Harold "Buddy" Brown, a highly respected Athabascan leader in Alaska, died on April 21 at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital after a long battle with cancer. He was 39.
Brown was raised in Huslia on the Koyukuk River, a remote town about 300 air miles west of Fairbanks.
He earned in J.D. in 1997 at the University of New Mexico School of Law. His wife, Patti Ballard Brown, who also grew up in Huslia, earned her J.D. that same year.
Following graduation, they returned to Alaska and Buddy became staff attorney for the Tanana Chiefs Conference, a traditional tribal consortium of the 42 villages of Interior Alaska. Two years later, he became general counsel and in 2002, he was elected president and executive officer.
In 2004, he was diagnosed with neuro-endrocine liver tumors. After undergoing surgery, he was declared cancer free five months later and in 2005 was unanimously elected to a second three-year on the conference. A year into his second term, after a CT scan revealed the cancer had spread, Brown stepped down.
"Buddy was such a caring, intelligent, hard-working and committed leader," said Helen Padilla ('97), director of the American Indian Law Center.
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