Tonya Gonnella Frichner, Esq., Gowanahs, Snipe Clan name, a citizen of the Onondaga Nation, Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, Haudenosaunee and the eldest of eight children of Henry and Maxine Nolan Gonnella. President and Founder of the American Indian Law Alliance of New York and New Jersey since 1989, a Non Governmental Organization in Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Ms. Gonnella Frichner is a lawyer, activist and Professor of American Indian history and law, Federal Indian Law, and anthropology and human rights for over twenty years. Ms. Gonnella Frichner has devoted her life to the pursuing of the right to self-determination, sovereignty, treaty rights, and individual and collective rights for Indigenous Peoples. She has worked closely with global Indigenous leadership, as well as the Onondaga Nation and the Haudenosaunee.
Ms. Gonnella Frichner was appointed by the President of the UN ECOSOC North American Regional Representative for a three year term from 2008-2010, to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII), an advisory body to the ECOSOC. She has served as an active participant and legal and diplomatic counsel to Indigenous delegations in virtually all United Nations international fora affecting Indigenous Peoples. She has received many distinguished awards for her service, including: the Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Award, the Thunderbird Indian of the Year Award, the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, the American Indian Community House International Service Award, the Silver Cloud Singers Outstanding Service Award for advancing Indigenous Youth, the Ms. Foundation Female Role Model of the Year, which was shared with author J.K. Rowlings and others, and The Mosaic Council, Inc. Visionary Award for Making a Difference, which was shared with entertainer Queen Latifah.
Ms. Frichner currently serves on several boards of directors and continues her good work on behalf of Indigenous Peoples. For more information, visit the American Indian Law Alliance website: www.ailanyc.org