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 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.