Introduction to Status, Realities, Legal Framework and Future of Indigenous Peoples in the United States and Canada

November 18, 2020
01:00PM - 02:30PM

All Times Eastern

Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Eastern Time

Register for the Webinar

You don’t have to be a lawyer to join the first-ever signature event on behalf of the American Bar Association (ABA), co-sponsored by the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November. Join us as our esteemed panelists discuss the current status and resiliency of indigenous peoples in the United States and Canada. The panelists will address the critical question of how past discriminatory – and even brutal governmental policies – led us to the current status of indigenous peoples today. More importantly, the panelists will discuss what steps, laws, and policies can be taken to improve the lives of indigenous peoples in the United States. and Canada. The panelists will compare and contrast the history, status and future of the First Nations People in Canada vs. American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States. After the panel discussion, the audience will gain a high-level overview of the issues around indigenous populations, which we hope will lead to desire to learn more. Please join us for this engaging, informative, and entertaining panel.


  • Patricia Lee Refo (Welcome Remarks) – President, American Bar Association; Partner, Snell & Wilmer LLP
  • Bradley D. Regehr – President, Canadian Bar Association; Partner, Maurice Law, Barristers & Solicitors (Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation)
  • Tracy Bear, PhD – Assistant Professor, Faculty of Native Studies & Director, Indigenous Women’s Resilience Project, University of Alberta (Montreal Lake First Nation)
  • Kevin Gover – Acting Under Secretary for Museums and Culture; Director, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma)
  • Patty Ferguson-Bohnee (Moderator) – Clinical Professor of Law, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University; Co-Chair, Native American Concerns Committee, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice (Pointe-au-Chien Tribe of Louisiana)

Program Chair: Mary L. Smith – Vice Chair, VENG Group; Chair, Caroline and Ora Foundation (Cherokee Nation)

Co-Sponsors: ABA Diversity and Inclusion Center, ABA Division for Public Education, Canadian Bar Association, Caroline and Ora Smith Foundation, Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, National Native American Bar Association, Native American Rights Fund, Northlight Theatre