The Heard Museum is proud to present its 11th annual Spirit of the Heard award to Ernest H. Siva (Cahuilla/Serrano). The ceremony will take place during the Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership Awards on Nov. 4 at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas in Scottsdale, Arizona.
“We are honored to bestow this award upon Ernest Siva for his lifetime accomplishments in sharing his deep knowledge of Serrano and Cahuilla language, culture and musical heritage with both Native and non-Native communities,” says James Pepper Henry (Kaw/Muscogee Creek), director and CEO of the Heard.
Siva was born and raised on the Morongo Reservation just west of Palm Springs, Calif. A member of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, he has dedicated his life to the transmission of Southern California Indian cultures through his education, career and volunteerism. Siva, now retired, was an instructor of Native culture across Southern California including the University of California, Los Angeles and served as a guest artist and scholar in Native culture at California State University, San Bernardino, where he taught courses in California indigenous cultures and languages.
Siva is also an acclaimed musician and ethno-musicologist as well as a revered elder of the Morongo community who is deeply involved in community life and education arts. One of the last remaining speakers of the Serrano language, he has served as tribal historian and cultural adviser for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians since 1996. He serves on the board of directors of the California Indian Storytelling Association, the Riverside Arts Council, and the CSUSB College of Arts and Letters Community Leaders Board.
Tickets to the Arizona American Indian Excellence in Leadership Award Ceremony are available for $50 each until Oct. 19, after which the price will be $60. To purchase tickets, contact the Phoenix Indian Center at 602.264.6768 or visit phxindcenter.org.