This week, the White Mountain Independent features Amelia Flores, an executive officer of the Colorado River Indian Tribes Council and noted tribal archivist for the CRIT Museum.
The Northland Pioneer College, from which Flores graduated in 1997 (in addition to graduating from Arizona Western College the same year) honored her as the college’s Outstanding Alumnus for spring 2013.
The article marks Flores’ hard work in many areas alongside her passion for preserving her cultural and linguistic heritage:
Additionally, throughout her career, Flores has donated time to serving on numerous boards and commissions in both civic and professional arenas. She currently is one of five members of the Parker Unified School District Board and is also an elder for Parker Valley United Presbyterian Church. She recently stepped down after a four-year term as a council member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes Regional Partnership First Things First. She relinquished this position in order to stand for election for the CRIT Tribal Council, saying, “I hated to give it up. Serving and speaking on behalf of our young children is so important, but there’s simply not time to do everything.”
Flores was serving as the Northern Arizona Regional representative for the Arizona Library Association, an association she still maintains, where she became acquainted with her alumnus award nominator, NPC Librarian Deborah Holbrook. In her letter of nomination, Holbrook says, “While I did know her from her work in Arizona, I now see… that the Arizona connection was only the tip of the iceberg in her important work to preserve native language and culture.”
Holbrook is referencing the acclaim Flores has received for her work in preserving the language and culture of the Colorado River Indian Tribes. In 2007, the CRIT library, under her direction, was awarded the Guardian of Language, Memory and Lifeways Medal of Honor, presented by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums, an award established to identify and recognize organizations and individuals who serve as outstanding examples of how indigenous archives, libraries and museums contribute to the vitality and cultural sovereignty of Native nations.
The following year, she received the Revitalization, Implementation and Preservation of Tribal Language Award, awarded at the annual Yuman Family Language Summit held to celebrate the culture and traditions of the Yuman Nation, an area encompassing Native American tribes from Southern California to the Grand Canyon to northern Baja, Mexico.
In 2012, the Guardians of Culture and Lifeways International again honored Flores and the CRIT collections with the Archives Institutional Excellence Award for demonstration of “a significant commitment to the preservation and use of documentary heritage.”
The whole article can be read HERE.