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Guardian Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

  • 2007: Dr. Lotsee Patterson, Professor Emerita, School of Library and Information Services, University of Oklahoma
  • 2009: Irving Nelson, director of the Navajo Nation Library System
  • 2012: Richard West, former director of the National Museum of the American Indian
  • 2013: Benjamin Wakashige, Former Director, New Mexico State Library
  • 2014: Dr. Ernest H. Siva, teacher and culture bearer for the Cahuilla/Serrano peoples
  • 2015: Dr. Donald Soctomah, Passamaquoddy Historic Preservation Office
  • 2016: Dr. Nancy Maryboy, Founding President, Indigenous Education Institute
  • 2016: Elaine Peters, Museum Director, Ak-Chin Indian Community
  • 2017: Dr. David Warren, Founding Deputy Director, National Museum of the American Indian
  • 2018: Della Warrior, Director, Museum of American Indian Culture, Santa Fe, NM
  • 2019: Dr. Janine Pease, Humanities Faculty Member, Little Big Horn College

Leadership Award

  • 2007: Alyce Sadongei, Arizona State Museum
  • 2009: Dr. Loriene Roy, Professor, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin
  • 2012: Dr. Sven Haakanson, Executive Director of the Alutiiq Museum
  • 2013: Amalia M. Reyes, Supervisor of the Dr. Fernando Escalante Community Library
  • 2017: Rose Diaz, Library Director & Senior Research Historian, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
  • 2018: Shannon Martin, Director, Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways
  • 2019: Omar Poler, American Indian Curriculum Services, University Wisconsin-Madison Information School

Tribal Leader Award

  • 2008: Wilma Mankiller, Principal Chief, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
  • 2014: Marshall McKay, Chairman, Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
  • 2018: Charlie Vig, Chair, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
  • 2019: Mark Macarro, Chairman, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians

Trailblazer Award

  • 2013: Dr. Scott Momaday, author
  • 2015: Kevin Gover, Director, National Museum of the American Indian
  • 2015: Suzan Shown Harjo, advocate, poet, writer, lecturer, curator
  • 2015: Gerard Baker, Former Mount Rushmore National Memorial Superintendent
  • 2016: Ben Nighthorse Campbell, United States Senator,artist
  • 2017: Henrietta Mann, educator, tribal leaders
  • 2017: Winona LaDuke, activist, author
  • 2018: Clyde Bellecourt, activist, author, farmer
  • 2018: Anton Treuer, author, educator

Honored One Award

  • 2012: Walter Echo-Hawk, attorney, author and Native-rights activist
  • 2012: Susan McVey, Director, Oklahoma Department of Libraries
  • 2013: Faith Damon Davison, retired Archivist/Librarian of the Mohegan Tribe
  • 2014: Gregory Annenberg-Weingarten, Vice-President and Director of the Annenberg Foundation
  • 2015: Tim Bernardis, Founding Librarian, Little Big Horn College Library
  • 2016: Judith Gray, Coordinator of Reference Services American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
  • 2017: Regis Pecos, Co-Founder/Co-Director, Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute
  • 2017: Letitia Chambers, Former CEO, Heard Museum
  • 2018: Wendy G. Teeter, Curator of Archaeology, Fowler Museum, University of California Los Angeles
  • 2019: Dr. Leanne Hinton, Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival

Outstanding Project Award

  • 2007: The Dragonfly Project, a partnership between the Haines Borough Public Library of Alaska and the Chilkoot Indian Association
  • 2009: The Tribal College Librarians Professional Development Institute at Montana State University, Bozeman
  • 2012: The Plateau Peoples' Web Portal, an interactive, online digital archive that provides access to Plateau peoples' cultural materials at Washington State University
  • 2013: "From the Hands of Our Elders," a collaborative project focused on documenting and preserving the material culture and archival holdings of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
  • 2014: "Siksika Way of Life" Cultural Sessions at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park
  • 2015: Ara Irititja, a project of the Pitjantjatjara Council and the South Australian Museum
  • 2016: "Doorways to the Past, Gateway to the Future", an innovative partnership project of the Chilkoot Indian Association and the Haines Borough Public Library
  • 2017:"California Continued" and "Tending the Wild", The Autry Museum of the American West
  • 2017: "Cultivating Traditional Practices: Enhancing our Self-Reliance and Preserving our Culture", Klukwan Community and School Library/Chilkat Indian Village
  • 2018 (Native): Tehuttslihkwa'uks: Lacrosse and the Oneida Community
  • 2018 (Non-Native): "Spirit Lines" Project/Manitoba Museum
  • 2019: "From Ancient Hands: Stories in Fire and Clay" Project/Shawnee Tribe Cultural Center

Archives Institutional Excellence Award

  • 2007: The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
  • 2009: The Seneca Tribal Archives
  • 2012: The Colorado River Indian Tribes Library
  • 2013: The Citizen Potawatomi Cultural Heritage Center
  • 2014: Sealaska Heritage Institute Library, Archives, and Collections Program; and Office of Archives and Records Management
  • 2015: Poarch Band of Creek Indians
  • 2016: The D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library
  • 2018: Ka Huli Ao Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, University of Hawaii
  • 2019: The Huna Heritage Foundation Digital Archives

Library Institutional Excellence Award

  • 2007: Colorado River Indian Tribe (Amelia Flores)
  • 2009: Pueblo of Jemez Community Library
  • 2012: The Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma (Sandy Tharp)
  • 2013: The Ak-Chin Tribal Library (Melanie Toledo)
  • 2014: The Jamestown S'Klallam Tribal Library (Leanne Jenkins)
  • 2015: Fort McDowell Tribal Library (Jacquelyn McCalvin)
  • 2016: Hopi Public Library (Noreen Sakiestewa)
  • 2017: Laguna Public Library (Janice Kowemy)
  • 2018: Medicine Spring Library at the Blackfeet Community College
  • 2019: Nisqually Tribe Library

Museum Institutional Excellence Award

  • 2007: Tamastslikt Cultural Institute
  • 2009: The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways
  • 2012: The Cherokee Heritage Center
  • 2013: The Makah Cultural and Research Center
  • 2014: Agua Caliente Cultural Museum
  • 2015: Dine College Ned A. Hatahli Cultural Center Museum
  • 2016: Alutiiq Museum & Archaeological Reposito
  • 2017: Chickasaw Cultural Center
  • 2018: Citizen Potawatomi Nation Cultural Heritage Center
  • 2019: Barona Cultural Center & Museum

Cultural Preservation and Advancement Award

  • 2019: Pechanga Cultural Resources Center

Native Language Preservation Award

  • 2016: The American Indian Language Development Institute