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Friday, December 14, 2007

Arlinda Locklear to receive honorary doctorate from NCSU

Arlinda F. Locklear, a pioneering attorney in Native American law, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from North Carolina State University.

Arlinda LocklearNCSU’s Fall Commencement is at 9 a.m., Wednesday, December 19 in the RBC Center in Raleigh, N.C.

From her Washington, D.C., office, Locklear said she is honored.

“I am thrilled by the honor,” Locklear said. “I didn’t realize I was under consideration until I got the call from the Chancellor.  I'll wear the regalia with a great and humbling sense of the honor on December 19.”

Originally from Pembroke, N.C., she has represented the Lumbee Tribe since 1987 in its ongoing effort to gain federal recognition in Congress. Since 2003, Locklear has been a member of UNC Pembroke’s Board of Trustees as an appointee of the UNC Board of Governors. She was sworn into a second four-year term on November 29.

As the first Native American woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court, Locklear has represented tribes throughout the country in federal and state courts on treaty claims to water and land, taxation disputes with states and local authorities, reservation boundary issues and federal recognition of tribes.

An enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe, Locklear represented tribes in the U.S. Supreme Court, twice serving as lead counsel. In 1984, Locklear successfully challenged the state of South Dakota’s authority to prosecute a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe for on-reservation conduct in Solem v. Bartlett.

In 1985, she represented the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin in Oneida Indian Nation v. County of Oneida, in which she formulated and argued the theory adopted by the Supreme Court, holding that tribes have a federal common law right to sue for possession of tribal land taken in violation of federal law.

She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Institute for the Development of Indian Law and is a member of the board of Advisors for the Encyclopedia of Native Americans in the 20th Century. Locklear was awarded the Outstanding Woman of Color Award given by the National Institute of Women of Color in 1987, the Julian T. Pierce Award in 1994 and the 1995 Carpathian Award for Speaking Out, given by North Carolina Equity.

After receiving an undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston, she earned a law degree from Duke University.

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