The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) has announced that two of its current board members and one former board member are winners of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums’ (ATALM) 2012 Guardians of Culture and Lifeways International Awards. Established in 2007, the awards program identifies and recognizes organizations and individuals who serve as outstanding example of how Indigenous archives, libraries and museums contribute to the vitality and cultural sovereignty of Native nations. The three NACF board members include: W. Richard West, Jr. (Southern Cheyenne); Sven Haakanson (Old Harbor Alutiiq Tribe); and former board chairman Walter Echo-Hawk (Pawnee).
West will be honored with the ATALM’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors an individual whose work has significantly contributed to the preservation and understanding of Indigenous cultural heritage. West is founding director and director emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Haakanson, who is executive director of the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak, Alaska, will be honored with the Leadership Award, which honors an Indigenous individual with exceptional ability to lead and inspire. Attorney, author and Native rights activist Echo-Hawk, who is former NACF board chairman and long-time board member, will receive the Honored One Award, which recognizes Indigenous or non-Indigenous individuals whose contributions have significantly benefited the preservation of Indigenous cultural heritage and supported the work of tribal archives, libraries and museums.
“We are enormously proud of the accomplishments of our board members,” says NACF President/CEO T. Lulani Arquette (Native Hawaiian). “We congratulate them on their awards, and thank them for their service to their communities and various causes they are a part of.”
The awards will be presented at a luncheon ceremony on Tuesday, June 5, which is the opening day of the International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries and Museums at the Cherokee-owned Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Tulsa, Okla. The award ceremony is open to conference attendees, guests of the awardees and credentialed media representatives.
The ATALM is a NACF 2011-2012 “Mobilizing the Community Through the Arts, Artist Networks and Convenings Initiatives.” Arquette will represent the Foundation at the ATALM’s June conference.