The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award was established in 1984 and aims to recognise the important contribution made by Indigenous artists and to promote appreciation and understanding of the quality and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art from regional and urban based Indigenous artists throughout Australia. The award is usually announced in August of each year.

The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory has hosted the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA) since 1984. Telstra has sponsored the Award since 1992.