Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Frank Pommersheim

New York & South Dakota

[Photograph graciously provided by Frank Pommersheim, November 12, 2002]

Frank Pommersheim teaches at the University of South Dakota School of Law where his specialty is Indian Law. He received his B.A. degree from Colgate University, his J.D. from Columbia University and an M.P.A. from Harvard University. Before joining the faculty in 1984, he lived and worked on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation for ten years. He currently serves on a number of tribal appellate courts throughout Indian country. Pommersheim was most recently selected as an Associate Justice for the newly formed Mississippi Band of Choctaw Supreme Court.

Professor Pommersheim writes extensively in the field of Indian law. He is the author of Braid of Feathers: American Indian Law and Contemporary Tribal Life (1995) and numerous scholarly articles. His most recent book is Haiku for the Birds and Other Related Stuff (2002). He received the University of South Dakota Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1998 and the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center Reconciliation Award in 2000.

Poems | Faculty Curriculum Vita


Frank Pommersheim, Snaps: Poetry and Prose From a Family Album (Marion, South Dakota: Rose Hill Books, 1994)

________________, Mindfulness and Home: Poetry and Prose From a Prairie Landscape (Marion, South Dakota: Rose Hill Books, 1997)

________________, Haiku For the Birds: And Other Related Stuff (Marion, South Dakota: Rose Hill Books, 2002)

Writings: Books

Frank Pommersheim, South Dakota Tribal Court Handbook (1986)(rev. ed., 1992)

________________, Broken Ground and Flowing Waters: An Introductory Text with Materials on Rosebud Sioux Tribal Government ([Rosebud, South Dakota: Sinte Gleska College Press], 1977)(drawings by Thomas Simms)

Frank Pommersheim & Anita Remerowski, Reservation Street Law: A Handbook of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (Rosebud, South Dakota: Sinte Gleska College Press, 1979)

Frank Pommersheim, Braid of Feathers: American Indian Law and Contemporary Tribal Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)

Writings: Articles, Essays, Reports & Panel Discussions

Frank Pommersheim, Book Review (South Dakota Criminal Justice: A Study of Racial Disparities by Richard Braunstein and Steve Feimer), 48 South Dakota Law Review 171 (2002-2003)

________________, Looking Forward and Looking Back: The Promise and Potential of a Sioux Nation Judicial Support Center and Sioux Nation Supreme Court, 34 Ariz. St. L.J. 269 (2002)

________________, Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock: A Little Haiku Essay on a Missed Constitutional Moment, 38 Tulsa Law Review 49 (2002)

________________, Looking Forward and Looking Back: The Promise and Potential of a Sioux Nation Judicial Support Center and Sioux Nation Supreme Court, 34 Arizona State Law Journal 269 (2002)

________________, Is There a Little (or Not so Little) Constitutional Crisis Developing in Indian Law? 5 University of Pennsylvania Constitutional Law Review 271 (2002)

________________, Natural Resources, Economics, and the Environment: Global Issues Facing Native Communities, 7 Great Plains Natural Resources Journal 23 (2002)

________________, Reconciliation Place Project Report II (with John LaVelle)(2002)

________________, Toward a Great Sioux National Judicial Support Center and Supreme Court: An Interim Planning and Recommendation Report for the Wakpa Sica Historical Society's Reconciliation Place Project (with John LaVelle), 17 Wicazo Sa Review 183 (2002)

________________, "Indian Tribal Courts," in Dictionary of American History (2001)

________________, 'Our Federalism' in the Context of Federal Courts and Tribal Courts: An Open Letter to the Federal Court's Teaching and Scholarly Community," 71 Colorado Law Review 123 (2000)

________________, Coyote Paradox: Some Indian Law Reflections from the Edge of the Prairie, 31 Arizona State Law Journal 439 (1999)

________________, Representing Native People and Indian Tribes: A Response to Professor Allegretti, 66 Fordham Law Review 66 (1998)

________________, Indian Nations on the Eve of the 21st Century (panel discussion), 43 South Dakota Law Review 438 (1998)

________________, Tribal Courts and the Federal Judiciary: Opportunities and Challenges for a Constitutional Democracy, 58 Montana Law Review 313 (1997)

________________, Democracy, Citizenship, and Indian Law Literacy: Some Initial Thoughts, 14 Thomas M. Cooley Law Review 457 (1997)

________________, What Must Be Done to Achieve the Vision of the Twenty-First Century Tribal Judiciary, 7 Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy 8 (1997)

________________, "Tribal Courts: Constitutional Decision Making and An Opportunity for Transformation," in Law and the Great Plains (1996).

________________, "Tribal Law and Tribal Courts" in The Encyclopedia of Native American Legal Tradition (1996)

________________, Tribal Court Jurisprudence: A Snapshot From the Field, 21 Vermont Law Review 7 (1996)

________________, Tribal Courts: Providers of Justice and Protectors of Sovereignty, 79 Judicature 110 (November-December 1995)

________________, Dispute Resolution in Indian Country: Does Abstention Make the Heart Grow Fonder? 71 North Dakota Law Review 541 (1995)(panel discussion)

________________, Diminishment of Indian Reservations: Legislative or Judicial Fiat? 71 North Dakota Law Review 415 (1995)(panel discussion)

________________, A Symposium on Tribal Courts: Introduction, 19 Oklahoma City University Law Review 1 (1994)

________________, Liberation, Dreams, and Hard Work: An Essay on Tribal Court Jurisprudence, 1992 Wisconsin Law Review 411 (1992)

________________, A Path Near the Clearing: An Essay on Constitutional Adjudication in Tribal Courts," 27 Gonzaga Law Review 393 (1992)

________________, Tribal-State Relations: Hope for the Future? 36 South Dakota Law Review 239 (1991)

________________, The Reservation as Place: A South Dakota Essay, 34 South Dakota Law Review 246 (1989)(reprinted in Centennial West (1990)

________________, Marking Time: Does Race Make a Difference? A Study of Disparate Sentencing in South Dakota, 13 Journal of Crime and Justice 1 (1990)(with Steve Feimer and Steve Wise)

________________, The Crucible of Sovereignty: Analyzing Issues of Tribal Jurisdiction, 31 Arizona Law Review 329 (1989)

________________, 'I Fought the Law and the Law Won': A Report on Women and Disparate Sentencing in South Dakota, 15 New England Journal on Criminal & Civil Confinement (1989)(with Chris Hutton and Steve Feimer)(reprinted in Native Americans, Crime and Justice (1996)

________________, Going to the Penitentiary: A Study of Disparate Sentencing in South Dakota, 16 Criminal Justice and Behavior: An International Journal 25 (1989)(with Steve Wise)

________________, The Contextual Legitimacy of Adjudication in Tribal Courts and the Role of the Tribal Bar as an Interpretive Community: An Essay, 18 New Mexico Law Review 49 (1988)

________________, Voices, Values and Community: Some Reflections on Legal Writing, 12 Legal Studies Forum 477 (1988)

________________, The Black Hills Case: On the Cusp of History, 4 Wicazo Sa Review 18 (Spring 1988)

________________, Economic Development in Indian Country: What Are the Questions? 12 American Indian Law Review 195 (1986)

________________, Tribal Immunity, Tribal Courts, and the Federal System: Emerging Contours and Frontiers, 31 South Dakota Law Review 553 (1986)(with Terry Pechota)


Charles Abourezk, From a Lawyer's Heart, A Pulse of Poetry (Book Review), 41 South Dakota Law Review 624 (1996)

Reviews of Braid of Feathers

N. Bruce Duthu, Holding a Great Vision: Engaging the Jurisprudential Voice of Tribal Courts, 71 North Dakota Law Review 1129 (1995)

Philip P. Frickey, Law and Equality: Context and Legitimacy in Federal Indian Law, 94 Michigan Law Review 1973 (1996)

Alex Tallchief Skibine, Book Review, 96 Columbia Law Review 557 (1996)

Wendy Nelson Espeland, Book Review, 16 Law & History Review 436 (1998)