August 28, 2010

Drum Awards for Native leadership

The Drum Awards:  Inaugural event to celebrate Native American leadership, excellence

By Lisa SnellThe call went out about eight months ago. The Cherokee Nation began contacting other tribes to pitch the idea of an award to honor Native American leadership and excellence. Not only should there be an award, but a gala event to honor award nominees.

“A few years ago, I was invited to a celebration of accomplishments and successes called the Trumpet Awards. The stories I heard were inspiring. The awards highlighted African Americans who, in some degree, pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and became a leader in their community. The stories we heard were amazing; stories about doctors, lawyers and artists who were recognized for the impact they have made on their communities. I realized that this recognition program would be beneficial for American Indian communities as well,” Cherokee Nation Chief Chad Smith said.
And:According to the Drum Awards website, “The Drum Awards promote alliances and unity within and among the tribes. The awards are designed to build prestige for Native Americans and to promote a healthy sense of worth through first-class treatment of one another.”

Smith sees the awards as an opportunity to celebrate Native role models for future generations.

“Our young people desperately need to see these great successes and leaders from the Indian community. Once they see these leaders have achieved great things, then perhaps they will see they can do it too,” he said.
Comment:  For more Native honors, see Ojibwe Professor Wins Flannery O'Connor Award and Cherokee Chief in Wrestling Hall of Fame.

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