Oren R. Lyons is a traditional Faithkeeper and Chief of the Turtle Clan and a proud and accomplished Native American who works tirelessly on the issues concerning Indigenous peoples in the United States and the world. He is a member of the Onondaga Nation Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, (Haudenosaunee) consisting of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Mohawk and Tuscarora Indian Reservations. in northern New York State. Among his accolades he has received the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, the National Audubon Award, the First Annual Earth Day International Award of the United Nations, and the Elder and Wiser Award of the Rosa Parks Institute for Human Rights. He is deeply involved with national and international issues that affect native peoples and has represented them in many forums throughout the world, including several at the UN focusing on the rights and status of indigenous peoples, the environment and sustainable development. He is Professor of American Studies at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he directs the Native American Studies Program. For more information about Oren visit: www.indigenouspeople.net
Congressman John Lewis is often called “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced.” John Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress. Sen. John McCaine (R-AZ) has said “ I have seen courage on many occasions. I can’t say I’ve seen anyone who possesses more of it, and uses it for any better purpose and any greater effect, than John Lewis.” Democratic Party Leader, Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) Speaker of the House, has called John Lewis “the conscience of the U.S. Congress.” Roll Call Magazine has said, “John Lewis …is a genuine American hero and moral leader who commands widespread respect in the chamber.” John Lewis is the recipient of numerous awards from eminent national and international institutions, including the Golden Plate Award given by the Academy of Excellence, the Preservation Hero Award given by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Capital Award of the National Council of La Raza, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Non-Violent Peace Prize, the President’s Medal of Georgetown University, the NAACP Spingarn Medal, The John F. Kennedy “Profiles in Courage” Award for lifetime achievement, and the National Education Association’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Award. The Timberland Company has developed the John Lewis Award, which honors humanitarian service and has established the John Lewis Scholarship Fund in his honor. For more information, please visit: http://johnlewis.house.gov.