Oklahoma State University Hospitality and Tourism Management students Megan Annuschat and Marcella Rose-Steinmeyer were among a group of students from the OSU Center for Sovereign Nations who recently attended the 31st annual Sovereignty Symposium held in Oklahoma City at the Skirvin Hotel.
Attendees and faculty included Oklahoma tribal leaders as well as attorneys, judges and professionals involved in Indian legal issues at the local, state and federal levels. Seminar topics related to hospitality and tourism included recognition of the 30th anniversary of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, economic development and visual imagery.
"For over 30 years, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has sponsored a truly world-class educational opportunity on issues that create unique cultural, legal, governmental and business opportunities here in Oklahoma and beyond,” said Steve Ruby, J.D., and teaching assistant professor for the OSU School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
The Sovereignty Symposium was established to provide a forum in which ideas concerning common legal issues can be exchanged in a scholarly, non-adversarial manner. The Supreme Court does not endorse the positions taken by the participants or present any view on any of the issues.
Annuschat’s favorite seminar was the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act Panel because it was of interest to someone going into the hospitality industry with an emphasis on casinos.
“I learned what the casinos do for the tribes. I have to admit I wasn't vastly knowledgeable about the tribes or what it was like to grow up on the tribal land and in the community. The impact that gaming has had on the tribes is immense. They are able to have their own police force and fire departments. The tribal children get scholarships from the money that gaming has brought in for the tribe.”
“We are extremely grateful to all of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Justices, particularly Justices Noma Gurich and Yvonne Kauger, for their encouragement of participation by our students, both undergraduate and graduate. The perspective and knowledge gained by our students from the amazing speakers, panels and demonstrations are evident immediately in discussion following their experience, Elizabeth Payne, J.D., and director of the OSU Center for Sovereign Nations. “We look forward to more students participating in years to come and future collaborations with the Center for Sovereign Nations and their director.”