Let me be a free man—free to travel, free to work, free to follow the religion of my forefathers, and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.
-- Chief Joseph, Nez Perce.
Indigenous rights are never freely given—they must be demanded, wrested away, then vigilantly protected. That is the essence of freedom.
-- Walter Echo-Hawk, Pawnee.
NAWA! Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee) is a Native American speaker, author, and attorney. Throughout his distinguished legal career, he has worked to protect the legal, political, property, cultural, and human rights of Indian tribes and Native peoples. An articulate and versed indigenous rights activist, Echo-Hawk delivers keynote speeches and lectures on a wide variety of indigenous topics, involving Native arts and cultures, indigenous history, federal Indian law, religious freedom, environmental protection, Native American cosmology, and human rights.
He makes keynote appearances at important events throughout Indian Country and around the world. Over the years, he has offered major speeches in South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Philippines, Canada, and throughout the United States. He is currently on a book lecture tour for his groundbreaking book, In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided (2010). In June, his new book, "IN THE LIGHT OF JUSTICE," will be available on this website. This Site introduces this Native American Speaker, profiles his unique career, and provides Contact Information for your event. WELCOME!
The Week That Was: The Big Stories in Indian Country, March 9, 2014
It's our roundup of the stories that mattered most in Indian country:...
Obama Proposes $33.6M for Indian Country in FY 2015 Budget
On Tuesday Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced President Obama?s Fiscal Year 2015 budget request of $11.9 billion dollars for the Department of the interior....
Women Warriors: 5 Standout Indigenous Female Leaders in Canada
?A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground,? advises a proverb commonly attributed to the Tsistsistas (Cheyenne). ?Then it is done, no matter how brave its warriors or strong its weapons.?
In the country today known as Canada, indigenous women have always been at the forefront of defending their lands and cultures?from the iconic 1990 standoff between Mohawk warriors and the Canadian army near Oka, Quebec to Elsipogtog First Nation's ongoing anti-fracking battle near Rexton, New Brunswick.
In the most recent Assembly of First Nations elections two years ago, an unprecedented number of Native women campaigned to lead the body representing 633 bands. This week, women's decades of campaigning for a national inquiry into missing and murdered women has hit Parliament once again.
On International Women's Day, Indian Country Today Media Network highlights just some of the women leaders, artists and advocates at the forefront of change across Canada.
Twenty-four years ago, Indian country exploded with unrest that has shaped Native politics in Canada in a way no other event has since the 1960s. The spark was the quiet town of Oka, Quebec's attempt to expand a nine-hole golf course in 1990 atop a Mohawk burial ground and into the pine forest that?s sacred to the community of Kanehsatake. Their outrage ignored by authorities, women from the community set up a small blockade on the road. But when the provincial police force and even Canadian army was deployed, the blockade transformed into a months-long armed standoff that saw Native warriors from all corners of Turtle Island to draw a line in the sand, flooding into Mohawk territories, blocking major bridges along the U.S. border, setting police cars ablaze, and seeing railway blockades across the land in solidarity.
Women remained the decision-makers behind the blockade, and one 26-year-old became the face and voice of Kanehsatake for Canada. Ellen Gabriel, whose traditional name is Katsitsakwas, was chosen by her community at the time to represent the blockade.
In the decades since the so-called ?Oka Crisis,? Gabriel has continued her fight for her people. She became the president of Quebec Native Women, and went on to protect her language and culture through Kanehsat:ke Language and Cultural Center, where she works to this day.
Two years ago, Gabriel entered the spotlight once again, challenging incumbent National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Shawn Atleo, in a race centring on standing up to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and pushing for Indigenous self-determination. Her campaign was unsuccessful, but Gabriel told the aboriginal news siteWindspeaker that her goal was ?to bring back the voice of the people.?
?In 1990, Aboriginal peoples asserted our sovereignty, and we were criminalized for doing that,? she said. ?We are at a crossroads right now, whether we will be totally assimilated and whether we will have the ability to be self-determining people... We?re still dealing with the challenges of how to de-colonize our relationship with Canada, but also to decolonize the one we have with each other.?
Gabriel received the International Women?s Day Award from the Qubec Bar Association in 2008 and has also received the Native Women's Association of Canada's Golden Eagle Award, and a Jigonsaseh Women of Peace Award, for her ongoing advocacy work.
To Book Walter Echo-Hawk
Tuesday March 11th, 2014
Unviersity of Michigan, Henderson Room in the Michigan League, Ann Arbor, MI
04:00pm to 05:00pm
BOOK LECTURE: "In The Light of Justice"
Thursday March 13th, 2014
Michigan State University College of Law, East Lansing, MI
02:00pm to 03:00pm
BOOK LECTURE, "In The Light of Justice"
Wednesday March 26th, 2014
Humboldt State University, Kate Buchanan Room, Arcata, CA
06:00pm to 07:00pm
Public Lecture, Native Pathways Speaker Series.
"How the UNDRIP can provide a stronger foundation for Indian rights in the United States"
By Walter Echo-Hawk
Posted: 06 Mar 2011
INDIAN RIGHTS IN THE U.S. ARISE from a foundation fashioned in the 19th Century. Much of that foundation remains sound today and should be retained, especially the "inherent tribal sovereignty" doctrine of Worcester v. Georgia (1833) and its "protectorate framework" for protecting Indian nations that exist in the Republic as "domestic dependant...
"Why We Need The UN DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES"
By Walter Echo-Hawk
Posted: 27 Feb 2011
MANY IN INDIAN COUNTRY fail to see how international law can help solve tribal problems at home on Indian reservations. That is short-sighted. By contrast, the leading Indian Country organizations fought hard for many years to develop the UNDRIP and obtain UN and US approval. Those advocates include the National Congress of American Indians, Na...