Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 1    May 2011

NCAI Announces Indian Country Leadership Awards
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Condensed by Native Village

Washington, D.C: The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) has announced the recipients of their prestigious Indian Country Leadership Awards.

Among the 2011 winners is Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation, who passed away in 2010. In her honor, the NCAI will name their fellowship program, “The Wilma Mankiller Fellowship Program for Tribal Policy and Governance.”

“Unwavering leadership is an important quality of a hero in Indian Country; each of the awardees have proven their commitment through actions, changing Indian Country for generations to come,” said Jefferson Keel, President of NCAI and member of the Chickasaw Nation. “It is a personal honor to be able to posthumously recognize the lasting legacy of Wilma Mankiller. Her example as a tribal citizen and tribal leader is a standard that will live forever.”

National Congress of American Indians 2011 Indian Country Leadership Awards
Congressional Leadership Award

 Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii 
The only  indigenous member of the U.S. Senate
Served on Senate Committee on Indian Affairs since 1991
Committed to tribal self determination
Committed to making the U.S. honor trust and treaty agreements with Indian tribes 
Lead sponsor of the Native Hawaiian Reorganization Act to restore self-government to Hawaii's indigenous people
Serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs
Native American Leadership Award

Billy Frank, Jr.
A  peerless advocate of tribal treaty rights and natural resources 
Was arrested more than 50 times in the 1950's- 60's for defending tribes’ treaty rights to fish, hunt and gather shellfish
Inspired “the Boldt Decision” which re-affirmed tribal rights and established tribes as co-managers of salmon resources 
Serves as chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission
 
Is a tireless advocate for the protection of American Indian and Alaska Native natural resources to  benefit all peoples
Governmental Leadership Award
 
 Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli
Has made public safety in Indian country a priority.

Has helped create or make concrete improvements in law and policy, including:
 
Tribal Law & Order Act
 
DOJ tribal grant solicitation
A federal/tribal domestic violence prosecution task force
 
Tribal Nations Advisory Council
Hiring of additional assistant U.S. Attorneys to prosecute crime in Indian country
Public Sector Leadership Award

Annie E. Casey Foundation
Years of service to American Indian and Alaska Native families through grant and direct services. 
Provides critical resources to support programs and initiatives for Native children. 
 
Filled an important gap in providing critical data on Native children which offers effective policy making at the national, state, and tribal level. 
 
Special Recognition Award

Wilma Mankiller
In honor of her outstanding contributions to Indian Country and tribal relations with other sovereign nations, the NCAI named its fellowship program in honor of her legacy.  It will be henceforth known as the “Wilma Mankiller Fellowship Program for Tribal Policy and Governance.”
 

The NCAI is America's oldest, largest, and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization. Founded in 1944, NCAI advocates for tribal governments and communities, promotes tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promotes understanding among people regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights.

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