AZ American Indian Excellence in Leadership Awards


Each year we host a dinner to celebrate those in the American Indian community who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to the advancement, promotion, and development of the cultural, educational, social, economic, or political welfare of the American Indian Community or have provided significant contributions to the local American Indian economy.

We proudly announce the 34th Annual Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership awardees and invite you to join us in honoring and celebrating their accomplishments!

2016 Award Recipients:

Kent C. Ware Lifetime Achievement
Urban Giff (Pima, Gila River Indian Community), Retired GRIC Community Manager

Phyllis J. Bigpond Lifetime Achievement

Dr. Alberta Arviso (Navajo), University of Arizona Office of Diversity and Inclusion

Spirit of the Heard Award (presented by the Heard Museum)

Roxanne Swentzell (Santa Clara Pueblo)

Man of the Year
Jacob Moore (Tohono O’odham), Arizona State University

Woman of the Year
Dr. Karletta Chief (Navajo), University of Arizona

Business of the Year
Native Innovation Inc. (Specializes in IT Systems)
Owned by Jerome Tsosie (Navajo)

Volunteer of the Year
Rosetta Walker (Rosebud Sioux), Goodwill of Arizona

Friend of the Community
Susan Levy, Native Health

Female College Student of the Year
Michelle Powskey (Hualapai), Senior – Northern Arizona University

Male College Student of the Year
Gene Little (San Carlos Apache), Junior – University of Arizona

Female High School Student of the Year
Kera Benally (Navajo), 12th Grade – Westwood High School

Male High School Student of the Year
Jarren Barlow (Navajo), 12th Grade – Mountain View High School

Jr. High School Student of the Year
Kylie Hunts-In-Winter (Standing Rock Sioux), 8th Grade

Questions? Email