October 31, 2017
Annual event recognizes contributions to Cherokee culture
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Heritage Center recently hosted its annual SevenStar Gala on Oct. 28 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
Four prestigious awards were given to recognize those who promote the Cherokee National Historical Society's mission to preserve, promote and teach Cherokee history and culture.
America Meredith received this year’s Contemporary Achievement Award. The award recognizes a Cherokee who is accomplished in a chosen field, has brought honor to the Cherokee people and serves as an inspiration for others.
Meredith works as an artist, editing publisher, independent curator and educator. In 2013 she founded First American Art Magazine to expand discussion on Native art. She also works as an associate publisher at Noksi Press, a Cherokee-language publishing company, and serves on the boards of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian and the Cherokee Arts and Humanities Council.
Jack D. Baker received the Stalwart Award for his significant contributions to the heritage center’s success.
Baker has admirably served the Cherokee people for decades, including 11 years on Cherokee Nation’s Tribal Council and 21 years as a board member for the Cherokee National Historical Society. He has worked tirelessly to preserve and promote Cherokee culture and currently serves as the national president of the Trail of Tears Association and president of the board for the Oklahoma Historical Society.
The Cherokee Nation Color Guard was recognized with this year’s Warrior Award.
The group consists of volunteer members who provide services at a wide range of engagements, including ceremonies, conferences, parades, funerals, powwows, graduations and more, throughout several states. Current membership represents all branches of service as well as the Oklahoma National Guard.
“Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People” received the Tradition Bearer Award for achievements in preserving Cherokee traditions through crafts, history and/or storytelling. A winner of three Emmy Awards, the program shares the language, history, stories, traditions and culture of the Cherokee Nation through documentary-style profiles of its people.
“OsiyoTV” is produced by Cherokee Nation Businesses and is currently broadcast on Oklahoma’s PBS network, OETA, and on affiliate stations in Arkansas and Missouri. It is also available in more than 20 markets nationally on the FNX network.
In addition to the awards, the gala hosted a silent auction featuring one-on-one art classes led by Cherokee National Treasures Jane Osti, Vivian Garner Cottrell and Tonia Hogner-Weavel as well as an overnight group stay in Cherokee Heritage Center’s Diligwa village.
Nationally acclaimed Cherokee artists Roy Boney Jr. and Tom Farris demonstrated live paintings throughout the evening, and Danielle Culp demonstrated basket weaving. Upon completion, the artwork was auctioned to the audience.
The SevenStar Gala had a number of prominent sponsors including Cherokee Nation Businesses, Noksi Press and Chickasaw Nation. For a list of all sponsors, please visit www.CherokeeHeritage.org.
The Cherokee Heritage Center is the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture and the arts. It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill, Oklahoma.