Dennis G. Chappabitty, Esq.
"Legal Counsel, Felter -v- Kempthorne"
Dennis Grady Chappabitty was born in 1949 at the Indian Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma. His first memories as a child was listening to stories about his own Chiricahua and Comanche People from his elders.
His father, Edwin Chappabitty, Sr., a Comanche, was a hardworking head of household who worked at Ft. Sill, OK as a civil service worker. His Mother, Evangeline, a Chiricahua Apache, was a traditional "Housewife" who raised five children in a very warm and loving home. Both parents dedicated themselves to insuring that all of their children received an education and stressed to them that they should use their education to help their own less fortunate Indians.
Dennis graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1972. He joined the United States Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Armor Corp and served at Ft. Hood, Texas, Korea and other duty stations during his active duty service from 1972 thru 1975. After leaving active duty, Dennis returned to Oklahoma State University to study for a Master Degree. In 1976 he cut those studies short when he was accepted into the University of New Mexico School of Law. In 1981 Dennis graduated from Law School with a Juris Doctorate Degree and immediately was hired by the Comanche Tribe as staff attorney responsible for a variety of matters dealing with the Tribes governance and economic development. During this time, Dennis also represented many clients in various civil and criminal matters in the State Courts of Oklahoma. He prides himself in telling stories about the criminal trials he took to juries during his early years of practice: "If you are going to be a true Native American Lawyer and Warrior then you have to prove yourself in battle and get over the fear or you will never be good to anyone as an advocate."
br>Gourd Dance, Washington D.C. 2009
In 1985, Dennis left his employment with the Comanche Nation and started into private practice focusing in the area of Federal Indian Law.
Dennis always try's to emphasize that although he has degrees and professional status as a licensed member of the Oklahoma State Bar Association that he has never forgotten what his Father and Mother always stressed - use your education to help your own Indian people. He has never left his true roots as a military veteran and proud warrior taking on causes that other Lawyers won't touch. Dennis realizes that injustices that happened many years ago to Indians must be corrected of left to fester and hurt many Indian for years to come. "When I spoke to Oranna about the sad story of the Terminated Members of the Uinta Band, I knew right off that this was a righteous cause I had to take on."
One point that Dennis always emphasizes is that his Grandmother, Minnie Nicholas, was a bona fide Prisoner-of-War of the United States of American until the age of 13 when she and her other Chiricahua Band members were released from formal P.O.W. status at Ft Sill, OK. Because he can trace his roots to injustices done to his own Comanche and Chiricahua People, Dennis believes that the battle must be fought even harder when Indians team up with Whites to cover up massive injustices like that on the Ute Indian Reservation.