On Tuesday, February 13, 2018, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) will award seven distinguished leaders in Indian Country at NCAI’s 20th Annual Leadership Awards Ceremony at their Executive Council Winter Session (ECWS). The awards are given annually to individuals or groups who are critical to tribal issues as well as those who serve as champions in their institutions.
“NCAI and Indian Country owe a debt of gratitude to those who unselfishly give of their time, talent and spirit for the betterment of our peoples,” said NCAI President Jefferson Keel. “The Leadership Awards Ceremony continues to be a special event to show our appreciation for those who have committed tremendous service to Indian Country.”
Every year NCAI receives nominations in six award categories, including: Public Sector Leadership Award, Native American Leadership Award, Government Leadership Award, Congressional Leadership Award, Special Recognition Award, and Native Voice Award. This year’s honorees are below:
Public Sector Leadership Award
Google American Indian Network (GAIN), Employee Resource Group Making a Positive Impact in Indian Country
GAIN continues to foster tribal youth through programs and support, raise the visibility and awareness of tribal nations, and collaborate on solutions for improved services to Indian Country.
Native American Leadership Award
Mark Trahant (Shoshone-Bannock Tribe), Native American Journalist and Founder of Trahant Reports
As an independent journalist, Trahant elevates the presence of tribal nations and peoples through journalism, media, and innovative technologies to advance the authentic histories, stories and modern issues facing tribal nations and their citizens.
Government Leadership Awards
Three tribes have been recognized for leading the successful implementation of the groundbreaking tribal jurisdiction provisions in the Violence Against Women Act of 2013:
- Tulalip Tribes
- Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
- Pascua Yaqui Tribe
Congressional Leadership Award
Senator Jerry Moran, United States Senator from Kansas
Senator Moran demonstrated steadfast support of Indian Country and leadership in championing law and policies that strengthen tribal sovereignty and the federal government’s trust responsibility to tribal nations.
Special Recognition Award
Julie Johnson (Lummi Nation of Washington State), President of Julie Johnson, Inc.
For the past 22 years, Johnson organized the National Indian Women’s Honoring Luncheon and continues to demonstrate strong support of Native women leaders and commitment to the continued success of present and future Native women.
Native Voice Award
Ray Halbritter (Oneida Nation), Representative of the Oneida Nation and Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO
As a leader who uplifted Native voices through Indian Country Today Media Network, Halbritter also championed accurate and respectful portrayals of Native peoples through the Change the Mascot movement.
About The National Congress of American Indians:
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights. For more information visit www.ncai.org.