The Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award and Fund

The international Indigenous rights organization Cultural Survival announces the creation of the Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Fund and Award, in honor of its former executive director, who died on November 4, after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.

The fund will underwrite the Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Award, which will honor a heroic advocate for the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Ellen L. Lutz was a fierce advocate for human rights throughout her life. As executive director of Cultural Survival she expanded its mission and partnered with Indigenous Peoples around the world to defend their beleaguered lands, languages, cultures, and human rights. She worked at Cultural Survival until just weeks before her death, and requested that her work be continued into the future, saying: “Never give up; never give in. Once Cultural Survival commits to working with an Indigenous community, we are in it for the long haul.”

The Fund and Award will honor Ellen Lutz’s indomitable spirit by supporting those who carry on her work. If you have questions about the Ellen L. Lutz Indigenous Rights Fund, call Polly Laurelchild-Hertig at Cultural Survival, (617) 441-5400, extension 18 or email polly [at]

Memorial services for Ellen will be held on April 30, 2011, at First Parish Unitarian Church in Cambridge, MA, and in May 2011 in New York City.