All awards are voted on by the members of the Native American Literature Symposium board.

The Beatrice Medicine Award for Scholarship in American Indian Studies 

(Sponsored by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies

These awards will be given for an outstanding essay and book. It is open to anybody who has published in Indigenous studies for the previous calendar year. Previous winners and members of the NALS and ASAIL board are not eligible for the award.

The Electa Quinney Award for Published Stories

(Sponsored by the Electa Quinney Institute for American Indian Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

This award seeks to highlight the work of story creators who continue the tradition of teaching through narratives often crossing the boundaries of genres, formats and disciplines. To celebrate the dissemination of stories into spaces where they can be shared all published stories qualify including small press and fine arts printing.

Nominations for the 2021 Beatrice Medicine Awards and the Electa Quinney Award are now open.

Please fill out the following form to submit a nomination. If you wish to nominate more than one piece, please fill out multiple forms for each nomination.

Nomination Form

Please email Jeremy Carnes at with any questions or concerns

Deadline: All nominations must be submitted by March 15, 2021.

Past Award Winners

The Beatrice Medicine Award:

2020 – Laura Harjo for her book Spiral to the Stars: Mvskoke Tools of Futurity (University of Arizona Press, 2019).

Jeremiah Garsha for his essay “Red Paint: Transnational Movements of Deconstructing, Decolonizing, and Defacing Colonial Structures.” (Transmotion 5.1, 2019).

2019 – Jenny Davis for her book Talking Indian: Identity and Language Revitalization in the Chickasaw Renaissance (University of Arizona Press, 2018).

Shaawano Chad Uran for his essay “Policing Resource Extraction and Human Rights in The Land of the Dead.” (Transmotion 4.1, 2018).

2018 – Elizabeth Hoover for her book The River Is In Us: Fighting Toxics in a Mohawk Community (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

Marcia G. Anderson for her essay “A Bag Worth a Pony: The Art of the Ojibwe Bandolier Bag” in the art book of the same name (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2017).

2017 – Brandi Nalani McDougall for her book Finding Meaning: Kaona and Contemporary Hawaiian Literature (University of Arizona Press, 2016).

Jan Johnston for her essay” “‘We Were All at Wounded Knee’: The Engaged Resistance of Folk and Rock in the Red Power Era” from the collection Indigenous Pop: Native American Music from Jazz to Hip Hop edited by Jeff Bergland, Jan Johnson, and Kimberli Lee (University of Arizona Press, 2016).

2016 – Stephanie Fitzgerald for her book Native Women and Land: Narratives of Dispossession and Resurgence (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2015).

Susan Bernardin for her essay “Acorn Soup Is Good Food: L. Frank, News from Native California, and the Intersections of Literary and Visual Arts” (Studies in American Indian Literatures 27.3, 2015).

2015 – Molly McGlennen for her book Creative Alliances: The Transnational Designs of Indigenous Women’s Poetry (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014)

2013 – Phillip Carroll Morgan for “The Maze of Colonialism: The Byrds of Virginia and Indian Territory,” Journal of Chikasaw History and Culture, Vol. XIII, Number One (Spring 2012)

2012 – Dean Rader for Engaged Resistance: American Indian Art, Literature, and Film from Alcatraz to the NMAI

2011 – Scott Richard Lyons for “X-Marks: Native Signatures of Assent”

2010 – Jill Doerfler for “An Anishinaabe Tribalography: Investigating and Interweaving Conceptions of Identity during the 1910s on the White Earth Reservation”

2009 – Susan A. Miller for “Native America Writes Back: The Origin of the Indigenous Paradigm in Historiography.”

2008 – Jodi Byrd for “Living My Native Life Deadly”: Red Lake, Ward Churchill, and the Discourses of Competing Genocides.”


Past Winners of the Electa Quinney Award:

2020 – Beth Piatote for her book The Beadworkers (Counterpoint Press, 2019).

2019 – Terese Marie Mailhot for her book Heart Berries (Counterpoint Press, 2018).

2018 – Linda LeGarde Grover for her essay collection Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year (University of Minnesota Press, 2017).

2017 – Delphine Red Shirt for her book George Sword’s Warrior Narratives: Compositional Processes in Lakota Oral Tradition (University of Nebraska Press, 2017)

2016 – Mini Aodla Freeman for the edited collection of stories Life Among the Qallunaat, edited by Keavy Martin, Julie Rak, and Norma Dunning.