June 26, 2006
VANCOUVER (CP) - The current president of British Columbia's Haida Nation will be honoured next month with a major North America award for indigenous leadership.
Guujaaw will be presented with the 2006 Buffett Award for Indigenous Leadership by Ecotrust July 19 in Portland, Ore., for his work as a political leader, carver, traditional medicine practitioner, singer and negotiator.
Ecotrust is presenting Guujaaw with the $25,000 award for his three decades of dedication to advance the political, cultural and environmental interests of the Haida First Nation on the Haida Gwaii archipelago (Queen Charlotte Islands) off the north coast of British Columbia.
"Guujaaw is a warrior," Ecotrust president Spencer B. Beebe said in a news release Saturday.
"Haida Nation is a the forefront of Canadian aboriginal rights and title. Guujaaw is one of the premier strategists. His leadership personifies wise traditional relationships and genuine responsibility for the Haida Nation's home."
The Buffett Award was established in 2001 to provide resources for the development and transfer of knowledge in indigenous communities from California to Alaska.
Also being honoured are Harold Gatensby of the Dhka T'lingit from Carcross, Yukon; Ilarion Merculieff of the Aleut from Anchorage, Alaska; Tawna Sanchez of the Shoshone-Bannock/Ute of Portland; and Judith Sayers of the Nuu-chah-nulth from Port Alberni, B.C.
© The Canadian Press 2006