John Echohawk is the Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). NARF, which was founded in 1970, considers Indian water rights to be one of the most important Native American rights issues and has been involved in the nine of the 32 Indian water rights cases that have resulted in settlements. NARF currently represents the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas, the Klamath Tribes of Oregon, the Tule River Tribe of California, and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians on water rights issues.
He has worked with the Department of the Interior, the Western Governors Association, the Western States Water Council, the Conference of Western Attorneys General, the Western Business Roundtable, the National Congress of American Indians and the Joint Federal Tribal Water Funding Task Force to promote favorable Indian water rights settlement policies. He was also appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Western Water Policy Review Commission. In 1992, he served on the Clinton-Gore transition team for the Department of the Interior. In 2008, he served on the Obama-Biden transition team for the Department of the Interior.
He serves on the Boards of the American Indian Resources Institute, the Association on American Indian Affairs, the Indigenous Language Institute, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. B.A., University of New Mexico (1967); J.D., University of New Mexico (1970); Reginald Heber Smith Fellow (1970-72); Native American Rights Fund (August 1970 to present); admitted to practice law in Colorado.