Indigenous Rights award nominations

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Jan. 31 is the deadline to nominate an Indigenous person for Cultural Survival award for working to further Indigenous rights, protect Indigenous lands and revitalize Indigenous languages.

Award recognizes Indigenous activists for their dedication, passion and commitment to human rights and their struggle for Indigenous Rights.

The Ellen L. Lutz (ELL) Indigenous Rights Award is given by Cultural Survival to a courageous advocate pursuing the rights of Indigenous Peoples' with an Indigenous community. Award recognizes Indigenous activists for their dedication, passion and commitment to human rights and their struggle for Indigenous Rights.

Giving this award also recognizes the challenging and often dangerous conditions and situations that activists face in pursuing their work. Rights advocates are often under threat from the governments and corporations whose actions they spotlight. Whether citizen-activists or human rights lawyers working for a nongovernmental advocacy organization, outspoken advocates for the rights of Indigenous communities have been jailed, "disappeared," their families threatened, harmed or killed.

The Cultural Survival board and generous donors created the award in memory of the late Cultural Survival Executive Director Ellen Lutz, who led the organization from 2004-2010. Her contribution to Cultural Survival was part of a lifetime of human rights work that included positions with the Center for Human Rights & Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Watch, teaching at the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, and books on subjects that ranged from consequences of torture to trying heads of state for human rights violations.

Recipient of the ELL Indigenous Rights Award will receive $10,000. The award will be presented in May at a reception in New York City during the UN Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Nominations for the award may be received from any individual or group. Nominations should include a letter about why a person is being nominated, a bio of the nominee, and contact information for the nominee.

Submit nominations to Miranda Vitello by email or mail to her attention at 215 Prospect St., Cambridge, MA 02139. The recipient will be selected by a panel of distinguished Indigenous human rights leaders in February.

Editor's note: For 40 years Cultural Survival has partnered with Indigenous communities around the world to defend their lands, languages and cultures. Cultural Survival publicizes Indigenous Peoples' issues through award-winning publications; mounts letter-writing campaigns and other advocacy efforts to stop environmental destruction and abuses of Native Peoples' rights; and works on the ground in Indigenous communities, always at their invitation.

Cultural Survival’s work is predicated on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Cultural Survival has consultative status with the United Nations.

Cultural Survival’s board of directors includes some of the world's preeminent Indigenous leaders, and its staff, headed by Navajo/Santa Clara Tewa environmental advocate Suzanne Benally, includes both Indigenous and non-Indigenous members. Headquarters is in Cambridge, Mass., and satellite offices are in Guatemala and Colorado.

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