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The Dr. Duane Mackey "Waktaya Naji" Award

The Dr. Duane Mackey “Waktaya Naji” Award was established to acknowledge individuals who, in their addiction study careers, have made significant contributions in education, research, mentoring, and service among American Indian and/or Alaska Native peoples. The award signifies the promise of continued success of an individual and serves to inspire others to make contributions to the addiction treatment field for AI and/or AN people. The award is also designed to recognize individuals who, through their concerted efforts, have untiringly promoted and espoused the ideals of equality and justice for all peoples.

Award History

Dr. Duane Mackey, a Santee Sioux tribal member and a faculty member in the Alcohol and Drug Studies Program at the University of South Dakota, worked with the Prairielands Addiction Technology Transfer Center from 1998 until he passed away on March 11, 2010. He initiated many very important projects during these 12 years, many of which have received national attention, including:

  • Alcohol and Drug Exam Prep courses for American Indian Counselors, which helped to raise the pass rate substantially;
  • American Indian Curriculum for State Accredited, Non-Tribal Substance Abuse Programs, which received the Annapolis Award for Innovative Strategies in Workforce Development;
  • Nagi Kacopi, and Sucker Punched, two national award-winning videos;
  • culturally sensitive assessment instruments for use with American Indian clients with substance use disorders; and
  • facilitation of the development of outpatient programs for American Indian clients with substance use disorders in community correctional settings.

In order to acknowledge Dr. Mackey’s contributions to the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders in American Indian people, Prairielands ATTC established this award in his memory. Dr. Anne Helene Skinstad initiated the development of the award in 2010 and the first nomination process began Spring 2011.

The Award Committee was chaired by Dr. Skinstad until 2014, and is now chaired by Wayne H. White Wolf-Evans, Ed D, Teton Sicangu Lakota, who is a Professor Emeritus in the School of Education at the University of South Dakota. The committee includes representatives of Dr. Duane Mackey’s family, Terrell Mackey and granddaughter Kenan Mackey; and representatives of the Advisory Council, Curriculum Committee, and staff for the National AI & AN ATTC.

Award Recipients

2011 - Dr. Cecil White Hat

Dr. White Hat is a Rosebud Sioux Tribe member and the Principal Planner/Program Consultant with the American Indian Program, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division, Department of Health and Human Services, St. Paul, Minnesota.

2012 - Gib Sudbeck

Gib Sudbeck is the Director of Prevention Initiatives for the Division of Community Behavioral Health, Department of Health Services, Pierre, South Dakota. He has served as the Single State Authority for substance abuse services in South Dakota for over 16 years until he took this current position in 2011. Mr. Sudbeck has also served as a board member of NASADAD during his tenure as SSA Director, and received the NASADAD Presidential Award in 2010.

2013 - Ed Parsells

Ed Parsells is the Director of Lakota Care in White River, South Dakota. He received his BS in Behavioral Science from Mid-America University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is a certified substance abuse counselor, providing clinical supervision within the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Substance Abuse Programs. Mr. Parsells has co-authored the South Dakota Statewide Native American Substance Abuse Needs Assessment and administered an Indian Health Services grant which developed a substance abuse screening instrument for pregnant women. He is the current South Dakota Native American Curriculum Committee chair and is also a master trainer of the curriculum.

2014 - R. Dale Walker, MD

R. Dale Walker, MD, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychiatry, and the Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine at the Oregon Health & Science University. He is Director of the One Sky Center,, a National Resource Center for American Indian Health, Education and Research. Dr. Walker, who grew up in a rural area near Claremore, Oklahoma is Cherokee. He is a 1972 graduate of the University of Oklahoma College Of Medicine, with residency training in Psychiatry at the University Of California School Of Medicine in San Diego where he was Chief Resident. His research has focused upon health services, treatment effectiveness, best practices, culture’s role in treatment, and social determinants. He is dedicated to and advocates for quality medical and mental health services for American Indian people.

Requirements for Nomination

Nominees must fulfill at least three of the following criteria as they relate to American Indian and/or Alaska Native communities:

  • Develop, establish or participate in creative and innovative model of interdisciplinary practice and education in addiction.
  • Establish, promote, or participate in partnerships across addiction treatment/educational settings.
  • Author publications and/or presentations on elements of the addiction field which are of special relevance to AI and/or AN people.
  • Exhibit leadership in the field through promotion of interdisciplinary activities which address addiction issues.
  • Demonstrate success in employing evidence-based strategies to address addiction-related issues. Mentor AI and/or AN individuals involved in the field of addiction treatment.
  • Demonstrate willingness to share knowledge of the addictions field with colleagues working with AI and/or AN people.
  • Demonstrate/apply innovative strategies to overcome challenges/barriers to addiction treatment.
  • Demonstrate persistence and success in addressing addiction, health, wellness issues.
  • Demonstrate commitment to building therapeutic, medical, educational or social environments sensitive to the needs of the AI and/or AN people.
  • Work diligently to promote equality and justice for AI and/or AN people.
  • Strive to enhance quality of care provided to AI and/or AN people through enhancing understanding of their cultural, spiritual and healing practices.


One individual per year may be selected to receive the award. Nominations may be re-submitted each year, up to a maximum of three years in succession. Nominations must include a detailed description of the nominee’s qualifications including the following:

  • Nominee’s name, job titles, affiliations, and curriculum vitae
  • Brief description of nominee’s involvement with AI and/or AN people and the addiction treatment field.
  • Three letters of support indicating the nominee’s commitment to AI and/or AN people and the addiction treatment field.
  • Nominator’s name and contact information

Nominations for the 2015 award must be submitted to National American Indian and Alaska Native ATTC by June 15, 2015. Nominations can be submitted online (preferred) at this address:, or mailed to National AI & AN ATTC, Attn: Jacki Bock, 1207 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

Presentation of the Award

The award winner will be announced annually at the Red Road Gathering in Vermillion, South Dakota, where they will be invited to present a professional overview of their relevant work.

The award will include:

  • An inscribed Dr. Duane Mackey “Waktaya Naji” Award plaque.
  • Travel, lodging, and per diem to attend the Red Road Gathering, and the ATTC Network Annual Meeting, site to be announced.
  • Scholarship to attend a conference of the recipient’s choice, for the purpose of professional development.

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