The Federal Bar Association Indian Law Section is proud to announce that Frank Ducheneaux, Reid Peyton Chambers, and Harry Sachse are the 2019 recipients of the Lawrence R. Baca Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Federal Indian Law.
“Reid Chambers and Harry Sachse are monumental figures in the federal Indian legal community and Frank Ducheneaux is renowned for his decades of service to Indian Country from Capitol Hill,” said Indian Law Section Chairwoman Ann Tweedy.
“We are extremely proud to present the Lawrence Baca Lifetime Achievement Award to three outstanding individuals who have shaped federal Indian law as we know it.”
Reid and Harry will be honored at a luncheon on April 11, 2019, and Frank at a luncheon the following day, each at the Indian Law Section’s 44th Annual Conference on Federal Indian Law, at Sandia Resort and Casino near Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Frank Ducheneaux, a Cheyenne River Sioux citizen and graduate of the Cheyenne River Boarding School, has advocated for American Indian rights for the last 54 years.
He started his federal Indian legal career in 1967 as an attorney for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington, DC. In 1970, at age 30, he was elected Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians.
From 1970 to 1990, Frank served as Counsel on Indian Affairs to the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. For the last thirteen of those years, he served under Committee Chairman, Congressman Morris K. Udall.
During those decades comprising “the Golden Age” of federal Indian law, he played a prominent role in every major piece of Indian legislation to come before the Committee, including the Indian Self- Determination and Education Assistance Act, Indian Health Care Improvement Act, American Indian Religious Freedom Act, Indian Child Welfare Act, and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
Professor Eric Eberhard calls his “record of achievement on legislative matters…unprecedented and unparalleled in the history of the nation.”
Upon Frank’s departure from the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, Congressman Udall publicly told him: “Your contribution is difficult to put to words, Frank. There was so much of it. Quiet, effective and determined naturally come to mind.
But there was a special quality—a sensitivity—to it that I will miss the most, probably because it is so hard to find. I’ll just say there goes one of the best people I’ve ever known, a good and decent man who did good and decent things.”
After leaving the staff of Congress, Frank served tribal governments throughout the country in private practice as a lawyer and public affairs advocate. He received his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of South Dakota.