NNABA Celebrates 40 Years of Service
On April 12, 2013, the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) hosted its 40th Anniversary Celebration dinner. The dinner was held at the Rio Chama Steakhouse in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico to celebrate the four decades of NNABA’s achievements. While guests mingled and appetizers went around, a SLIDESHOW of NNABA’s past presidents – spanning from 1973 to 2013 – played in the dining room.
The dinner began with a blessing by Dallin Maybee (Seneca/Northern Arapaho) who is native artist and recent law school graduate. The event was emceed by Kirke Kickingbird (Kiowa) of Hobbs, Strauss, Dean & Walker LLP. Patty Ferguson-Bohnee (Pointe-au-Chien), past president of NNABA, welcomed guests to the dinner and the program began.
The program consisted of four speakers: Sam Deloria (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), Thomas Fredericks (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation), Lawrence R. Baca (Pawnee) and Kalyn Free (Choctaw). Sam Deloria took the dinner back to 1973, and talked about when the first group of Native American attorneys started entering the legal profession. Thomas Fredericks, who was NNABA’s president for the association’s first three years, presented on the inception of NNABA as an organization. Lawrence R. Baca, also a three-time president of NNABA, spoke on the evolution of the association. Kalyn Free closed out the program and spoke about how NNABA has served as a platform to address national challenges. The night ended with a special recognition of Walmart, who has been a generous supporter of NNABA since 2007.
Over sixty guests were present at the dinner, including New Mexico Republican Representative Sharon Clahchischillage and the Honorable Benjamin Zvenia of the Yavapai-Apache Nation. The proceeds from the event will support programming that advances NNABA’s mission to increase understanding of the unique cultural and legal issues faced by our communities.
NNABA would like to thank the following sponsors of the 40th Anniversary Celebration: