Celebrating Gloria Valencia-Weber: Championing Native American Rights
In recognition of her unwavering commitment to advancing Native American rights, Gloria Valencia-Weber is set to receive the esteemed Pierce-Hickerson Award at the 2023 NLADA Annual Conference, taking place from November 8th to the 11th. This accolade is a well-deserved tribute to her exceptional contributions in the realm of law and her tireless efforts to support the Native American community.
The Pierce-Hickerson Award, established in 2003, pays tribute to the legacies of Julian Pierce and Robert Hickerson, two distinguished advocates who dedicated their careers to the pursuit of justice for Native Americans. This honor is bestowed upon individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement or preservation of Native American rights, and Gloria Valencia-Weber undoubtedly embodies the spirit of this award.
Gloria’s remarkable achievements extend beyond the legal world. As a board member of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), she has played a pivotal role in shaping and supporting initiatives that have made a profound impact on Native American communities and the field of law.
Her extensive career as a law school professor has positioned her as a national leader in addressing issues affecting tribal communities across North America. Her expertise and dedication have been instrumental in promoting social justice and advocating for the rights of Native Americans.
Ed Marks, former Executive Director of New Mexico Legal Aid, commends Gloria’s immense contributions: “For more than 20 years, New Mexico Legal Aid and the entire New Mexico Access to Justice community have had the extremely good fortune to benefit from Gloria Valencia-Weber’s leadership. As a law school professor, she has been a national leader for Native American issues impacting tribal communities across the continent.
“She has helped legal aid offices statewide overcome challenging financial, political, and logistical barriers that otherwise would severely limit access to legal help for low-income clients, especially those living in remote pueblos and reservations. Her leadership as a board member for the national Legal Services Corporation has also helped preserve funding and other vital support for hundreds of federally funded legal aid offices coast to coast, including those with specialized Native American programs. Congratulations to Gloria for this well-deserved recognition!”
The Pierce-Hickerson Award acknowledges Gloria’s multifaceted contributions, recognizing her as a trailblazer and a tireless advocate for Native American rights.
The award ceremony is scheduled to take place at the ABA/NLADA Annual Conference on November 11, in Oakland, CA. This prestigious event will bring together legal professionals and advocates to celebrate Gloria’s remarkable achievements and her enduring commitment to justice.
Gloria’s honor exemplifies her dedication to the pursuit of justice for Native Americans, and her remarkable impact continues to resonate within the legal community and beyond. Her work serves as an inspiration to all, demonstrating the incredible difference one person can make in the quest for equality, access to justice, and the preservation of Native American rights. NLADA, America’s oldest and largest nonprofit association devoted to excellence in the delivery of legal services to those who cannot afford counsel, serves as the collective voice for the country’s civil legal aid and public defense providers. For over a century, NLADA has pioneered access to justice at national, state, and local levels, advocating for groundbreaking legislation, supporting the Legal Services Corporation, and creating the first public defense systems in the United States. Their commitment to high-quality advocacy, training, and technical assistance underscores the invaluable role they play in the