The Center for Native Health & Culture at Heritage University is proud to announce a new initiative, the Community Leader Award, which recognizes individuals or groups who have made a positive impact on the health and well-being of the Yakama Reservation. Awardees will be recognized with a certificate and a small gift to honor the work that the awardee has done on behalf of the community. Awards will be given out quarterly.
If you would like to nominate someone for the Community Leader Award, please send your nomination to: CNHC@heritage.edu
Nominations must include all of the following:
- Your name and contact info (email address, phone number)
- Nominee's name and contact info (email address, phone number)
- Nominee's workplace or home address
- Nominee's job title (if applicable)
- 1 page description of the nominee's contributions to Yakama Reservation community health and well-being.
Award announcements will be sent to the Yakama Nation Review and will be posted on the CNHC Facebook page.
Thank you for supporting this initiative!
- Summer 2015 Community Leader Award was presented to:
Mrs Rhoan was presented the Summer Community Leadership Award at the 4th Annual Sahaptin Teachers Gathering on August 16th, 2016. She is the Lead Teacher for the Ichishkiin Language at the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Culture and Heritage Department. Ichishkiin was Arlita’s first language, and she did not learn English until she attended boarding school at the age of 9. She was encouraged to be a language teacher in 1985, and so signed on as a language teacher when the language program at the Tribe began. She is now building the next generation of teachers. She teaches at tribal classes and at Madras High School. She also is a valued instructor at the Summer Institute of the Northwest Indian Language Institute at the University of Oregon. She continues to seek out opportunities to learn about language teaching. Arlita is an inspiration to teachers and learners due to her positive outlook and willingness to help all learners with words and phrases. In addition to a certificate as the Community Leader Awardee, she also received a huckleberry pie.
- Summer 2015 Community Leader Award was presented to:
The Center for Native Health & Culture (CNHC) at Heritage University is proud to present Rose Miller (Yakama) with the Summer 2015 Community Leadership Award. Rose recently retired from teaching full time for the Toppenish School District. She will continue to teach part-time for the district, and we are proud and grateful that she will thus continue teaching Sahaptin language and Tribal Sovereignty for the Toppenish School District.
Rose learned much of her Sahaptin/Ichishkiin language and teaching strategies from her elder, Virginia Beavert, who taught Sahaptin for many years at Heritage University, and continues to advise teachers on the Yakama Reservation.
For her award, Rose was presented a framed certificate from CNHC Director, Michelle Jacob, and Heritage University Sahaptin Instructor and leader of the Heritage University Language Center, Greg Sutterlict. Rose also received a berry pie with her award certificate. If you'd like to nominate someone for the Community Leader Award, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo 1: Rose Miller (photo by David Mance)
Photo 2: Rose Miller, Virginia Beavert, Greg Sutterlict, and Michelle Jacob (photo by Melissa McCoy)
Story submitted by: Michelle Jacob
- Fall 2014 Community Leader Award was presented to:
Mr. Hudson received the Community Leader Award at the 2nd Annual Ichishkin Teachers Gathering held at Heritage University on August 20, 2014. We honored Mr. Hudson for his efforts to teach and encourage the next generation of Ichishkíin speakers. Mr. Hudson received a certificate of appreciation and a huckleberry pie. Mr. Hudson was among attendees at the Ichishkíinn Teachers Gathering, which brought together teachers from Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla, Wanapum, University of Washington, University of Oregon, and Heritage University. The gathering was cosponsored by the Heritage University Center for Native Health & Culture (CNHC) and the Northwest Indian Language Institute at the University of Oregon.
- Summer 2014 Community Leader Award was presented to:
Dr. Raymond Bending, Faculty, Social Work, Heritage University
We presented Dr. Bending, with the Community Leader Award at the retirement party held in his honor at Heritage University on June 20, 2014. Dr. Bending is known as one of the key influential people to focus on the Indian Child Welfare Act within Social Work and has mentored many students and scholars, including scholars at our partner institute, the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington, who sent a Pendleton blanket to honor Dr. Bending. Many HU students and alumni attended to honor Dr. Bending as well. In addition to his certificate as the Community Leader Awardee, Dr. Bending received a huckleberry pie. CNHC Affiliated Faculty member, Corey Hodge, presented the award.
- Spring 2014 Community Leader Award was presented to:
Polly Olsen, Director, Community Relations and K-12 Education Programs, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute, University of Washington
We presented Polly, a Yakama tribal member, with the Community Leader Award at the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) Workshop at Heritage University in Toppenish, WA. Polly served as the discussion leader throughout the day-long TEK workshop that had attendees from six tribes. Polly’s work is known throughout Indian Country, as she leads educational initiatives that are scientifically-based but culturally-informed. We are grateful she is a role model for students who will be the next generation to lead the way in protecting the health and well-being of natural resources, people, and culture. In addition to her certificate, Polly received a huckleberry pie.
- Winter 2014 Community Leader Award was presented to:
Carol Craig, Author, Yakama Museum Volunteer Assistant
Carol was born just east of the Cascades in Yakama Nation. Her tribal lineage includes the Puyallup, Muckleshoot, Stillaguamish, Snohomish, and Squaxin. From 1986-1994, Carol worked for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission in Portland, Oregon, as the Tribal Information and Education Coordinator. Since 1995, she has worked as the Public Information Manager for the Yakama Nation Fish and Wildlife Resource Management Program. As a writer, photographer, editor, and public speaker, Carol’s passion is to educate tribal members and the general public about her people and their efforts to restore the salmon runs. She is responsible for the Yakama Nation’s publication, Sin-Wit-Ki All Life on Earth and she has created film projects about the tribe’s fisheries and wildlife programs. Carol also helped edit a script for the award-winning documentary, Sacred Salmon: A Gift to Sustain Life and has received numerous awards from the Washington Press Women, Native American Journalist Association and National Federation of Press Women. Carol’s work in public education on tribal treaty rights, salmon recovery, and environmental protection made her a Finalist of the Indigenous Leadership honoree two times in 2002 and 2007 for the Buffett Award.
- Fall 2013 Community Leader Award was presented to:
LeRoy Adams, Jr., Yakama Nation Wildlife Program Manager
Thank you for your leadership within the Yakama Nation Wildlife Program, which is focused on responsibility and stewardship, serving as protectors of the land and its valuable resources. We applaud the ways in which your leadership supports natural resource management that is scientifically-based but culturally-informed, and are grateful that you are a role model for students who will be the next generation to lead the way in environmental protection and the health and well-being of natural resources, people, and culture.
Please see the photo of LeRoy at the top of the page with his award, CNHC staff, and YN Wildlife Program staff.