Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award

November 19, 2012
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The Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award will be given to a courageous advocate who is pursuing the rights of Indigenous Peoples' with an Indigenous community. The Award is intended to recognize 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. By conferring public recognition we support these individuals whose lives may be in harm's way. 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 our generous donors created this award in memory of the late Cultural Survival Executive Director Ellen L. Lutz, who led Cultural Survival from 2004-2010. Ellen's contribution to Cultural Survival was part of a lifetime of human rights work that included positions with the Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution and Human Rights Watch, teaching at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and books on subjects that ranged from consequences of torture to trying heads of state for human rights violations.

The recipient of the ELL Indigenous Rights Award will receive $10,000. The award will be presented in May 2013 at an honoring reception held in New York City at the time of the UN Permanent Forum on the Rights of Indigenous People.

Nomination Process
Nominations for the award may be received from any individual or group from November 20, 2012 to January 31, 2013. Nominations should include a letter about why a person is being nominated, a bio of the nominee, and contact information for the nominee. Please submit nominees to Miranda Vitello at or by mail to her attention at 215 Prospect Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. The recipient will be selected by a panel of distinguished Indigenous human rights leaders in April 2013.


Since 1972 Cultural Survival has been advocating for Indigenous Peoples' rights and supporting Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures and political resilience.

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