2023 – LAW

Richard Trudell, Santee Sioux Nation, was the founder and executive director of the American Indian Lawyer Training Program (AILTP) and its American Indian Resources Institute (AIRI). Under Trudell’s direction and vision, AILTP was established in 1973 and implemented a variety of innovative programs throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. In 1974, AILTP launched its premier publication the Indian Law Reporter (ILR). In 1990, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye from the State of Hawaii asked Trudell to bring together 40 to 50 tribal leaders to spend a day with him so he could learn firsthand about the needs and issues facing tribes. After that small gathering of tribal leaders, Trudell organized and facilitated over twenty-five tribal leaders’ forums around the country and in the United States Senate with the goal of shaping a legislative framework for developing an agenda for Indian Country. Trudell has served on governing and advisory boards of numerous organizations, including the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, the national board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation under an appointment by President Jimmy Carter, the Presidio Council of the Golden Gate National Park Service in San Francisco, and the Native American Rights Fund. Trudell is a veteran and received a degree in accounting and a law degree.