george emilio sanchez: In the Court of the Conqueror

In the Court of the Conqueror is a solo performance by george emilio sanchez with visual design by Patty Ortiz that delves into how U.S. courts have diminished the Tribal Sovereignty of Native Nations. The piece also shares sanchez’s experiences of navigating generational trauma and Indigenous identity while being raised in an Ecuadorian immigrant household.

The March 11 and 12 performances will be followed by post-performance discussions between sanchez and N. Bruce Duthu, Professor of Native American Studies at Dartmouth College. And on March 17th there will be a discussion with Gonzalo Casals.

March 18th’s performance will include ASL interpretation.

Digital Program


george emilio sanchez is a writer, performance artist and social justice activist. Most recently he was the recipient of the inaugural Keith Haring Artist Fellowship by The MacDowell in 2021. In 2019 he premiered XIV at Dixon Place which served as the first installment of his Performing the Constitution series. He has served as the Performance Director for Emergenyc for 15 years. He has taught at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island for over 20 years and is a Social Practice Artist-in-Residence at Abrons Arts Center. In August 2021 he completed a Masters in Legal Studies in Indigenous Peoples Law at the University of Oklahoma as part of his artistic research for this performance piece.

Patty Ortiz received BFA from University of Texas and MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  Ortiz has exhibited her work throughout the United States and internationally including Mexico City, Chile, and Amsterdam. She received a “New Forms Regional Initiative Grant”, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts’ InterArts Program and a CoVision Project Grant from the Colorado Council on the Arts. Ortiz has received several public and private commissions including the City of Boulder, The Jeppeson Corporation in Frankfort Germany, and Denver International Airport. Since 2015 Ortiz has presented her Work Won’t Kill You series at SaltQuarters, Syracuse, NY, Art Produce, San Diego, CA, Terminal Gallery, San Antonio, TX, Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, CO, Luminaria Contemporary Art Festival, San Antonio, TX and at Emmanuel College in Boston, MA. In 2020 during the pandemic she was invited to participate in the Citizenship Parade, a socially distant event presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art/Denver and in the fall of 2021 she was resident artist at the Santa Fe Art Institute in Santa Fe, NM. 

Professor N. Bruce Duthu is the Samson Occom Professor and Chair of Native American & Indigenous Studies at Dartmouth College. An internationally recognized scholar of Native American law and policy, Professor Duthu joined the faculty of Arts & Sciences at Dartmouth in 2008.  He served as Dartmouth’s Associate Dean of the Faculty for International Studies & Interdisciplinary Programs.  Duthu earned his BA degree in religion and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and his JD degree from Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans. Prior to joining the Dartmouth faculty, Duthu was Professor of Law at Vermont Law School where he also served as the law school’s Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and as inaugural director of the VLS-Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, China) Partnership in Environmental Law. He served as visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School, the universities of Wollongong and Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, and the University of Trento in northern Italy.

Professor Duthu is the author of SHADOW NATIONS: TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY AND THE LIMITS OF LEGAL PLURALISM (Oxford University Press 2013) and AMERICAN INDIANS AND THE LAW (Viking/Penguin Press 2008) and was a contributing author of Felix S. Cohen’s HANDBOOK OF FEDERAL INDIAN LAW (2005), the leading treatise in the field of federal Indian law.  His co-edited special volume of South Atlantic Quarterly, Sovereignty, Indigeneity and the Law, won the 2011 CELJ (Council of Editors of Learned Journals) award for Best Special Issue.  He co-produced the documentary feature film, Dawnland (2018) that focuses on state removal of Indian children from their families.  In 2019, Dawnland received an Emmy award for Outstanding Research.  Duthu has lectured on indigenous rights in various parts of the world, including Russia, China, Bolivia, Italy, France, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Professor Duthu is an enrolled tribal member of the United Houma Nation of Louisiana. He and his wife, Hilde Ojibway, have 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

Gonzalo Casals is then Senior Research and Policy Fellow for Arts and Culture at the Andrew W. Mellow Foundation. A cultural producer, arts administrator, and policymaker, Gonzalo held various executive roles at El Museo del Barrio (2006-2013), Friends of the High Line (2013-2017), and the Leslie-Lohman Museum (2017-2020). Recently, he was the Commissioner for the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, where he directed cultural policy for the City of New York while leading the recovery of the Arts and Culture sector during the COVID19 pandemic.


In the Court of the Conqueror is commissioned by Abrons Arts Center and is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the MacDowell Fellowship, the MAP Fund, and the Native American Studies Department of Dartmouth College.

Image courtesy of george emilio sanchez