Crowe & Dunlevy Attorney Receives Lawrence R. Baca Lifetime Achievement Award

The Indian Law Section of the Federal Bar Association (FBA) has awarded Crowe & Dunlevy attorney Walter R. Echo-Hawk Jr. the 2015 Lawrence R. Baca Lifetime Achievement Award. The highest honor given by the FBA’s Indian Law Section, this award is bestowed upon those who show excellence in Indian law, are held in high esteem in their professional arena and have made significant contributions to the field of Indian law through litigation, development of legislation, scholarship or development of Indian law students or through tribal leadership.

Echo-Hawk is a member of Crowe & Dunlevy's Indian Law & Gaming practice group, which provides legal representation for American Indian tribes in Oklahoma. He has been a human rights attorney since 1973 and has devoted most of his legal career at the Native American Rights Fund (1973-2009) and Crowe & Dunlevy to protecting American Indians’ human rights, which include rights to culture, self-determination, religious freedom, land and natural resources.

“Throughout his more than 40-year career as a lawyer, tribal judge, scholar and activist, Walter has fought tirelessly for American Indian rights,” said Crowe & Dunlevy President and CEO Kevin D. Gordon. “We are proud to see him honored by the Federal Bar Association with this award.”

In his work with the Native American Rights Fund, he represented Indian tribes, Alaska natives and native Hawaiians on significant legal issues during the modern era of federal Indian law. He served on the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation board of directors and was instrumental in securing passage of two federal laws that respect Indian and religious freedoms and also the repatriation of Native American remains to Indian tribes.

Echo-Hawk is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Kickapoo Tribe and is admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, Colorado Supreme Court, Oklahoma Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eighth, Ninth, District of Columbia and Tenth Circuits and a host of federal district courts.

The award was presented to Echo-Hawk in April at the FBA’s 40th Annual Conference on Federal Indian Law, attended by 800 lawyers, federal officials, tribal leaders, judges, law students and others. It is the largest Indian law conference in the United States and the world and serves as the meeting of the national Native American Bar Association and Native American Law Students Association. Fellow Crowe & Dunlevy attorney and Indian Law & Gaming practice group member D. Michael McBride III presented the award to Echo-Hawk.

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