson is in the heart of Indian Country here in the desert Southwest," he said. 

IGP courses will be offered for continuing legal education credits for attorneys interested in attending the "January in Tucson" session. A few scholarship stipends based on financial need are available for individuals interested in any of the programmatic areas.
 
For more information about the Indigenous Governance Programs, including how to apply, visit http://igp.arizona.edu or send an email to igp@email.arizona.edu.