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Tonya Gonnella Frichner Papers, 1999-2012
9 boxes (8.5 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 703

Abstract:
Lawyer; President and Founder, American Indian Law Alliance; Professor of Native American History, Law and Human Rights. Primarily professional papers. Major topics include social conditions and legal status of North American Indians, and related issues such as health care, environmental issues, land rights, and international rights of indigenous peoples. [NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.
  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works in this collection created by Tonya Frichner. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify all copyright holders.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Tonya Gonnella Frichner was born in Syracuse, New York, the daughter of Maxine and Henry Gonnella. A citizen of the Onondaga Nation (Snipe Clan), she has devoted her personal and professional life to ensuring human rights for Indigenous Peoples, both within North America and around the world. Frichner graduated from St. John's Catholic Academy, a high school in Syracuse. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree, magna cum laude, from St. John's University in New York City in 1980 and her Juris Doctor from the City University of New York School of Law in 1987. Shortly after graduating from law school, Frichner served as a delegate for and was of legal counsel to the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy at the UN Sub-Commission on the Human Rights/Working Group on Indigenous Populations in Geneva, Switzerland. Also since 1987, she has sat on the Board of Directors and serves as legal counsel to the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Project, the national team of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She sits on several other boards, including the Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development and the Boarding School Healing Project.

In 1989 Frichner founded, and has served as President since then, of the American Indian Law Alliance, an Indigenous Peoples advocacy group based in New York City. The Alliance is a NGO with Consultative Status to the United Nations Social and Economic Council and Frichner has also served a three-year term (2008-2010) as the North American Representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Simultaneously, she has taught Federal Indian Law, Human Rights Law and Native American History at several New York City-area colleges and universities, including City College, the City University of New York (1991-1999); Hunter College (1993); New York University (1994); and Manhattanville College (2000-2008). Tonya Gonnella Frichner resides in New Jersey with her husband, Herb Frichner, a businessman and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has received numerous awards in recognition of her work, including the Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Award, the Female Role Model of the Year from the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Thunderbird Indian of the Year Award,the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the NY County Lawyers Association Award for Outstanding Public Service. She also received an honorary degree from Colby College in 2012. She died February 14, 2015.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Primarily professional papers including final reports, proposals, and a variety of pamphlets and informational booklets. Major topics include social conditions and legal status of North American Indians, and related issues such as health care, environmental issues, land rights, and international rights of indigenous peoples.

[NOTE: The contents list for this collection is not online. Contact the Sophia Smith Collection if you would like one sent to you.]


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection with the following caveats:

  • Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.
  • This collection has not been fully processed and therefore may be difficult to use.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the unpublished works in this collection created by Tonya Frichner. Copyright to materials authored by others may be owned by those individuals or their assigns. Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify all copyright holders.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Tonya Gonnella Frichner Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The papers were donated to the Sophia Smith Collection by Tonya Frichner beginning in 2012.

Accruals:

Periodic additions to collection are expected and may not be reflected in this record.

Processing Information

Accessioned by Kathleen Banks Nutter and Jesse Kline, 2013


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English, Spanish


Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • American Indian Law Alliance
  • Frichner, Tonya Gonnella
  • Human rights
  • Indian women -- United States -- Biography -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- Legal Status, laws, etc. -- History -- Sources
  • Indians of North America -- New York (State) -- Social life and customs
  • Indians of North America -- Women -- Health and hygiene -- History
  • Indigenous peoples -- Civil rights
  • Indigenous women -- Social conditions -- Congresses
  • Iroquois Indians -- Social life and customs
  • Onondaga Indians -- Government relations
  • Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (United Nations)
  • Seventh Generation Fund
  • UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
  • United Nations -- Representatives
  • Women lawyers -- United States -- Biography -- Sources


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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