Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership Awards

We are excited to announce the winners of the 2022 Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership Awards. Awards are given in nine different categories, and nominees demonstrate dedication, leadership and commitment to the advancement and development of the cultural, educational, social, economic, or political welfare of the American Indian Community. 

Kent C. Ware Lifetime Achievement Award – Al Pooley, Founder of Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (Hopi/Navajo)

Phyllis J. Bigpond Lifetime Achievement Award – Linda Salabiye YazziePresident of Holbrook Unified School District Governing Board (Navajo)

Spirit of the Heard Award – Jones Benally, Performer, educator and world champion hoop dancer

Man of the Year – Allen King, Vice President of Sunrise Native Recoery (Zuni Pueblo/Navajo)

Woman of the Year – Pilar Thomas, Partner at Quarles & Brady LLP, (Pasua Yaqui Tribe)

Business of the Year – Native Art Market: Heather Tracy (Co-founder), (Navajo)

Friend of the Community – Alberto Esparza: President of the I Rise Foundation

Volunteer of the Year – Glory Ann Lewis-Garcia, Recovery Activist/ Entrepreneur American Indian Arts and Food (Yavapai Apache Tribe)

College Student of the Year – Čanté Zephier, Senior at Arizona State University (Yankton Sioux Tribe/Navajo Nation/Spirit Lake Dakota Tribe)

High School Students of the Year – Sumaya Quitugua, Senior at Perry High School (Acoma Pueblo) & Avery Hines, Senior at Mingus Union High School (Yavapai Apache Nation)

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