Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards

To Honor the Cultures of Arizona Native American Tribes

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Gevene E. Savala


Gevene E. Savala born in 1928, is a member fo the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians. The 240 members fo the Kaibab Paiute speak a Uto-Aztecan language, in addition to English.

Ms. Savala is a fluent tribal speaker and cultural preservationist who graduated from Sherman Indian School in 1946 and from Dixie College with a liberal arts degree in 1986, at age 63. She was a Fine Arts instructor at Mohave College from 1999-2004 and currently teaches in the tribal language program.

She provides consultation on traditional cultural information in a variety of venues, serves as the tribal representative for a cultural program at Nellis Air Base, and acts as a representative elder for the Kaibab Paiute Tribe at the ITCA Elders Program.

Ms. Savala practices and teaches traditional ceremonies and language to younger tribal members, including her four children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Charlie Bulletts, Cultural Director for the Tribe, reports that Ms. Savala teaches young people through setting a powerful example of healthy living, including hiking at age 84, a good diet, and abstinence form alcohol and tobacco. As well as active language and arts teaching, she role models attunement to the desert landscape and cultural traditions for the younger generation, finding beauty everywhere.

Kaibab Paiute
Cultural Preservationist

Previous AILTA Recipients

Sheldon Swick
Craft: Cultural Preservationist, Gourd Rattle Making, language master
Tribe: Mojave
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