Jason Robison Honored with Chief Washakie Foundation Distinguished Leadership Award

April 23, 2019

On April 18, 2019, Professor Jason Robison was honored with the Chief Washakie Foundation Distinguished Leadership Award. The award was ceremoniously conferred at the inaugural Native American Scholarship and Awards Banquet. Hosted by the University of Wyoming, the banquet recognized the accomplishments of Native American students, afforded the opportunity to express appreciation to scholarship donors, and served as a platform for the announcement of new scholarships and new awards.

Professor Robison was recognized for his outstanding service on President Nichols’ Native American Affairs Advisory Council, which was established in summer 2017 and responsible for the grand opening of UW’s Native American Education, Research, and Cultural Center (NAERCC) in fall 2017. Moving forward from these milestones, the Council formed a diverse, 17-person subcommittee in spring 2018 to draft a first-ever Native American and Indigenous Affairs Strategic Plan for UW. Professor Robison has chaired this subcommittee, facilitating a host of listening sessions and meetings on main campus and the Wind River Indian Reservation, as well as completing comparative research on a wide range of other universities’ policies in regards to Native American and Indigenous Affairs.

The Chair and Executive Director of the Chief Washakie Foundation, James Trosper, presented the surprise award. Trosper is also a former UW trustee, the former Director of the NAERCC, and the current director of UW’s High Plains American Indian Research Institute (HPAIRI).

The award is bestowed upon a faculty member that has shown leadership abilities similar to those of Chief Washakie.jason-award

Beyond his service role within the greater university, Professor Robison is also a member of the Working Group on Tribes and Water in the Colorado River Basin. Much of his research and teaching focuses on Native American communities, particularly the intersection of federal Indian law, public lands law, and water law in the American West. Encompassing these three areas, Professor Robison is lead editor of a forthcoming sesquicentennial volume for John Wesley Powell’s historic 1869 Expedition down the Green and Colorado rivers—Vision & Place: John Wesley Powell & Reimagining the Colorado River Basin. He regularly teaches courses at the College of Law in American Indian Law, Federal Courts, International Environmental Law, and Water Law & Policy and Advanced Water Law & Policy.

“Receiving this award is genuinely one of the highest honors of my career,” says Robison. “It has been a blessing to serve on President Nichols’ Advisory Council, and to connect with tribal leaders and members on Wind River, while putting together UW’s strategic plan. Now the words in that document need to be given life.”

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