New York State Indian nations and tribes include the Cayuga Nation, Oneida Nation of New York, Onondaga Nation, Poospatuck or Unkechauge Nation, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, Seneca Nation of Indians, Shinnecock Indian Nation, Tonawanda Band of Seneca, and Tuscarora Nation.

The Mission of the Tribal Nation Collaboration Committee is to stand with and assist NYS Indian Tribal Nations to achieve their goals such as improving infrastructure, enforcing state agreements, combating climate change, achieving food security and sovereignty, combating violence against women, child custody/welfare, voting rights and healthcare.

In furthering its mission, the Committee will:

  • Enlist members to participate in regularly scheduled law clinics to assist individuals and/or tribal nations in enforcing their rights and resolving disputes through New York State courts with competent jurisdiction;
  • Assist in organizing and/or delivering food pantry donations, vaccine delivery/administration, and/or PPP delivery to meet immediate needs;
  • Assist in protecting and sustaining tribal lands, waters, and natural resources integral to tribal food systems by drafting and promoting original legislation or by examining, and reporting on legal issues related to the rights and interests of NYS tribal nations particularly those involved in NYS court proceedings; and
  • Assist in combating violence against women perpetrated by non-tribal members by drafting and promoting original legislation or by examining and reporting on legal issues related to the rights and interests missing women and their families particularly those involved in NYS court proceedings.

Committee Co-Chairs

Georgia Murray-Bonton, Esq.

Law Office of Georgia Murray Bonton, PC, Clifton Park, New York
[email protected]

Georgia Bonton recently relocated to the Capital Region Area and celebrated the 15th year of managing her private law office. Ms. Bonton is civil litigator focusing on breach of contract, construction defect/negligence, as well as family law matters of child custody, spousal support, child support, and divorce.

Ms. Bonton received her Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School in 1996 and her undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1987. She is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of New York and the United States District Court for the Northern and Southern Districts of New York. Ms. Bonton is also a member of The New York State Bar Environmental Law Section, The Capital Region Black and Hispanic Bar Association and the Columbia Alumni Association of New York.

Betty Lugo

Betty Lugo

Pacheco & Lugo, PLLC, Brooklyn, NY
[email protected]

Betty Lugo is a founding member of Pacheco & Lugo, the first Hispanic women owned law firm in New York established at One World Trade Center in 1992. In 2014, Pacheco & Lugo, PLLC received one of the Top 2014 New York Verdicts and was ranked among Top Worker/Workplace Negligence Cases in New York State Ms. Lugo leads the firm’s litigation practice in the areas of general and commercial liability, construction, labor law, and real estate. She has conducted trials, hearings, arbitrations and appeals in complex matters in both State and Federal Courts. She has counseled and represented clients on matters involving real estate and corporate issues.

Lugo received her Juris Doctor degree in 1984 from Albany Law School of Union University and her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in 1981 from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She is admitted to practice in New York, as well as before the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. She began her legal career as the first Hispanic woman to work as an Assistant District Attorney in the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office from 1984 to 1987.

Within the State Bar, Lugo is a member of the NYSBA House of Delegates and Committees on the New York State Constitution; on Federal Priorities. She served as co-chair of the NYSBA Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (2010-2013) and the Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession. She served as president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association in New York (PRBA) during its 59th year from 2015-2017. She currently serves as chair of the PRBA Judiciary Committee. She served as a member of the State of New York Grievance Committee for the Second Judicial District. She served as a member of the American Bar Association Unaccompanied Minors Working Group Committee. She has served on the Judicial Screening committees for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Kings County Democratic Judicial Screening Committee and New York Democratic Screening Committee. She is a fellow of the New York Bar Foundation. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Brooklyn Bar Association, Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, Catholic Lawyers Guild, Nathan R. Sobel Kings County Inns of Court, Hispanic National Bar Association, Puerto Rican Bar Association and Queens County Bar Association.

Peter J. Herne

Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY, Inc. (Canton)
[email protected]

Attorney PJ Herne currently works at the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York Canton NY office handling cases of eviction, foreclosure, and providing legal aid services on the St. Regis Mohawk Indian Reservation. Prior to joining LASNNY Attorney Herne was the Chief Judge of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court and prior to that had served as an Assistant District Attorney in Franklin County NY. He is a 1998 SUNY Buffalo School of Law graduate and is a member of the New York State Bar and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Court Bar. He resides in Akwesasne with his wife and two children.

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