photos by Mel Ponder and Chantel Baker
Enduring Spirit Awards
The Enduring Spirit Award recognizes the lifetime achievements of Native women who through their commitment of time, energy, and volunteerism contribute to healthy communities. The issues they champion are varied and include: environment, education, youth and family, holistic health (mind, body, spirit), continuation and retention of culture, preservation of treaty rights, sacred sites, and economic empowerment to name a few.
Congratulations to Becky Bendixen (Unangax), Janie Beasley (Swinomish), Renee Swan-Waite (Lummi), and Sondra Segundo (Haida/Katzie)!
Yvette Joseph (Colville Confederated Tribes), Patty Kiuswa-Gaiser (Cowlitz), Polly Olsen (Yakama), Teresa Taylor (Lummi)
Deborah Sioux Cano-Lee (Salt River Pima-Maricopa), Nancy Shippentower-Games (Puyallup), Jenece Hower (Yakama), Cecilia FireThunder (Oglala Sioux)
Laverne Lane (Lummi); Theresa Sheldon (Tulalip); LaVerne Wise (Tlingit); Gail T. Morris (NaaChahNulth); Cecilia Fire Thunder (Oglala Sioux)
Peggy McCloud (Puyallup); Sue Henry (Suquamish); Emma Medicine Whitecrow (Cherokee/Comanche); Maria Pascua (Makah); and, Charlanne Quinto (Colville)
Robbie Paul (Nez Perce), Mary Ann Peltier (Chippewa & Assiniboine Sioux), Yvonne Peterson (Chehalis), and Frances G. Charles (Lower Elwha Klallam)
Ramona Ahto, (Yakama), Dianne Allen (Coeur d’Alene), Darlene Miller (Seneca), Earlene Balla (Seneca)
Virginia Bill, (Upper Skagit), Beverly Peters (Swinomish), Patsy Whitefoot (Yakama) Teri Gobin (Tulalip)
Mary A. Miller Marchand (Colville), Pearl Capoeman Baller (Quinault), Dr. Verna Bartlett (Puyallup), Dr. Cheryl Crazy Bull (Lakota)
Special Recognition and presentation of the Sister Spirit Award to Eloise Cobell (Blackfeet)
Marlene Spencer Simia (Yakama), Ileen Sylvester (Yup’ik, Athabascan, Aleut), Gloria Simpson (Confederated Tribes of Colville – Chief Joseph Band of Nez Perce), Deborah Parker (Tulalip)
Special Recognition and presentation of the Sister Spirit Award to Mary Kim Titla (Apache)
Viole Riebe (Hoh), Juanita Jefferson (Lummi), Charlotte Kalama (Quinault), Wilma Arquette (Eastern Shoshone)
Debora Juarez (Blackfeet), Ivy Cheyney (Suquamish), Ellen Hope Hayes (Tlingit), Diane Vendiola (Swinomish)
Carol Craig (Yakama), Theresa Parker (Makah), Dr. Lee Piper (Cherokee), Emma Sweet Baxter (Snoqualmie), Lois Sweet Dorman (Snoqualmie)
Johanna Cabaug (Tlingit), Lillian Chappel (Yakama), Julie Johnson (Lummi), Marie Zackuse (Tulalip)
Ramona Bennett (Puyallup), Virginia Cross (Muckleshoot), Joy Ketah (Blackfeet), Marilyn Wandry (Suquamish)
Adeline Garcia (Haida), Joan Staples Baum (Ojibwe), Maiselle Bridges (Puyallup), Gina George (Yakama), Jeannie Halliday Thomas (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs)
Read more about our previous honorees and their backgrounds below!