Kronk Warner, Tanana receive Native Excellence Awards for positive impacts on the indigenous community

Jun 28, 2023 | Belonging & Access

Actor Tatanka Means, a Native American man with dark brown hair, stands at a podium and recognizes Professor Alex Skibine, whose photo is displayed on a screen next to him.
Actor Tatanka Means recognizes the late Professor Alex Skibine, whose photo is displayed, at the Native Excellence gala.

Dean Elizabeth Kronk Warner and Research Assistant Professor Heather Tanana were among 11 tribal nation community members honored with Native Excellence Awards at the Native Excellence Gala held June 22, 2023, at the University of Utah. Dean Kronk Warner was recognized for Native Excellence in Higher Education, and Tanana was recognized for Native Excellence in Health Equity.

The late Professor Alexander Tallchief Skibine, who taught at the S.J. Quinney College of Law until his death in February 2023, also received a Lifetime Achievement (In Memoriam) Award, and Dean Kronk Warner accepted it on his behalf.

“Alex was a great light in my career. As a mentor, he showed me how to be an effective scholar of Indian law and work to better Indian country. As a colleague, he demonstrated true collegiality, teaching me how to be an engaged member of our community,” Kronk Warner said of accepting Professor Skibine’s award. “I am so thankful that his legacy continues to be honored through this award. He was a giant in Indian country and a fantastic human being.”

Learn more about the Native Excellence Awards and see all of the 2023 winners:

Ronald Wopsock, a Native American man with white hair and olive skin, speaks at the podium adjacent to a video of Dean Kronk Warner, who accepted her award virtually

Research Professor Heather Tanana, a Native American woman with dark brown hair and olive skin wearing a white top and coral skirt, receives her award at the podium