The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) has announced that Walter Lamar, president and chief executive officer of Lamar Associates, has been named the American Indian Business Owner of the Year Award.
NCAIED Chairwoman Margo Gray Proctor said the organization is also honoring Walter for “fostering the creation of sound American Indian businesses through the support of community programming and projects.”
Lamar Associates serves Indian Country with security assessments and consulting. Lamar Associates also supports a training and technical assistance division, Indian Country Training.
An enrolled tribal member of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana and descendant of the Wichita Tribe of Oklahoma, Lamar worked for twenty-five years in federal law enforcement. His long and acclaimed career included experience as a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, deputy director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Law Enforcement, and senior advisor to the Department of the Interior’s Office of Law Enforcement and Security.
Walter was awarded the FBI Shield of Bravery on two occasions, one of only two agents ever to receive this prestigious medal twice. The first medal was awarded in recognition of life-saving deeds subsequent to the Oklahoma City Federal Building Bombing. The second was for an “extraordinary act of heroism” carried out in the course of a running gun battle with an armed felon.
The years of federal service were rewarding, but upon retirement, Walter said, “I had a job, now I have a mission.” In 2005, he founded Lamar Associates as an entirely Native-owned company that provides solutions for Indian Country professionals striving to address the critical law enforcement, health and safety issues troubling many tribal communities.
Lamar Associates provides consulting, due diligence, investigations, security evaluations and preparedness assessments for tribal and governmental clients nationwide. In recent years, the company’s primary focus has become training and technical assistance. Lamar Associates has brought together a vast network of Native service professionals and subject matter experts to deliver informed and culturally appropriate services for tribes through their training.
The focus on training prompted Walter to create Indian Country Training, a division within the company. Lamar Associates’ Indian Country Training has provided critical training to over seven thousand Indian Country service providers in areas as diverse as drug and gang prevention, community oriented policing, violence prevention, emergency preparedness and Internet safety. Participants from hundreds of tribes have enjoyed these courses at dynamic onsite training sessions or through innovative online training programs, webcasts and webinars.
As investigators and consultants, Lamar Associates successfully located Individual Indian Money account holders who were owed funds; ensured the integrity of tribal gaming operations; assessed tribal security and law enforcement operations; and helped Bureau of Indian Education schools prepare for emergencies among many other accomplishments. As a way of giving back to Indian Country, Lamar Associates provides regular safety and education tips in company newsletters; offers free videos, resource libraries and other valuable information; and supports various tribal community and educational initiatives through donations.
Walter chose to dedicate himself to serving and protecting Indian Country; Lamar Associates is an extension of his service and lifelong commitment to the safety and well-being of Native Americans. Walter works hard to provide resources needed to confront challenges faced by Indian people out of a belief that education and community involvement are key to healthier tribal communities.
The award will be presented at the 26th Annual Reservation Economic Summit Conference (RES 2012) and American Indian Business Trade Fair February 27 to March 1 at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.