At a Glance

September 26

Thursday Afternoon

  • Field Experiences
  • Workshops
  • Volunteer Opportunities

September 27

Friday – All Day

  • Presentations
  • Workshops
  • Native Artisan Vendor Fair
  • Awards Luncheon
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Volunteer Fair
  • Social and Keynote Dinner

September 28

Saturday Morning

  • Field Experiences
  • Workshops
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Friday’s Keynote Speaker:

Samantha Skenandore

“The Rights of Nature”

Samantha Skenandore is an Equity Partner at the Firm of the national Native majority owned law firm of Patterson Earnhart Real Bird & Wilson LLP and an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver – Sturm College of Law, to which she immediately used to practice law advocating for tribes and tribal interests. With nearly two decades practicing law and lobbying on Capitol Hill, Samantha has a proven track record of client success involving matters of sacred site protection, land back to tribes, cultural resources law, Indian water rights and settlements, real estate, litigation, gaming, economic development, tribal governance, and tribal corporate governance. Samantha received her bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences & law and American Indian studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She attended the University of Tulsa’s Geneva Comparative Law Institute in Geneva, Switzerland, where she studied International Law and the work of the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Populations. As an attorney serving Indian country for the bulk of her legal career, Samantha gained insightful experience in a variety of practice areas. Samantha enjoys client work that is climate-smart and innovative, including matters involving the global Rights of Nature movement, applying indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and rewilding/conservation projects. Samantha previously served as an elected Associate Justice to the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court, a tribal attorney for the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice, clerked for the United States Department of Justice, Indian Resources Section, and served as a judicial clerk for the Colorado Division of Administrative Appeals. Samantha is listed in Chambers USA® (2021 – present:  Native American Law), Best Lawyers in America® (2024:  Native American Law) and serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Law Foundation where she is also named a Fellow. Samantha is the recipient of Madison365’s “Wisconsin’s 38 Most Influential Native Americans” (2020) and the Wisconsin Law Journal’s “Wisconsin’s Up and Coming Lawyer” award in 2011. Samantha is licensed in Wisconsin, Arizona, and several tribal jurisdictions.

Remarks by Invited Dignitaries

  • Clayton Winneshiek, Hoocąk Traditional Chief
  • Jon Greendeer, Hoocąk Nation President
  • Karl Martin, Dean, UW–Madison Extension

Friday Location