Larry EchoHawk, a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, is a familiar name in Indian Country. After two terms in the Idaho Legislature, where he worked on tribal issues, he became the first Native American elected to a statewide office when he was attorney general of Idaho from 1991 to 1995.
The EchoHawk family is known for their Indian advocacy too. Larry's brother, John, serves as executive director of the Native American Rights Fund, where a cousin, Walter, also works. Along with his two of sons, Larry EchoHawk runs a law firm in Idaho that specializes in tribal representation.
"I urge you to look behind the euphoria of the new administration, and the great respect that rightfully belongs to the EchoHawk name, and look at the specific facts regarding this specific man, and call upon the Obama administration and [Interior] Secretary [Ken] Salazar to choose someone other than Larry EchoHawk for this important position," Cromwell, whose law firm exclusively deals with tribes, said in an open letter.
"Imagine that, while at the table with a federal obligation to negotiate in good faith, Larry EchoHawk instead headed up the extraordinary effort to change Idaho law to deprive tribes of their federal and inherent rights to operate Class III games on their lands," Cromwell wrote in a second letter.