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.

Congratulations to the 2017 AZ American Indian Excellence in Leadership Awardees!


Kent C. Ware Lifetime Achievement
Michael Allison (Navajo), Arizona Department of Health Service


Phyllis J. Bigpond Lifetime Achievement
Yvonne Fortier (Pascua Yaqui), Terros


Spirit of the Heard Award (presented by the Heard Museum)
Arlene Joyce Hughes (Akimel O’otham)


Man of the Year
Jacob Bernal (Colorado River Indian Tribes), Tucson Indian Center


Woman of the Year
Treena Parvello (Tohono O’odham), Desert Diamond Casino


Business of the Year
Salt River Materials Group
Roger R. Smith, Jr., CEO (Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community)


Volunteers of the Year
Wells Fargo’s Native Peoples Team Member Network


Friend of the Community
City of Phoenix


Female College Student of the Year
Yvette Ventura (Tohono O’odham), Northern Arizona University


Male College Student of the Year
MacGregor Gordon (Hualapai), Arizona State University


Female High School Student of the Year
Valeria Salcido (Tohono O’odham), Maryvale High School


Male High School Student of the Year
Shiloh Hayes-Begaye (Navajo), Red Mountain High School


Questions? Email leadershipawards@phxindcenter.org.