Pawnee Supreme Court Justice to Lecture about Experiences of Native Americans in the Courts

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM

Echo-HawkWalter Echo-Hawk, Jr., Supreme Court Justice of the Pawnee Nation, adjunct professor at The University of Tulsa College of Law, author, and Of Counsel for the law firm of Crowe & Dunlevy, will give a lecture at Gilcrease Museum on Wednesday, January 26, about the experiences of Native Americans in the U.S. court system.

Sponsored by the Native American Law Center and Gilcrease Museum, the lecture will relate to his book, In the Courts of the Conqueror: The Ten Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided. The lecture will be given at 6 p.m. in the Tom Gilcrease, Jr. Auditorium. There will be a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the museum's Vista Room. The lecture and reception are open to the public.

Also part of the event at Gilcrease will be a special artistic presentation by Bunky Echo-Hawk, noted Native American artist and son of Walter Echo-Hawk, Jr.

Walter Echo-Hawk, Jr. is the chairman of the board of directors for the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, a new national and permanently endowed foundation to support Native art and culture. He is the author of the book, Battlefields and Burial Grounds.

From 1973 to 2008, he was a staff attorney of the Native American Rights Fund, where he represented Indian Tribes, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians on significant legal issues during the modern era of federal Indian law. Echo-Hawk’s legal experience includes cases involving Native American religious freedom, prisoner rights, water rights, treaty rights, and reburial\repatriation rights. Currently, he represents the Klamath Tribes to quantify treaty-protected Indian water rights in Southern Oregon for hunting, fishing, and gathering purposes.

In 2010, Echo-Hawk received a Governor’s Commendation from Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry for professional contributions on behalf of indigenous cultures throughout the nation. In 2009, the Federal Bar Association awarded Echo-Hawk the Judge Sarah Hughes Civil Liberties Award, and Oklahoma State University awarded him the Distinguished Native American Alumni award. Other honors include the 1998 Martin Luther King Peace Award from Metropolitan College in Denver, the 1995 Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association, and the 1991 Civil Liberties Award from the ACLU of Oregon.

Echo-Hawk earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oklahoma State University in 1970 and a law degree from the University of New Mexico in 1973.

Gilcrease Museum is at 1400 North Gilcrease Museum Road in Tulsa. Visit the Gilcrease website for more information about the museum.

Scott Been