NCAI News


NCAI and NARF Applaud President Biden’s Historic Nomination of the First Native Woman to the Federal Bench in Oklahoma

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Published on: 10/18/2023

Today, President Joseph R. Biden announced his intent to nominate Sara Hill (Cherokee) to serve as a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma. Hill is President Biden’s fourth Native American judicial nominee and, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, would be the first American Indian or Alaska Native woman to serve as a federal judge in Oklahoma, and the seventh actively serving as a federal district court judge in the United States.

Hill has had a long career in civil service, including as the Attorney General and the Secretary of Natural Resources for the Cherokee Nation. She has litigated at all levels of state and federal court on a diverse range of issues including the Nation’s treaty rights and the preservation of the Indian Child Welfare Act.

“NCAI strongly supports President Biden’s nomination of Sara Hill, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, to be the first-ever Native American woman to sit on the federal bench in the state of Oklahoma,” said NCAI Executive Director Larry Wright, Jr. “Sara Hill will bring unparalleled experience in law and policy to our justice system. NCAI urges the swift confirmation of Ms. Hill as the nomination moves before the U.S. Senate.”

“Sara Hill has a strong history of public service and possesses excellent qualifications to be a federal judge,” said Native American Rights Fund Executive Director John Echohawk. “We applaud the Biden Administration’s selection of this historic nominee and urge her confirmation. She will be a strong addition to the federal judiciary in Oklahoma.”

NARF and NCAI have long advocated for increasing Native representation in the federal court system. It is imperative to have federal judges who understand the unique relationship between the United States and Tribal Nations and who reflect a more diverse swath of the districts that they serve.

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About the Native American Rights Fund (NARF):
NARF is a non-profit 501c(3) organization focused on applying existing laws and treaties to guarantee that federal and state governments live up to their legal obligations to Native Americans. Since 1970, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) has provided specialized legal assistance to Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals nationwide to assert and defend the most important Native rights. In hundreds of major cases. NARF has achieved significant results in critical areas such as tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, natural resource protection, voting rights, and Indian education. Like us on Facebook and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter (@NDNrights) to learn about the latest fights to promote justice and protect Native American rights.

About the National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is the oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the United States. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies. NCAI promotes an understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people, and rights. For more information, visit www.ncai.org.