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The Native Excellence Gala brings together Tribal Nation heads of state, community partners and members, educators, and students to celebrate changemakers and leaders who are making a positive impact on behalf of the Indigenous community. With prestigious awards bestowed upon nominated individuals, the evening includes a VIP reception, dinner, silent auction, and entertainment to honor and celebrate award recipients. Ticket proceeds will support the American Indian Resource Center Scholarship Fund.

Native Excellence Gala

June 22, 2023 · 6 – 8:30 p.m.
Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House

Formal / Traditional Attire

Join the University of Utah for an extraordinary night at the Native Excellence Gala. Hosted by award-winning actor and comedian Tatanka Means, this unforgettable evening is dedicated to trailblazers and leaders who are creating a positive impact on behalf of the Indigenous community. Secure your spot at the Gala today and purchase your tickets.

Tatanka Means in a dark gray suit and sunglasses

Event Host

Tatanka Means

Tatanka Means is an award-winning actor and comedian from Chinle Arizona. He represents the Navajo, Oglala Lakota, Yankton Dakota and Omaha nations.

His most recent work includes FX’s critically acclaimed series "Reservation Dogs," the new epic trilogy "Horizon" by Kevin Costner, and the upcoming highly anticipated Martin Scorsese Western crime drama, "Killers of the Flower Moon." Tatanka can be seen next in the upcoming feature "Wind River 2." Tatanka performs stand-up comedy throughout Indian Country spreading laughter and humor to all ages. He was recently named Entertainer of the Year by the National Indian Gaming Association and was voted Best Comedian by Albuquerque the Magazine.

VIP tickets include an exclusive meet-and-greet with Tatanka Means.

Native Excellence Awards

Presented at the Native Excellence Gala, these awards amplify and celebrate individuals who exemplify Indigenous excellence and whose leadership inspires, uplifts, and paves the path forward for the Indigenous community.

The nomination period for the Native Excellence Awards has now closed. We appreciate all the submissions we have received and would like to express our gratitude to those who have nominated outstanding individuals.