Cherokee Nation hosts training, awards banquet for Cherokee community organizations

July 9, 2018

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker visits with attendees of the tribe’s 14th Annual Conference of Community Leaders.

TAHLEQUAH, OKLA. – Nearly 500 representatives of the 25 at-large and 88 in-jurisdiction Cherokee organizations recently traveled to Tahlequah for the Cherokee Nation’s 14th Annual Conference of Community Leaders.

The two-day conference hosted by Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach was held June 22-23 at Northeastern State University. Attendees attended workshops led by experts in sustainability and culture, and also met with tribal leaders, including Principal Chief Bill John Baker, Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Tribal Council.

The tribe concluded the conference with the Community Impact Awards banquet, which honors community organizations that do outstanding volunteer work, promote the culture and make other significant contributions.

“The community organizations, both in the 14 counties and at-large, are some of the tribe’s most valuable partners, because they allow us to reach and help our citizens more effectively and efficiently,” Hoskin said. “Whether it’s mentoring youth or offering cultural enrichment programs or providing housing through temporary shelters, these groups define the values of community and family that are important to us as Cherokee people, and that is something to be commended and recognized.”

Cherokee Citizens League of Southeast Texas, an official at-large Cherokee Nation organization based in Houston, was honored with the 2018 Organization of the Year award. After Hurricane Harvey struck the organization’s community, members stepped up to help neighbors recover from the flooding and coordinated efforts to take donations to those in need.

The organization also received the Strong Hands Award for its efforts after Hurricane Harvey.

“We were all surprised and humbled to be recognized for our work following Hurricane Harvey,” said Wade McAlister, president of the Cherokee Citizens League of Southeast Texas. “We were just doing what we do. It was a team effort and exemplifies both the Cherokee ethic of gadugi and the Houston can do spirit.”

Boys & Girls Club of Adair County received the Youth Leadership Award at the Cherokee Nation Community and Cultural Outreach conference. The nonprofit organization maintains in school, after school and summer programs for the youth of Adair County.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Adair County is based on inspiring and enabling youth to realize their full potential,” said Kristal Diver, chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Club of Adair County. “Receiving the Youth Leadership Award is a great honor and has shown us that we are moving in the right direction. The continuous support of Cherokee Nation has made it possible for us to provide a safe, positive place with fun and engaging activities, supportive relationships with adults and opportunities for our youth.”

Below are other organizations honored by the Cherokee Nation with a Community Impact Award:

Newcomer of the Year Award – Northern Cherokee County Community Booster Club

Newcomer of the Year Award – Illinois River Area Community Organization

Mary Mead Volunteerism Award – Native American Fellowship Inc.

Mary Mead Volunteerism Award – Greater Wichita Area Cherokees

Most Improved Award – Marble City Activity Organization

Best in Technology Award – Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club

Best in Technology At-Large – San Diego Cherokee Community

Continuing Education Award – Spavinaw Youth and Neighborhood Center

Hunger Fighters Award – Tailholt Community Organization

Roy Hamilton Historical Preservation Award – Adair County Historical and Genealogical Association

Roy Hamilton Historical Preservation Award – Mt Hood Cherokees

Strong Hands Award – Mid County Community Organization

Strong Hands Award – Cherokee Citizens League of Southeast Texas

Grant Writer of the Year Award – Adair County Historical and Genealogical Association

Technical Assistance Award – Cherokee National Historical Society

Best in Reporting Award – Stilwell Public Library Friends Society

Best in Reporting At-Large – Kansas City Cherokee Community

Community Partnership Award – Tailholt Community Organization

Community Partnership At-Large – San Antonio Cherokee Township

Community Inspiration Award – Noweta Cherokee Community Foundation

Community Inspiration Award – New Mexico Cherokee Community

Cultural Perpetuation Award – Washington County Cherokee Organization

Cultural Perpetuation At-Large – Cherokees of the Northern Central Valley

Donna Chuculate Cemetery Preservation Award – Webbers Falls Historical Society Museum

Donna Chuculate Cemetery Preservation Award – Cherokees of the Northern Central Valley

Youth Leadership Award – Boys & Girls Club of Adair County

Youth Leadership At-Large – Valley of the Sun Cherokees

Conference Attendance Award – Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation Foundation

Conference Attendance Award – San Antonio Cherokee Township

Above & Beyond Award – Cherokees for Black Indian History Preservation Foundation

Above & Beyond Award – Capital City Cherokee Community

Community Leadership Award – Orchard Road Community Outreach

Community Leadership At-Large – Cherokee Society of Greater Bay Area

Lifetime Achievement Award – Gary Bolin (Brushy Cherokee Action Association)

Lifetime Achievement Award – Dude Feathers (Oakhill Piney Community Organization)

Organization of the Year Award – Mid County Community Organization

Organization of the Year At-Large – Cherokee Citizens League of Southeast Texas

Sponsor Award – Cherokee Nation Businesses