Diane Humetewa, the first Native American woman to be
appointed as a U.S. Attorney has been named a
Professor of Practice for the College of Law.
Humetewa, a 1993 graduate f the College of Law, has served
on the College of Law’s Indian Legal Advisory Committee
She also is serving as Special Advisor to the President for American Indian Affairs for Arizona State University President Michal M. Crow, and continues to practice in the tribal affairs and natural resources areas with the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP.
“ASU is committed to working with Arizona’s tribes to bring more Native American students to the university,” Crow said. “Diane Humetewa will provide advice and counsel to ASU on its efforts to design and implement programs and initiatives to better serve Native American students and to partner with Arizona’s Indian tribal governments.”
Humetewa served as the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona and as counsel for the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Subcommittee, then chaired by Arizona Sen. John McCain.
She takes over the duties previously handled by former Navajo President Peterson Zah, who has returned to work for his Navajo Nation.
Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Faculty Director of the Indian Legal Program, said the Program is thrilled to have Humetewa join its ranks.
“It’s a great opportunity to have such a distinguished and accomplished Native woman serve as a model and inspiration for our students,” Ferguson-Bohnee said.
Douglas Sylvester, Interim Dean, said the College of Law is honored to have Humetewa join the faculty.
“Diane is an exciting addition to our Indian Legal Program,” Sylvester said. “We know she will be a great resource to our students and faculty, alike.”
Humetewa also will be chairperson of the ASU Tribal Liaison Advisory Committee, serve on the Provost’s Native American Advisory Council, and as legal counsel and in an advisory capacity with ASU in its relations with Native American tribal governments.
Humetewa said she is looking forward to discovering opportunities the university offers to Native American students. She is also excited to explore how higher education at ASU has evolved during the years since she graduated, with the addition of new campuses and advances such as the variety of course now taught online.
“ASU has changed in terms of its ability to reach outside of Tempe,” Humetewa said. “One of the comments most often heard among tribal leaders is that providing higher education opportunities to tribal members is an important goal. There’s a real priority placed on providing as much assistance to tribal members or identifying and tackling the roadblocks to education in the native communities.”
This can be challenging in an environment where nationally approximately 50 percent of Native American students don’t obtain a high-school diploma.
Humetewa, a member of the Hopi tribe, was born and raised in Arizona. She started school on the Hualapai Reservation. Her father worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and traveled throughout Arizona’s Indian Country, often taking her with him. She attended public high school in the Valley, but ties to her family and culture kept her close to the Hopi reservation. She received her bachelor’s degree from ASU in 1987.
“At the time, Indian children were still attending boarding schools far away from the reservation,” Humetewa recalled.