On March 6, the National Congress of American Indians held its 14th Annual Leadership Awards Ceremony where Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk was presented with the 2012 Governmental Leadership Award.
The award was for his leadership on behalf of the tribal nations and his continued work in building a strong foundation in a new era of nation-to-nation relations according to a press release from the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“I am very humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award,” Echo Hawk said. “The work we do at Indian Affairs is a rewarding experience in and of itself. It reminds me daily of my civic duty and loyalty towards my tribe, my people, my heritage, Indian country and America. It also gives me great pleasure to see our youth doing great things in the classroom and being recognized for their tremendous efforts.”
Others honored during the ceremony were the Bureau of Indian Education’s Wingate High School, New Mexico team for its competition at the 2011-2012 Tribal Exchange that built a mock portfolio of investments that earned $14,000 in eight weeks. Team members included Nigel Nakai, Kayla Platero, Alicia Billey, Frances Shorty and advisor Bruce Lewis.
“The awards given tonight acknowledge the tremendous efforts and attitudes we appreciate across Indian country," said Jefferson Keel, president of NCAI. “We need leadership that understands our needs so that Indian country becomes stronger in years to come, leaders who are willing to devote a commitment to a more prosperous tomorrow—the honorees tonight all possess these needed attitudes.”