The education of Native people is woven into the long history of Harvard University. The Charter of 1650 pledges the University to “the education of English and Indian youth” and Harvard’s first Native American graduate graduated in the class of 1665. Since that time, more than 1000 Native people have earned their degrees from Harvard University. Today, almost 170 self-identified Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students attend the University, representing over 50 different tribal nations.
Robert Anderson, Oneida Nation Visiting Professor of Law
Bob Anderson is the Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, and a Professor of Law and Director of the Native American Law Center at the University of Washington. He is a co-author and member of the Board of Editors of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law (2012) and is co-author of Anderson, Berger, Frickey and Krakoff,American Indian Law: Cases and Commentary (Thomson/West 2008). He teaches and writes in the areas of Indian Law, Public Land Law and Water Law. In 2008, he was co-lead of the Obama Transition team for the Department of the Interior. He spent twelve years as a Staff Attorney for the Boulder-based Native American Rights Fund where he litigated major cases involving Native American sovereignty and natural resources. From 1995-2001, he served in the Clinton Administration under Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, providing legal and policy advice on a wide variety of Indian law and natural resource issues. He is an enrolled member of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (Bois Forte Band).
Joseph William Singer, Bussey Professor of Law
Seth Davis, Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law
Seth Davis is a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. His scholarship focuses upon questions of institutional design in the modern administrative state, including who may enforce which rights in a polity. He has written on administrative law, federal courts, torts, constitutional law, energy law, and Federal Indian law. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, in Anthropology and English from Davidson College, his MSc, with distinction, in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he received the John Ordronaux Prize, as well as the Samuel I. Rosenman Prize for leadership and scholarship in public law. After graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Following his clerkship, Seth served as a volunteer legal intern at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia and then as a litigation associate at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where he specialized in appellate litigation and financial services regulatory law. While at O’Melveny, Seth maintained an active pro bono practice litigating questions of federal Indian law on behalf of Indian tribes and intertribal organizations.
INDEPENDENT STUDY IN FEDERAL INDIAN LAW
Students who want to specialize in Federal Indian Law can effectively get an advanced course by doing an independent writing project. Professor Singer supervises students in research projects and writing law review articles or policy papers on Federal Indian law for credit during the 2L and 3L year. This is a capstone experience allowing for advanced work focused on a student’s particular interests for students who have already taken the basic Federal Indian Law course.
Harvard Law School has an established clinical program with the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) in Boulder, Colorado and Washington, DC. Students may also design and pursue an independent clinical or supervised writing project in Indian law. Students have previously worked with NARF and other Indian law clinicals in a variety of areas, including the current Native Hawaiin rights dispute.
Harvard Law School offers a number of courses for those interested in Indian Country issues, including: “American Indian Law”, “The Art of Social Change: Child Welfare, Education and Juvenile Justice”, “Child, Family, and State”, “Climate Change Justice”, “Colorblindness”, “Community Action for Social and Economic Rights”, “Comparative Constitutional Law”, “Debating Race and American Law”, “Environmental Law”, “Environmental Law in Theory and Application”, “Environmental Law Practice: Skills, Methods, and Controversies”, “Natural Resources Law and Policy”, “Public Health Law”, “The Supreme Court in American History”, and “Politics”.
Programs at Harvard University and Beyond
1. Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
Founded by Professors Stephen Cornell and Joseph P. Kalt at Harvard University in 1987, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development (Harvard Project) is housed within the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Through applied research and service, the Harvard Project aims to understand and foster the conditions under which sustained, self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations. The Harvard Project’s core activities include research, advisory services, executive education and the administration of a tribal governance awards program. In all of its activities, the Harvard Project collaborates with the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management and Policy at the University of Arizona. The Harvard Project is also formally affiliated with the Harvard University Native American Program, an interfaculty initiative at Harvard University.
At the heart of the Harvard Project is the systematic, comparative study of social and economic development on American Indian reservations. What works, where and why? For more information, visit http://www.hpaied.org/
2. Harvard University Native American Program
As one of the University’s Interfaculty Initiatives, the Harvard University Native American Program is uniquely situated to bring together students, faculty, and staff from all parts of the University as well as friends and community members from peer schools and the surrounding Cambridge/Boston area. HUNAP serves three primary purposes on Harvard’s campus: teaching and research, community building, and Indigenous outreach. HUNAP provides students with the opportunity to engage in social, academic and cultural events throughout the year, while also allowing students to work closely with other Native graduate and professional students as well. Many HUNAP members become leading scholars and practitioners who make significant contributions to Indian Country.
For more information, visit HUNAP’s website at http://www.hunap.harvard.edu/
3. National NALSA participation
Harvard NALSA students attend the Federal Indian Bar Association Conference each year, and often also attend the NNALSA Moot Court and Writing Competitions. In 2006 Harvard NALSA even hosted a session of the Navajo Nation Supreme Court.