Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards

To Honor the Cultures of Arizona Native American Tribes

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About AILTA, Inc.


The mission of the Arizona Indian Living Treasures (AILTA), Incorporated, is to honor and celebrate the cultures of Arizona Indian tribes.


To teach Arizona Indian cultural values and traditions, and to inspire future generations to walk the earth with respect, purpose and honor.


The goals of Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards Inc. (AILTA) are:

  • To preserve the knowledge of designated Living Treasures as cultural mentors who contribute to Tribal, State and National pride.
  • To recognize and honor the lifetime achievements of Living Treasures through annual award ceremonies.
  • To disseminate and preserve the knowledge of designated Living Treasures through such avenues as personal presentations, workshops exhibits, and film.
  • To mentor future generations in the preservation of traditional Indian cultures and in the enhancement of innovative cultural expression.
  • To increase awareness among all communities about the diversity and uniqueness of Indian cultures.

According to the Smithsonian Institution, AILTA, Inc. was the first arts organization within the contiguous United States to honor elder Native American artists. Each year since 1988, AILTA, guided by a board largely comprised of Native American leaders, has honored lifetime achievements of Arizona Native American artists or educators 60 years of age or older. AILTA presents a Pendleton blanket to each artist at the annual Awards Ceremony, along with a plaque and a copy of a special governor’s proclamation. The names of the honored artists, educators, and cultural preservationists are embroidered on their blankets, in commemoration of their achievements and the ceremony.

AILTA serves all of Arizona by providing role models for incorporating art into daily life and promoting greater participation in the arts, as well as by representing a cultural group who is integral to life in our state. We serve the Native American community by providing a venue where their contributions to our cultural heritage and current artistic expression can be recognized. We serve all Arizona communities by offering an opportunity to interact with Living Treasures who have shaped history through their leadership in the arts, and to view their artistic products.


AILTA, Inc., established in 1988, is a non-profit organization with a 501 (c) (3) designation. Board representation is diverse, with Native American preference sought for the President and Vice President appointments.

Board Officers 2015

  • Daryl Melvin, President
  • Chris Allen, Vice President
  • Eileen Egan, Treasurer

Board Members

  • Dawn Melvin
  • Danielle Lansing
  • Beulah Allen
  • Bernard Siquieros

AILTA in the Media

Two Yavapai Men Honored: Arizona Living Treasures
Story & Photos by Pamela Williams

Arizona Indian Living Treasures Participates in Festival of Trees at Tlaquepaque in Sedona Arizona
Article by Wib Middleton.

Previous AILTA Recipients

Malinda Powskey
Craft: language master, Storyteller
Tribe: Hualapai
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With your gift, The AILTA organization will continue our work to honor the lifetime achievements of Arizona American Indian traditional artists, teachers, cultural and language preservationists.
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