Chad Corntassel Smith lecture

Complimentary tickets, available August 16, are required through the Olin Box Office, Monday through Friday, 1 - 4 p.m., (540) 375-2333 or online at

SALEM, Va.-The third and final speaker in Roanoke College’s Henry H. Fowler Public Policy Lecture Series, “Civil Rights: The Legacy & The Promise,” will be Chad Corntassel Smith.  He will offer his unique perspective as Chief of the Cherokee Nation and as a constitutional lawyer on “Native American Rights and Cherokee Culture” Wednesday, November 3, at 7:30 p.m. in the Colket Center Wortmann Ballroom.  
Smith was elected as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1999 by the Cherokee people.  He has brought growth in the Cherokee Nation budgets and helped increase the number of Cherokees employed by the Cherokee Nation.

Smith has a rich family history of service to the Cherokee people.  His great-grandfather was a Cherokee patriot and his grandmother was a life-long advocate for the Cherokee people.  His wife, Bobbie Gail, is a bi-lingual Cherokee and has taken a leadership role in culture and language preservation.

Prior to his service as Principal Chief, Smith taught Indian law on the college level, worked as a Cherokee Nation prosecutor, as an administrator of Cherokee Nation Tax Commission and he worked as a prosecutor, public defender and operated his own law practice.

Smith has a bachelor’s degree with a major in education from the University of Georgia.  He received his master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin and a Juris Doctorate, Law, from the University of Tulsa.