"I don’t envy Larry EchoHawk and his potential appointment as the “damned” assistant secretary of interior for Indian affairs.
However, I do support his appointment, if for no other reason than his record of public service and advocacy for Indian tribes as an attorney.
I say “damned” because, as head of the BIA, you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The tribes will be the first to kick him around if he does not do what they want, and the members of Congress who control Indian affairs will take him down if he advocates for Indian tribes beyond what the politicos will accept. I know – I’ve “been there, done that.”
I hope readers will consider the sector from which the first salvo against Larry EchoHawk came, the non-Indian lawyer/lobbyist sector. I am no longer engaged in the active practice of federal Indian law because I became so thoroughly disgusted as to the billing practices of non-Indian lawyers and lobbyists with regard to their tribal clients. I believe in tribal wealth creation, not exploitation. Unfortunately, many tribes, especially gaming tribes, seem to be of the faith that only non-Indians can best serve their lawyer and lobbying needs. If, therefore, the non-Indian lawyer/lobbyists are lining up against Mr. EchoHawk, I sincerely hope he gets the nod and gets confirmed."
Get the Story:
Harold Monteau: Supporting EchoHawk
(Indian Country Today 2/6)
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