Gratitude: NGen Leadership Award and Philanthropist of the Year

2017 NGen Leadership Award

Native Americans in Philanthropy CEO, Sarah Eagle Heart, joined Independent Sector at Our Common Future in Detroit, MI to receive the 2017 American Express NGen Leadership Award on October 26. The award celebrates emerging leaders under age 40 who have already demonstrated significant impact in addressing society’s critical needs. Independent Sector honored Sarah’s diverse set of experiences crossing corporate, faith, and nonprofit organizations, and her focused advocacy for tribal communities and the role philanthropy plays in solving the biggest issues facing indigenous peoples.

Receiving the award, Sarah addressed the Our Common Future attendees, stressing that there is no justice without Indigenous justice as the first people of this land. She also cited the next generation of leaders, like those Native youth who first stood up for Standing Rock, as her inspiration. View Sarah’s entire acceptance speech online here.

The award ceremony was followed by a conversation with Sarah and Rosanne Haggerty of Community Solutions, winner of the 2017 John W. Gardner Leadership Award, moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson. The awardees discussed different ways their work has addressed society-level problems with Sarah highlighting the necessity and power of intersectionality in working for social change. Her powerful call to action for organizations to respond to recent times by being more flexible was followed by the call to philanthropy to be innovative in their solutions and to focus on building relationships with those making change happen on the ground.

Potlatch Fund’s 2017 Philanthropist of the Year Award

The Native Americans in Philanthropy team was honored with the 2017 Philanthropist of the Year award from the Potlatch Fund last week during their beautiful annual Gala in Suquamish, WA. Each year, Potlatch Fund honors the Native tradition of giving each year by recognizing outstanding philanthropists within Indian Country. Native Americans in Philanthropy was recognized for its work throughout the past year on advocating for the rights of Native and Indigenous peoples and bringing awareness to the issues our communities are facing. Read the full award announcement here.

CEO Sarah Eagle Heart represented the organization during the award ceremony, accepting a blanket and thanking our board, staff, and partners for the hard work and commitment to Native Americans in Philanthropy’s mission and vision for healthy and sustainable Native communities. Board Chair Edgar Villanueva of the Schott Foundation and director Matt Morton of Meyer Memorial Trust were in attendance to help celebrate the organization’s accomplishments.

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