Lead Plantiff- Freeman vs. Morton
Enola Packineau Pond (formerly Enola E. Freeman)
On March 15, 2014, Enola Packineau Pond (formerly Enola E. Freeman) passed onto the spirit world. Ms. Pond was a leader in her own right. As a young single mother, she was at the forefront in efforts of American Indians to assert their rights to preference in hiring and promotions at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Ms. Pond and a group of other employees with the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Littleton, Colorado filed suit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs for violating Indian preference in lateral hiring, promotions, and transfers within the BIA. Ms. Pond was the main plaintiff in the “Freeman vs. Morton” case. After several hearings and appeals, the case was elevated to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The court affirmed the right of Indian preference for Ms. Pond.
The Court directed the Secretary of the Interior “ to establish standards of health, age, character, experience, knowledge, and ability for Indians who may be appointed, without regard to civil-service laws, to the various positions maintained, now or hereafter, by the Indian Office, in the administration of functions or services affecting any Indian tribe. Such qualified Indians shall hereafter have the preference to appointment to vacancies in any such positions”
Ms. Pond’s landmark case opened the doors for many Indian people throughout the Country. The decision was much more far reaching than just the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Indian Health Service is also held to those same standards.
Ms. Pond was a member of the Water Buster Clan and Child of the Knife Clan. She was an enrolled member of the Hidatsa Tribe, from the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold. Her Hidatsa name was Peppermint and fit her personality perfectly.
Ms. Pond passed suddenly and while she is gone from this world, her quiet presence shall be remembered and her legacy lives on in all of those Indian people who have and will continue to benefit from her courageous act.
She is fondly remembered and dearly missed by many. She is survived by her husband Alan Pond, children Ramona Pond and Matthew Pond, grandchildren Alexis, Eric, and Alaina Woods, Sisters Alice Harwood, Ramona Two Shields, Iva Gillies, and June Packineau and many loving brothers in-law, sisters in-law, nieces and nephews.