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Valerie Taliman, Indian Country Today Media Network’s west coast editor and writer, received a Native American Women in Leadership Award during the 45th Annual California Native American Day celebration in Sacramento today, September 29.

Taliman, was notified on September 5 that she would be among nine outstanding Native women to be honored at this year’s celebration.

‘Our theme Honoring Native American Women in Leadership was chosen to honor Native American women with outstanding commitment and leadership for Native American communities and future generations,” wrote Olin C. Jones, the chair of State Tribal Liaisons of California. “On behalf of the State Tribal Liaisons of the State of California, I am happy to inform you that you have been selected to be recognized for your many years of service to the Native American community. You specifically embody the theme of our program, which is to honor Native American Women in Leadership for their outstanding commitment and tireless work for tribal communities and future generations. We are proud to bestow this honor upon you as an individual and as a representative of your tribal community.”

An award-winning journalist, Taliman received the Richard LaCourse Award from the Native American Journalists Association last year for her groundbreaking investigative series on missing and murdered First Nations women that was published by Indian Country Today in 2010. She continues to highlight violence against women and the racism inherent in violence against Native families in her articles for ICTMN.

Taliman posted a special message on her Facebook page on the morning of the awards ceremony. “Up early, making prayers of gratitude, and looking forward to all the festivities today for Native American Day at the Capitol,” she wrote.

The awards ceremony will take place on the south steps of the State Capitol. California’s Native American Day honors the valuable historic and cultural contributions made by American Indian leaders in California. The event is sponsored by the California State Tribal Liaisons and the California Indian Heritage Center Foundation.

A full story will follow.