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Enos to speak on balance of power at annual Canby lecture

February 03, 2009

Diane Enos, president of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, will speak on "Tribal Governance and Individual Rights: the Delicate Balance of Power and Alarm," at the Second Annual William C. Canby Lecture.

The lecture, presented by the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, is named in honor of Judge William C. Canby Jr. of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and a founding faculty member of the College of Law.

It will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 17, in the Great Hall of Armstrong Hall on ASU's Tempe campus, and is free and open to the public. A reception will be held afterward. Registration is preferred at or by calling (480) 965-7715.

"The Indian Legal Program is honored to host President Enos as our distinguished speaker for the annual Canby Lecture," said Rebecca Tsosie, executive director of the Indian Legal Program. "President Enos is a visionary leader for her community and for Indian Country. She has a rare understanding of the complex legal, political and cultural issues that are at the heart of tribal governance. 

"President Enos is deeply committed to Native sovereignty, and has worked tirelessly to promote the growth and development of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community," Tsosie said. "She has chosen one of the most important challenges in Indian Country for the topic of her presentation, and we deeply appreciate her courage, insight, and perspective as a distinguished tribal leader, and as an alum of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law."

Dean Paul Schiff Berman said the Canby Lecture celebrates the College of Law's long history of study of Indian law.

"Judge William Canby is a towering figure in the life of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, having been part of the founding generation of faculty here," Berman said. "Moreover, as a scholar and judge, he has long been one of our nation's most thoughtful commentators on the complex issues at the heart of Indian law. 

"Accordingly, we are very pleased to honor him each year with this lecture series, and in Diane Enos, we have a dynamic community leader who will surely give a memorable lecture grappling with the relationship among the sometimes conflicting claims of tribal autonomy and individual rights."

Robert Clinton, Foundation Professor of Law in the Indian Legal Program, praised the timely nature of Enos' talk.

"Respect and honoring individual autonomy has always been a critical part of most tribal cultures," Clinton said. "Nevertheless, as Indian tribes develop both economically and politically, one of the hardest and most controversial questions they confront is how to transform governance from a principal defensive focus on community and survival to one that additionally recognizes that individuals may hold and enforce rights, such as due process, against the tribal government. Exactly how Indian tribes should address that delicate and important balance will be the timely centerpiece of President Enos' important talk."

Enos is the 23rd President of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the second woman elected to the office. She also is the first member of the Salt River Indian Community to become a lawyer. 

She is the daughter of Naomi and Johnson Enos, and the great-granddaughter of Jose Anton, one of the leaders of the Pima communities at the time of the Indian Reorganization Act.

Enos earned her bachelor's degree in fine arts at ASU, graduating cum laude, and planned to pursue a career as an artist. Five of her paintings hang in the Sacaton hospital on the Gila River Indian Community, and in New York and Maine. 

She became interested in law and politics while working as a news reporter, covering the proposed Pima Freeway for the Scottsdale Progress, and graduated from the Indian Legal Program at the College of Law in 1992. She worked at a small Phoenix law firm, practicing primarily immigration and civil law, and was a senior trial attorney in the Maricopa County Public Defender's Office for 11 years.

Enos was first elected to the SRP-MIC Council while a second-year law student, and served for 16 years before being elected president. She has spent her entire professional life in community service, and is dedicated to promoting education for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa people and creating new opportunities for traditional O'odham (Pima) and Piipaash (Maricopa) life to flourish within the Community.

Judy Nichols,
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law