Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award open for nominations
Release Date: 05-17-2010

PORTLAND, Ore. – Ecotrust today opened nominations for the annual Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award, a recognition program for individuals who demonstrate durable qualities of leadership for improvement of social, economic, political and environmental conditions in their homelands. In December, the Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership awardee will receive a cash award of $25,000, and four finalists will each receive $5,000.

The Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award has quietly become one of the preeminent programs for honoring and supporting tribal, First Nation, and Alaska Native leaders in the West. Each year, the award recognizes five of the West’s most innovative indigenous leaders for their efforts to improve conditions in their communities. Individuals are eligible if they are First Nation or tribal members, over 35 years of age, and work, or have worked, with an indigenous organization or community within the states of Oregon, Washington, California, western Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Alaska or the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. Award nominees are leaders who work to improve a community’s resource base, cultural base, economic security, or health and wellness.

The 2010 nomination deadline is August 15. In September 2010, a reading panel will review all nominations. A majority of the reading panel consists of native leaders, and they select five nominations to forward to the final jury. The final jury is comprised of eminent indigenous leaders who make the final awardee selection and guide the program’s processes and policies. Final jury members have included: Dalee Sambo Dorough (Inupiaq), Alan Parker (Chippewa-Cree), Chief Leah George-Wilson (Tsleil Waututh Nation), Kathy Hill (Klamath Tribes), Antone Minthorn (Cayuse), and non-voting members Spencer B. Beebe (Ecotrust founder and president) and Elizabeth Woody (Navajo-Warm Springs-Wasco-Yakama).

The 2010 award ceremony will be held on December 2 at Ecotrust’s Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center in Portland. Ecotrust covers travel and lodging expenses for the awardee and finalists.

Ecotrust believes that tribes and First Nations are more than an ethnic or minority demographic; they are 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 a history of the land and marine terrestrial ecosystems that provide a sense of place in the growing global economy.

To nominate someone for the Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award, please visit:

To hear from previous awardees and finalists, please visit:


About Ecotrust 
Over nearly 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $60 million in grants into more than $300 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 children’s health, 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.  More on the Web at