A national Native American non-profit organization, the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society, serves as a communication medium for self-determined Native American fish and wildlife managers.

We serve as a communication network between tribal, federal, and state fish and wildlife management entities.



Each year, the Native American Fish & Wildlife Society recognize individuals working in the tribal natural resource management. These individuals are also performing exceptional work. So to acknowledge their work, the NAFWS each year puts out a call for nominations to tribes so that tribal natural resource managers could be recognized and honored for their exceptional work which is viewed as a contribution to the betterment of tribal natural resources management. Their impact in Indian Country also creates the road for better tribal natural resources management for the future.

The Chief Sealth Award each year is presented during the NAFWS National Conference. The award is named after Chief Sealth a leader in his tribe, the Suquamish, and was known for his strong oratory stance on behalf of his people, the land, and for cultural and religious protection.

The Native American Fish & Wildlife Society has recognized these stewards of the environment and natural resources:

  1. AWARDEES 2020 - 2010
  2. AWARDEES 2009 - 2000
  3. AWARDEES 1999 - 1997

2018 - Mark DixonPueblo of Isleta, Department of Natural Resources, Isleta, NM
2017 - Joseph OatmanNez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resource Management, Lapwai,ID
2016 - Michael J. IshamLac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Hayward, WI
2015 - Patty Schwalenberg - Chugach Regional Resources Commission, Anchorage, AK
2014 - Norman JojolaBIA Northern Pueblos Agency, Espanola, NM
2013 - Jarrod Daniel - Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission, Portland, OR
2012 -  Five Natural Resource Managers were Awarded:


Mike Fox Ft. Belknap Tribal Counci For Bison Restoration
Mark Azure Ft. Belknap Fish and Wildlife For Bison Restoration
Robert Magnan Fort Peck Game & Fish Department For Bison Restoration
Tom Watts Jicarilla Apache Game & Fish 

For 30 Years Utilizing Science to Develop and Manage a
Successful Big-Game Management Program in Indian Country

Nathan Small Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

For Instrumental Impact with Columbia Basin Fish Accord

2011 - Dewey Schwalenberg - Awarded Post-Humous, Anchorage, AK
2010 - Trudy Ecoffey - Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Department, Kyle, SD


2008 - Rick Wadleigh - Tribal Liaison, USDA-APHIS, Denver, CO
         Alvah QuinnSisseton-Wapeton Oyate Game & Fish, Agency Village, SD
2007 - Mike MontoyaSouthwest Tribal Fisheries CommissionMescalero, NM
2005 - Daniel ParkerU.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Arizona Fisheries Resources
2004 - David CloseConfederated Tribes Umatilla Indian Reservation (now Dr. David Close)
2003 - Gary RankelBureau of Indian Affairs Branch of Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation,  Washington, D.C.
2002 - Dave Conner  - Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians Department of Natural Resources, Red Lake, MN
2001- Dwight KochStanding Rock Sioux Tribe Department of Game and Fish, Ft. Yates, ND
2000- David Wolf -  Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation, Department of Fisheries, Pendleton, OR


1999 Adrian "Dusty"Miller Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin  
1998 John E. Antonio U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Region 2  
1997 Jaime Pinkham Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resource Management