Attorney, author and scholar Echo-Hawk to deliver E.N. Thompson Lecture

· 3 min read

Attorney, author and scholar Echo-Hawk to deliver E.N. Thompson Lecture

Walter Echo-Hawk
Walter Echo-Hawk

Walter Echo-Hawk, a well-known Native American attorney, tribal judge, author, activist and law professor, will present “Reckoning and Reconciliation on the Great Plains: Healing Historical Harm Caused by Conquest and Colonialism” at 7 p.m. April 6 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. The event is in partnership with the Center for Great Plains Studies.

The free public event is part of the 2021-22 E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. To order tickets, click here, call 402-472-4747 or visit the Lied Center box office, 301 N. 12th St. The forum is general admission, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

Echo-Hawk has dedicated his life to working for the rights of his Pawnee people and all Indian nations to practice their religions, access their sacred sites, have cultural artifacts and human remains returned, regain land and practice sovereignty.

Echo-Hawk is president of the Pawnee Nation Business Council. He has represented Indian tribes on important legal issues, such as treaty, water, religious, prisoner and repatriation rights. His career spans the pivotal years when Indian tribes reclaimed their land, sovereignty and pride in a stride toward freedom.

Echo-Hawk’s wealth of experience and knowledge will inform Nebraskans not only about the histories of injustice against Pawnee people and other Indian nations, but about how everyone can take steps to heal from and repair the abuses of the past to build a society based on dignity and respect for all. He will share his deep knowledge of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and truth and reconciliation efforts to bring justice and healing to Indigenous peoples in Nebraska and worldwide.

As a Native American rights attorney since 1973, Walter worked at the epicenter of a great social movement alongside visionary tribal leaders; visited tribes in Indigenous habitats throughout North America; and was instrumental in the passage of landmark laws — such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (1990) and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act Amendments (1994). He has litigated in many cases and has written extensively about the rise of modern Indian nations, including the groundbreaking 2010 book “In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided.”

This year’s E.N. Thompson series, “Moments of Reckoning: Global Calls for Racial Equity and Action,” features five explorations into historical and contemporary cases of discrimination. The series kicked off Sept. 1 with a panel discussion featuring Husker faculty and continued with Professor Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia on Nov. 2; actress, author and playwright Anna Deveare Smith on Feb. 22; and a panel discussion featuring Lincoln-area youth on March 22.

All events are free and open to the public. Event summaries and full biographical information on each speaker is available here.

Events are streamed on the E.N. Thompson Forum website and available on NET, LNKTV City and LNKTV Education. Events are also accessible on campus channel 4 and KRNU radio 90.3 FM. All talks are interpreted or will have closed captioning for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lied Center and University Honors Program. The series was established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the university and people of Nebraska to promote understanding and encourage discussion.

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