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!
'God Hates Native Culture': Westboro Baptist to Picket Alaska Natives
The Westboro Baptist Church, infamously known for its offensive protest signs which celebrate the death of soldiers, God?s hate toward homosexuals and more, has set their sights to protest the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage on Sunday June 1. Though the former leader of the church Fred Phelps recently died, the members of the WBC are carrying the torch forward.
Shortly after the announcement of the protest by the WBC, a No Westboro Baptist Protest at our AK Native Heritage Center! Facebook page was created to offset the protest. Though the Facebook page had over 600 members on Monday evening, it had doubled in size by Tuesday afternoon to well over 1,200.
According to the ?No Westboro? Facebook pages? mission statement posted by Donna Willoya:
?We are uniting as Alaskans to honor and embrace our cultural diversity, to preserve our heritage and to teach future generations the importance of acceptance & respect for all people.?
Willoya also posted in the group that though people may get angry at the WBC members for wanting to protest, she wishes the Native community not to respond with violence and sink to their level.
?So many people love the AK Native Heritage Center. Any Westboro Baptist protest will and can invoke a feeling horror in ourselves. It makes us lash out. We almost become like them, those Westboro Baptist people. Some of us want to fight. I do. We must remain non-violent and peaceful. It is the best way to combat the toxic waste of Westboro Baptist protests. Keep it clean in the comments folks. We desire suggestions. We understand the need to spew and basically scream away the toxic waste. Keep it clean and check back for updates,? she wrote.
According to their release posted on their offensively titled website GodHatesFags.com, they will be protesting the Alaska Heritage Center in Anchorage Alaska on Sunday, June 1 from 8:45-9:15 a.m. for two reasons:
??you make a religion out of the pagan idolatrous practices of past generations. There is nothing appealing or holy about the ?heritage? of the eleven ?distinct cultures? or ?diverse population? of Alaska. They walked in darkness and served idols of every kind, contrary to the direct commandment to have no gods before God.?
?? you fail to give God the glory, instead of the traditions and gods of the past? Stop worshiping dead cultures, man-made idols, and the sinful traditions of past generations. Put the resources into teaching and learning the Bible instead, and warning your neighbor to stop sinning before it?s too late, and he?s sinned away the last day of grace.?
The release is also peppered with bible passages from Acts and Exodus and comments such as ?God hasn?t completely destroyed Alaska yet, so there is time to repent of this idolatry.?
10 Native-Themed Easter Gifts and Basket Stuffers?No Seriously
Nothing?and I mean nothing?says Easter like Native American gifts. Wait, what? That?s not true at all. Just enjoy the article.
We all loved the Easter Bunny when we were kids, right? Except we never really knew if it was an actual rabbit, or a giant-sized stuffed creature like those you see at the mall. Okay I?m a little weirded out now.
Anyway, since this is a Native publication and Easter is coming up on April 20?let?s celebrate some Easter merriment?Native Style! So here you are, 10 Native-themed Easter gifts to stuff in your basket this year.
Southwest Style Easter Eggs
Just go grab your vial of India ink, felt tipped pens, clear plastic varnish (yes varnish) and a beautiful Native basket to put them in and presto! You?re an instant Easter Indian. Enjoy! (Find instructions here.)
Chocolate Native American
Are you sick and tired of biting the ears off your chocolate Easter Bunny? ME TOO! How about instead of deafening that poor chocolate bunny (it has no ears, get it?never mind), now you get to bite off a chocolate chief?s headdress! It?s only $4 at the Dunmore Candy Kitchen.
Onondaga Nation Files Human Rights Violations against US
The Onondaga Nation has taken its land rights case into the international arena.
On Tuesday, April 15, the Onondaga Nation filed a petition against the United States with the Organization of American States? Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington, D.C. The petition accuses the U.S. of human rights violations by stealing 2.5 million acres of the Nation?s land since 1788 in what is now central New York state and seeks redress for the violation of the Onondaga people?s rights to property, equal treatment, and judicial protection.
The filing took place exactly six months after the U.S. Supreme Court denied the Onondaga Nation?s request for a review of a lower court?s dismissal of its land rights lawsuit. The high court?s refusal to examine the case and send it back to a lower court for a trial on its merits was the last stop on the Nation?s 10-year journey through the U.S legal system, meaning the Nation had exhausted all judicial venues in the country.
?The courts of the United States have failed to provide any remedy for this loss of land,? the petition says. ?The United States domestic legal system?s denial of a remedy for violation of the Nation?s land rights and treaties is a violation of the Nation?s fundamental human rights protected by the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and other international human rights agreements.?
The Organization of American States (OAS) is comprised of 35 nations in the Americas and was created in 1948 to promote "an order of peace and justice, to promote their solidarity, to strengthen their collaboration, and to defend their sovereignty, their territorial integrity, and their independence."
The IACHR was created as an autonomous organ of the OAS with a mission to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere, according to the organization?s website. The commission considers that ?special attention must be devoted to those populations, communities and groups that have historically been the targets of discrimination.?
To Book Walter Echo-Hawk
Thursday April 24th, 2014
The Henry Zarrow Center for Art & Education, Tulsa, OK
06:00pm to 07:00pm
Public Keynote, "In The Light of Justice," Tulsa Indigenous Studies Alliance, Spring Speaker Series.
Thursday May 1st, 2014
The W Hotel, Seattle, WA
06:30pm to 07:30pm
Dinner Speech, Northwest Indian Bar Association (NIBA)
Tuesday June 10th, 2014
Isleta Pueblo Hotel, Albuquerque, NM
01:30pm to 02:45pm
Lecture, "United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples" at 2014 National Program Training of the Society of American Indian Government Employees (SAIGE) Conference.
"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...