John Echohawk, Pawnee, is the Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund. He was the first graduate of the University of New Mexico’s special program to train Indian lawyers, and was a founding member of the American Indian Law Students Association while in law school. John has been with NARF since its inception in 1970, having served continuously as Executive Director since 1977.

He has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in America by the National Law Journal and has received numerous service awards and other recognition for his leadership in the Indian law field including the 2023 Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association.

He serves on the Boards of the Association on American Indian Affairs, the Indigenous Language Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council, Grand Canyon Trust, Native Ways Federation, Water Foundation, Keystone Policy Center,.and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.

  • B.A., University of New Mexico (1967)
  • J.D., University of New Mexico (1970)
  • Reginald Heber Smith Fellow (1970-72)
  • Native American Rights Fund (August 1970 to present)
  • Admitted to practice law in Colorado.

Download a high resolution headshot of John E. Echohawk here.

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