Lorene Ferguson, the second woman to serve on the Navajo Nation Supreme Court, was presented with the 2009 Justice Mary Walters Award by the Women's Law Caucus during an evening ceremony. Ferguson, who earned her J.D. in 1983 from the UNM School of Law, relied on the wisdom she gained from her grandmothers throughout her years on the bench. She retired in 2007.
She grew up in a traditional home on the Navajo Reservation and earned her bachelor's degree in English Literature from Fort Lewis College. She taught school before working for the Indian Education Training program, where she helped parents of Native American children understand what schools were required to provide when they received federal money.
Thirteen years after earning her bachelor's degree, she enrolled in the UNM School of Law.
UNM Law Professor Eileen Gauna presented the keynote address.
The annual award is presented in honor of Mary Walters, the first woman to serve on the New Mexico Supreme Court.