Dean Benton Suagee
June 24, 2019
DEAN BENTON SUAGEE, b. 9/16/50 in Washington, DC, promoted to Heaven on 6/24/19, in Bethesda, Maryland, due to complications of Parkinson’s disease. Dean was preceded in death by his parents, Jay Tennyson Suagee and Ruth Benton (Settle) Suagee, and by his wife Karen Rice Suagee, 3/10/49–5/27/19. Survived by children Jason Suagee of Washington DC and Jessica Suagee Bedore (Ben) of Huntsville, TX; brother Mark Suagee (Kathy) of Benson, AZ; sister Mary Suagee (Henry) Beauduy of Cass Lake, MN; nephews and nieces.
B.A. University of Arizona; J.D. University of North Carolina Law School, L.L.M. in International Law at American University, Washington College of Law. Of counsel with Hobbs, Straus, Dean and Wilder Law Offices in Washington, DC. A member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Dean dedicated his life’s work to environmental law and promoting tribal sovereignty.
A prolific writer, Dean authored articles on environmental protection, cultural resources, religious freedom, renewable energy, and the rights of indigenous peoples. He was co-editor of the 2005 revision of Felix Cohen’s Handbook on Federal Indian Law.
Dean was Director of the First Nations Environmental Law Program, Vermont Law School for four years. As an active member of the ABA Section on Environment, Energy and Resources, Dean served as Chair of the Native American Resources Committee and was on the editorial board of the ABA quarterly journal, Natural Resources and Environment. He served on the National Environmental Conflict Advisory Committee (U.S. Institute on Environmental Conflict Resolution) and the Indigenous Peoples Subcommittee of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (EPA). He was a contributing member of the National Congress of American Indians.
Dean represented the Hualapai Tribe of Arizona, and worked with the Mandan and Arikara of Ft. Berthold, N.D., and the Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina.
A poet and a musician, Dean lived by the lessons he preached.Memorial services are pending in Maryland and in Arizona. Gifts of remembrance may be made to the Wildlife Defense Fund or your favorite PBS station.