In the Courts of the Conqueror - Walter R. Echo-Hawk in Conversation with Autry Museum President W. Richard West Jr.

Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

In honor of Native American Heritage Month, the Ventura County Library along with the Southern California Library Cooperative are continuing their Be the Change Series with two noted Native American authors.

On Thursday, November 5, 2020, author and attorney Walter R. Echo-Hawk will discuss his book, In the Courts of the Conqueror: The 10 Worst Indian Law Cases Ever Decided, in conversation with Autry Museum President and Chief Executive W. Richard West Jr. Register for this virtual event at

In the Courts of the Conqueror examines ten Supreme Court cases that changed the fate of Native Americans, provides the contemporary historical/political context of each case, and explains how the decisions have adversely affected the cultural survival of Native people to this day. Among Mr. Echo-Hawk’s most important contributions to Native American rights was his involvement in the development and passage of The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), a Federal law passed in 1990. His books include In the Light of Justice: The Rise of Human Rights in Native America & the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and The Sea of Grass: A Family Tale from the American Heartland, a historical novel in the manner of Alex Haley’s Roots, in which Echo-Hawk chronicles the lives and times of ten generations of his Pawnee Indian family in the Central Plains of America.

Walter R. Echo-Hawk is a tribal leader of the Pawnee Nation, lawyer, tribal judge, scholar, author, and activist. His legal experience includes cases involving Native American religious freedom, prisoner rights, water rights, treaty rights, and reburial\repatriation rights. He is admitted to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, Colorado Supreme Court, Oklahoma Supreme Court, U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eighth, Ninth, District of Columbia, and Tenth Circuits, and a host of federal District Courts.

W. Richard West Jr. is a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and has led the Autry Museum since 2013. Previously he was founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., and worked nearly 20 years as a Native rights attorney.

See the Be the Change Series website for updates, online exhibits, and other programming. This series is sponsored by the City of Glendale Arts and Culture Commission.

The Be the Change series takes place in conjunction with such commemorations as Native American Heritage Month, Black History Month, Armenian Genocide Remembrance, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, and LGBTQ+ Pride. The series will also examine the one-year anniversary of the 2020 racial justice protests and 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre. The series will include virtual lectures, exhibits, and online programming from authors, curators, and historians.

The series is brought to you by the Ventura County Library in partnership with the Southern California Library Cooperative and Outlook Newspapers. The series is led by Glendale Library, Arts & Culture and sponsored by the City of Glendale Arts and Culture Commission, with funding from the City of Glendale Urban Art Fund.

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