Established in 2010, the award recognizes an emerging leader under the age of 40 who has demonstrated significant impact in addressing critical societal needs. Eagle Heart will receive the award during Our Common Future, a joint conference of IS, the Council of Michigan Foundations, and the Michigan Nonprofit Association, to be October 25-27 in Detroit.
Eagle Heart, an Oglala Lakota who grew up on and was a teen activist on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, is widely recognized as a stalwart advocate for tribal communities and the role philanthropy can play in solving the biggest issues facing indigenous peoples. Since becoming CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy, a membership-based organization that promotes reciprocity and investment in, with, and for Native peoples, she has worked to strengthen the organization and elevate its position within the nonprofit sector.
Prior to joining Native Americans in Philanthropy, Eagle Heart was a leader in the Episcopal Church in New York, leading an effort that resulted in the church becoming the first major denomination in the U.S. to repudiate the centuries-old Doctrine of Discovery, which allowed land not inhabited by Christians to be "discovered" and claimed from Native peoples.
"Sarah Eagle Heart is a powerful voice and advocate on behalf of the charitable sector at large and the Native American community in particular," said Independent Sector president and CEO Daniel J. Cardinali. "Her focus on storytelling and reaching people across cultures and experiences has helped her lead organizations and people toward success."