Native American Women Activitists to Speak March 21 at UMass Amherst

March 17, 2000

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AMHERST, Mass. - Come and hear two powerful Native American women activists speak about the history and current struggles of the New York City Native American Community Monday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. in room 601 Herter Hall.

Tonya Gonella Frichner and Leota Lone Dog will speak at the UMass campus on "Native American Women and the NYC Native American Community." This event is sponsored by the UMass Native American Indian Studies Certificate Program and the History Department.

Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Esq., is a citizen of the Onondaga Nation, Snipe Clan of the Haudenosaunee. Ms. Gonnella Frichner is the founder and president of the American Indian Law Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that focuses primarily on legal issues affecting all aspects of Indian survival and whose mandate is simply to serve the people. The Legal Service project of the AILA offers free legal services on a walk-in basis to the Native American community at the American Indian Community House. Ms. Gonnella Frichner is also a professor of law at the Greenberg Center for Legal Education and Urban Policy at the City College of New York and has been an adjunct professor at New York University and Hunter College. As a laywer and Native American activist, Ms. Gonnella Frichner''s involvement extends into many spheres through her efforts as legal counsel to the Haudenosaunee Nation at Working Group sessions of the United Nations in Geneva, as head of a committee of pro bono attorneys acting in an advisory capacity to the traditional leadership of the Lakota Nation through the Teton Sioux Nation Treaty Council, and as a member of the board of directors of organizations such as the Seventh Generation Fund, Native Americans in Philanthropy, the International Movement against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism. She has received many honors and awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor (1990), Thunderbird American Indian Powwow''s Indian of the Year (1994), the Helen Hunt Jackson Neighborhood Leadership Award of the New York Women''s Foundation (1996), and was most recently named as one of the top ten female role models by Ms. Magazine.

Leota Lone Dog (Lakota/Mohawk/Delaware) is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies at New York University. Her dissertation research is a history of the New York City Native American community based on oral history interviews and archival research. She has received numerous academic honors, including awards from the Mellon Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Ms. Lone Dog is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Indian Community House in New York City and the Open Meadows Foundation. She has also worked as stage manager for Spiderwoman Theater.