June 29, 1998

For Further Information Contact: John Echohawk, (303) 447-8760


Ada Deer Named to Native American Rights Fund National Support Committee

BOULDER, CO – The Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is pleased to announce that Ada Deer (Menominee) has been renamed to its National Support Committee (NSC). To prevent a conflict of interest, Deer resigned from the NSC when she was appointed to the position of Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Deer is currently a senior lecturer at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin and has over two decades of local, regional and national experience in the areas of education, politics, Indian policymaking, social work, and community service. Former chair of NARF's National Support Committee and chair of the NARF board of directors, her long list of national board service includes the National Association of Social Workers, Americans for Indian Opportunity, Council on Foundations, American Indian Policy Review Commission, and Planned Parenthood. Deer earned a Masters of Social Work from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin. Among her numerous achievements, Deer is perhaps best known for speerheading the restoration of the Menominee Nation as a federally recognized tribe in the 1970s and for classifying 226 Alaska Native villages as federally recognized tribes in 1993 during her tenure as Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs.

"The Native American Rights Fund is honored to welcome Ms. Deer back to our National Support Committee. Her extensive experience in Indian issues coupled with her commitment to the protection and enhancement of tribal sovereignty will undoubtedly be beneficial to our public outreach efforts," says NARF Executive Director John Echohawk.

As a member of the NSC, Deer will assist NARF in its fundraising and public relations efforts. She will be rejoining fellow NARF National Support Committee members Owanah Anderson, Edward Asner, Katrina McCormick Barnes, Debra Bassett, David Brubeck, U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Harvey A. Dennenberg, Richard Dysart, Louise Erdrich, James Garner, Sy Gomberg, Will H. Hays, Jr., Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., Charles R. Klewin, Wilma Mankiller, Chris E. McNeil, Jr., Billy Mills, N. Scott Momaday, Amado Pena, Jr., David Risling, Jr., Pernell Roberts, Walter S. Rosenberry, III., Leslie Marmon Silko, Connie Stevens, Anthony L. Strong, Maria Tallchief, Andrew Teller, Verna Teller, Studs Terkel, Ruth Thompson, Tenaya Torres, Thomas Tureen, Aine Ungar, Rt. Rev. William C. Wantland, Dennis Weaver, and W. Richard West, Jr.

The Native American Rights Fund is a non-profit organization that provides legal advice and representation to Indian tribes, individuals and organizations nationwide in the areas of: the preservation of tribal existence; the protection of tribal natural resources; the promotion of human rights; the accountability of governments to Native Americans; and the development of Indian law. NARF is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado with offices in Washington, DC and Anchorage, Alaska.