Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk
Larry Echo Hawk, an enrolled member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior on May 19, 2009, and was sworn into office by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on May 22, 2009.
Prior to his appointment, Mr. Echo Hawk served for 14 years as a Professor of Law at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School where he taught Federal Indian law, criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, criminal trial practice, and published several scholarly papers.
A former U.S. Marine, Mr. Echo Hawk began his law career as a legal services attorney working for impoverished Indian people in California, then opened a private law office in Salt Lake City. In 1977, he was named Chief General Legal Counsel to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in Idaho, a position he held for more than eight years. He became special counsel to the tribes in 1998. He is admitted to the bar in Idaho, Utah, and California.
Mr. Echo Hawk was elected Attorney General of Idaho in 1990, the first American Indian in U.S. history to achieve that distinction. He had served as the Bannock County (Idaho) Prosecuting Attorney since 1986. Before that, he served two consecutive terms in the Idaho House of Representatives, from 1982 to 1986.
Mr. Echo Hawk has served on the American Indian Services National Advisory Board and Board of Trustees. He was appointed by President Clinton to the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, which is responsible for coordinating the Federal Government’s efforts to combat juvenile delinquency in the United States. He also has served on the Indian Alcoholism Counseling and Recovery Housing Program, and the American Indian Community Resource Center Board.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from BYU in 1970. Mr. Echo Hawk received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Utah in 1973 and attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA Program from 1974 to 1975. He has received numerous awards and honors, including Distinguished Alumnus Awards from both Brigham Young University (1992) and the University of Utah (2003).
In 1991, Mr. Echo Hawk was awarded the George Washington University’s prestigious Martin Luther King medal for his contributions to human rights, and was honored as a speaker at the Democratic National Convention. As Idaho’s delegation chair, he became the first American Indian to lead a state delegation to a national political convention.
Mr. Echo Hawk also was honored in 1995 as the first BYU graduate ever to receive the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s prestigious Silver Anniversary Award, which is given to a select few prominent athletes who completed their collegiate athletic eligibility 25 years ago and have distinguished themselves in their careers and personal lives.