American Indian Author N. Scott Momaday Wins Ken Burns American Heritage Prize

Momaday is the recipient of the 2019 Ken Burns American Heritage Prize

Published January 8, 2019

BOZEMAN, Mont. — American Prairie Reserve is proud to announce that Kiowa novelist, essayist, and poet N. Scott Momaday, Ph.D., has been named the recipient of the 2019 Ken Burns American Heritage Prize. The award will be presented May 1, 2019, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The evening’s festivities will include remarks by Ken Burns, Dr. N. Scott Momaday, Meryl Streep, the 2019 Chair of the National Jury Dawn Arnall, and American Prairie Reserve CEO Alison Fox.

Named in honor of America’s most revered visual historian and filmmaker, the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize recognizes individuals whose achievements have advanced our collective understanding of America’s heritage and the indomitable American spirit of our people. Nominees for the annual Prize consist of visionary artists, authors, educators, filmmakers, historians, and scientists. The candidates are chosen by a National Jury of distinguished leaders who represent communities across the country and share a common appreciation of America’s heritage.

“It’s a privilege to lend my name to a Prize honoring individuals whose accomplishments reinforce the nation’s understanding of all that is possible. Scott Momaday has spent his life introducing the world to Native American culture through literature that has elevated our collective consciousness about what it means to be indigenous in the United States.” – Ken Burns

Dr. Momaday is a Kiowa novelist, short-story writer, essayist and poet. His novel House Made of Dawnwas awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1969, and is considered the first major work of the Native American Renaissance. Momaday was a founding Trustee of the National Museum of the American Indian, holds 21 honorary degrees from colleges and universities around the world and received the National Medal of Arts in 2007.

“I am truly honored to be named the recipient of the 2019 Ken Burns American Heritage Prize and left speechless by this recognition. The prairie is a landscape of great clarity and has had extraordinary meaning in my life. None of us lives apart from the land entirely and I am deeply concerned about conservation. I fully support American Prairie Reserve’s remarkable and courageous effort to preserve a disappearing landscape that is sacred to so many Native Americans.” – Dr. N. Scott Momaday

American Prairie Reserve, which created the Prize, is a modern-day embodiment of America’s optimistic and boundless approach to accomplishing the unprecedented — in this case, by creating the largest nature reserve in the continental United States, located on the Great Plains of northeastern Montana.

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