2017 Awardees

Conrad Edwards

Debora Juarez

Matt Remle

Mary WIlber

Patti Gobin

2017 Leadership Honoring Awards

Awards are given in the following areas of leadership:

Economic & Community Development

The Antone Minthorn Economic & Community Development Award

Conrad Edwards is married with three children. He is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes, a Vietnam Era veteran of the U.S. Army, and a graduate of the University of Washington. Conrad is a co-founder of Council for Tribal Employment Rights; a reservation and community based national non-profit that provides sovereignty based social and economic development strategies and services to private, public and tribal sector entities. He served as the CTER President for over 20 years and facilitated the design and development of the CTER. Conrad was appointed to, and served on, the Washington State Public Broadcasting Commission, the Governor's Affirmative Action committee, and two terms on the Seattle Human Rights Commission. In the Tribal sector he served on the board of directors for United Indians of all Tribes Foundation, the National Center for Indian Economic Development, Colville Tribal Enterprise Corporation, Puyallup International Inc., and Womer & Associates Design and Engineering. In addition to Conrad's work at CTER he was the Director of the Puyallup Tribe's Project Management Group, and was a member of the Tulalip Tribe's Business Park Planning Group.

Civic Participation

The Pearl Capoeman-Baller Civic Participation Award

Debora Juarez an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation, made history when she was elected to the Seattle City Council's District 5 seat in 2015. Councilmember Juarez became the first citizen of an indigenous nation to be elected to the Council in the City's 150-year history. Debora went to law school at the University of Puget Sound and built a 29-year career as a public defender, legal-aid lawyer, a King County judge, a Native American affairs adviser for two governors, and counsel for Northwest tribes.

Natural Resource Protection

The Billy Frank Jr. Natural Resource Protection Award

Matt Remle (Wakín yan Waánatan) - Hunkpapa Lakota lives in Seattle, WA. He is a writer and editor for Last Real Indians, runs an on-line Lakota language program, is the author of Seattle's Indigenous Peoples' Day resolution and the Seattle city council resolution to call on Congress to enter into reconciliation with Tribe's over the legacy of the Boarding School era. He has been organizing around issues of environmental, social and tribal justice for over 20 years. In 2014, he was awarded Seattle's Individual Human Rights Leader award. In addition to his nonstop social justice and environmental awareness activism, he has worked as a counselor at the Marysville School District for 12-years, contributes unfailing leadership to local and national environmental movements, including Idle No More, Standing Rock and is a lead organizer of the Seattle Divestment Campaign which resulted in the City of Seattle voting to remove their holdings of $3.3 billion dollars from Wells Fargo and other businesses with investments in oil pipelines and natural resource extractions. Many cities across the nation have followed this lead. Matt is a proud father of three as well.


The Patricia Whitefoot Education Award

Mary Wilber is an enrolled member of the Osoyoos Indian Band located in British Columbia. She has served as the Director of the Eastside Native Education Parent Committee for the past 17 years and has been involved in Native Education for over 30 years. Mary enthusiastically works with students and families from over 87 different Tribes in Lake Washington, Bellevue and Northshore School Districts. She provides cultural and academic programing that includes language exploration and introducing ceremony into their community. Mary currently serves as the Chair of the Western Washington Native American Education Consortium. The Washington State Indian Education Association recognized her as the 2017 Washington State Indian Educator of the Year. Over the past four years Mary has volunteered and has worked with the Western Washington Native American Education Consortium to help organize a Native Youth Leadership Academy in the Puget Sound region. On the state and national levels, Mary has advocated and collaborated with federal programs to ensure our Native children are being served in all Title programs offered through Public Schools.

Cultural Preservation

The Fran James Cultural Preservation Award

Patti Gobin is the Special Projects Manager for the Tulalip Tribes. Patti has over 25 years of community development experience with the Tulalip Tribes. Presently, Patti is involved in the strategic planning for the Tribes. In addition to her years of experience, Patti is a member of the Tulalip Tribes and is well versed in the culture and history of her people. Her personal goal is to invest in the future of the Coast Salish community, helping to affect a sustainable future for the generations to come.

Past Awardees