Construction in Indian Country Reconizes 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award Receipients

Former Navajo Natioin President Dr. Peterson Zah

Published November 10, 2019

TEMPE, Ariz. — Recipients of the 2019 Outstanding Achievement Awards for individuals, companies, and construction projects in Indian Country that substantially contributed to the enhancement of Tribal communities, will be recognized at the Construction in Indian Country’s (CIIC) Achievement Awards Gala on November 7, at Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino Events Center.

CIIC and the 2019 National Conference are privileged to be a platform for recognizing “quality design and construction in the built environment” and appreciates all those who submitted nominations. The award categories include Community Enrichment; Design and Planning; Construction; and Lasting Impact:

Outstanding Community Enrichment Award, Souers Construction, Inc., Leon Shirley Architects & Navajo Housing Authority, “The Kayenta AZ12-050 Housing Project”

Souers Construction, Inc., Leon Shirley Architects and Navajo Housing Authority’s Kayenta AZ12-050 Project was selected for enriching the Kayenta Township community through the collaboration in design and construction process. The homes were fitted to homeowner and tenant needs by integrating Diné (Navajo) culture, family-oriented design, accommodating the Diné love of agriculture and strengthening relationship to the earth.

The Native Owned firms hired over 100 employees and provided training in certifiable safety classes. Employees were offered opportunities for continued education through personal growth, on-site training, safety and heavy equipment trainings and promotion opportunities.

Outstanding Design and Planning Award, Seven Generations Architecture + Engineering, “Gateway to the North”

The ‘Gateway to the North’ masterplan and conceptual design was selected for excellence in land development planning that exudes innovation, exceptional engineering, modernization, or sustainable construction design. The design intent was for a destination with venues for visitors, hikers & bikers, Casino seekers, Culture and Craft connoisseurs and more.

The 156 acre and heavily wooded property was coined as “A Beautiful Place Beneath the Trees” and was planned and positioned for potential development along several market sectors to support local tribally-owned economic development, vacation goers, and reflect the tribal heritage of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indian people.

Outstanding Construction Award, Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel & Casino, “Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel & Casino Expansion Project”

The Harrah’s Ak-Chin Hotel and Casino Expansion project was selected for enhancing the local community through innovative and artistic construction. Completed in December of 2018, the expansion was a monumental project for the Ak-Chin Indian Community, as it serves to preserve symbolic tribal heritage, strengthen sovereignty and provide the rising generation with greater opportunities for employment and education.

The expansion includes the addition of an 11-story concrete hotel tower, a luxurious spa, 20,460 SF of new gaming space, several food and beverage venues, a new multi-purpose event/banquet center, a 750-car parking garage, and a new bingo hall.

Lasting Impact Legacy Award, Peterson Zah

Peterson Zah, Former Navajo President and Chairman  of the Navajo Nation was selected for the lasting positive impact he’s made in tribal communities. He was central to increased Native American enrollment and retention and in creating the Native American Achievement Program which provides students scholarships, mentoring and advising.

Zah is a co-founder of the CIIC National Conference in response to how Indian gaming was driving construction in the Native American communities. He promoted the use of local labor and resources into the construction process and conflict resolution between tribal and non-tribal entities.

Zah served ASU as Special Advisor to the President on American Indian Affairs and a CIIC Industry Advisory Council member; a committee of individuals from Arizona and New Mexico Indian tribes partnered with the Del E. Webb School of Construction.

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