PORTLAND, OR — Nominations are open for Ecotrust’s 11th annual Indigenous Leadership Award, recognizing native leaders dedicated to improving the social, economic, and environmental conditions of their homelands.
Since 2001, Ecotrust has recognized 48 tribal leaders from Oregon, Washington, California, western Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Alaska, British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory who give back to their communities by working to improve their resource base, cultural base, economic security, or health and wellness. In a humbling address to the 300 attendees at the 2011 ceremony, delivered thunderously in his native language, Kwakwaka’wakw Clan Chief and ILA winner Adam Dick said, “I am the only one who carries the teachings and the knowledge that have been passed down in an unbroken chain from the beginning of time. That’s why I’m so glad that you have honored me in this way, because by doing this you have honored my teachers, my ancestors.”
“Ecotrust is committed to supporting and working alongside Native peoples in the area we call Salmon Nation,” explains Rick George, Ecotrust Vice President of Policy and Indigenous Affairs. “The Indigenous Leadership Award is Ecotrust’s way to give thanks to these esteemed leaders who have dedicated their work to helping tribal people — to helping all people. And these awards showcase the great work that is currently being done in Indian country.”
The 2011 nomination deadline is April 1st. A panel of Ecotrust staff and tribal leaders will narrow the nominations to the top five, from which a jury of senior tribal leaders and Spencer Beebe, president of Ecotrust, will select the finalist. The awardee will receive $25,000 and the honorees $5,000 to continue their work in improving conditions in their communities.
The 2012 award ceremony will be held in late October or early November in Portland, Oregon. Date and venue will be announced soon. All are welcome to attend.
Nomination guidelines and forms are available online at www.ecotrust.org/indigenousleaders/guidelines.html.
Ecotrust invests in tribes and First Nations because they are sovereign nations and representative governments, major landowners, committed co-managers in natural resources, and major drivers of local and regional economies. Tribes, First Nations, and Alaska Natives hold long-range vision, sustainable societal values, and an historical knowledge of land and marine terrestrial ecosystems that provide a sense of place in the growing global economy. In 2012, Ecotrust will bring nearly 50 leaders recognized with past Indigenous Leadership Awards together as the Indigenous Leaders Council, to provide guidance and support for tribal programs that deliver equitable, high-impact benefits to people and the natural world.
For more than 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into more than $500 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding the world’s first environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and indigenous affairs, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision-making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it honors and supports the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership in its work. Learn more at www.ecotrust.org
2011 Indigenous Leadership Award winners (L to R): Clan Chief Adam Dick, Kwaxsistalla – Kwakwaka’wakw Nation (British Columbia); Chairman Delores Ann (Dee) Pigsley – Siletz (Oregon); Nora Marks Dauenhauer – Tlingit (Alaska); Charles F. (Chuck) Sams III – Cocopah Nation (Arizona); Wayne Warren Don – Cup’ig/Yupik (Alaska)
For more photos, please see www.flickr.com/photos/ecotrust