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In recognition of their outstanding contributions to Native America, two long-time members of the Native Nations Institute International Advisory Council (IAC), David Gipp and Regis Pecos, received important honors in the fall of 2017.
David Gipp (Hunkpapa Lakota) also known as WicaKpe’ Isnala, or Lone Star, was inducted into the North Dakota Native American Hall of Honor on September 7, 2017. Gipp is currently president of DM Gipp & Associates, LLC, a consulting firm that focuses on community development, higher education, and workforce development. He retired in 2014 from 37 years of service to United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), where his successive job titles were director, president, and chancellor; he continues to hold the title President Emeritus. As a leader in the tribal college and university movement, Gipp was the first permanent executive director of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (1973–1977); a founder and past chair of the American Indian College Fund; and a past board member of the National Indian Education Association. Gipp earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and government from the University of North Dakota in 1969 and was awarded a Doctorate in Laws, Honoris Causa, from the North Dakota State University in 1990 for his contributions in developing policy and law in support of tribally controlled higher education.
Regis Pecos (Cochiti Pueblo) was recognized as an “Honored One” on October 11, 2017 by the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) at their annual Guardians of Culture and Lifeways International Awards ceremony. In making the award, ATALM highlighted Pecos’ key role, when working for the New Mexico State Legislature, in rallying support for tribal library construction and renovation and, as the co-founder and co-director of the Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute, in providing invaluable seminars, workshops, and internship programs to tribal library staff and patrons. The program book for the event noted, “By bestowing Honored One status to Regis Pecos, we hope in this small way to express our heartfelt gratitude for his unrelenting belief that Tribal Libraries are at the center of learning, language, and community.” Pecos is a former governor and lieutenant governor of Cochiti Pueblo and a lifetime member of it tribal council. He has served as both chief of staff and senior legislative and policy analyst for the Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives, and was executive director of the New Mexico Office of Indian Affairs for 16 years. In 1999, he was named New Mexico’s Distinguished Public Servant, the highest honor bestowed by the state government. Pecos is a graduate and former trustee of Princeton University.
Both David Gipp and Regis Pecos also are members of the Board of Governors for Honor Contributions in the Governance of American Indian Nations (Honoring Nations), a program of NNI’s sister organization, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.