Email not displaying correctly? View the online version

National Native American Bar Association
subtle gradient image

For Immediate Release, April 15, 2015
Contact: Linda Benally (623) 308-2329


Linda Benally (Diné/Navajo) ascends to the Presidency, Mary Smith becomes Immediate Past President, and Jennifer Weddle elected as President-Elect.

Benally, NNABA President (2015-2016), proudly joins twenty-eight other Native American lawyers who have led the organization since its inception in 1973. The following list of Indian Nations represent the communities of past NNABA presidents: Mandan, Hidatsa, & Arikara, Cheyenne/Arapaho, Karuk Tribe of California Indians, Pawnee, Chippewa Cree, San Carlos Apache, Menominee, Oneida, Jicarilla Apache, Catawba/Cherokee, Lumbee, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Aleut, Nez Perce, Cheyenne River Sioux and Pointe-au-Chien. NNABA's Founding President is Thomas Fredericks who served as President in its early years from 1973-1976.

The NNABA Board of Directors plan to continue building on the stellar efforts of past leadership.

NNABA Executive Board:
President Linda Benally, Pinnacle West Capital Corporation
President-Elect Jennifer Weddle, Greenberg Traurig
Immediate Past-President Mary Smith, Office of the Special Deputy Receiver
Secretary Makalika Naholowaa, Microsoft Corporation
Treasurer Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

At-Large Directors:
Diandra Benally, Ft. McDowell Yavapai Nation
Hunter Cox, University of Michigan Law School
Gabriel S. Galanda, Galanda Broadman, PLLC
Loren Kieve, Kieve Law Offices
Robert Osley Saunooke, Esq, Saunooke Law Firm, PA
Lauren Van Schilfgaarde, Tribal Law and Policy Institute

Additionally, the NNABA board appointed:

  • Robert Saunooke to serve as the NNABA Delegate to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates
  • Lauren Van Schilfgaarde and Thomasina RedBird to serve as the ABA YLD Representatives to the Assembly and Makalika Naholowaa as the alternate representative
  • Coleen Lamarre to serve as NNABA's representative on the ABA Young Lawyer Division Council

Founded in 1973, NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

For more information visit

subtle gradient image