Fawn Sharp
2021

Fawn Sharp

Advocate

for sovereignty and justice

meet fawn

Fawn Sharp is President of the National Congress of American Indians and the 5th term Head of State and CEO of the Quinault Indian Nation. A human rights attorney recognized by the United Nations as a global authority on Indigenous rights, President Sharp received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington. Prior to serving as an elected official, she served as a judge for both the Quinault Nation and Washington State and held positions within the Central Intelligence Agency.

for sovereignty and justice
Nominated by: Joe Rohde FN'10
Class of 2021 Location Washington, USA
Fawn and Daniel
Fawn and Daniel

When our ancestors signed the Treaty of Olympia in 1855 with the United States of America, the federal government recognized the Quinault Nation as a sovereign state in perpetuity. We would always have a relationship with the United States that was between equals, sovereign to sovereign.

I understood that my people had lost nearly everything in order to secure that treaty and that our treaty has been repeatedly broken ever since. I became an attorney to remedy that injustice. I have a feeling of pride and God-given sense of purpose. I serve roughly 3000 Tribal citizens and their families, am the CEO of rapidly growing business enterprises, and am the sovereign head of state of over 200,000 acres of our rainforest homelands and 31 miles of Pacific coastline.

“My hope for the future is to ensure that Tribal Nations receive their just rights: to be recognized, treated, and respected as entirely sovereign and self-governing States.”

- Fawn Sharp

I have co-written the revolutionary Tribal consultation policy for the State of Washington Attorney General’s Office and have led our Tribe to an undefeated record in federal court defending our Treaty Rights, including at the U.S. Supreme Court. From the local to UN level, I have written countless pieces of environmental legislation, resolutions, initiatives, and policies.

We are all blessed to be the inheritors of generations of visionary leadership, activism, and spiritual teachings that have made Indian Country the conscience and inspiration of the world. On October 24, 2019, I became the second leader of the Quinault Indian Nation to be elected as the President of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). My hope for the future is to ensure that Tribal Nations receive their just rights: to be recognized, treated, and respected as entirely sovereign and self-governing States.

never stop exploring

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CLASS OF 2021

Get the EC50 print publication