Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021 - The Cherokee Nation celebrated tribal citizens and organizations for their statesmanship, patriotism, community leadership and devotion to the tribe during a virtual Cherokee National Holiday Awards Ceremony held Thursday, Sept. 2.
The tribe also honored Apple, Google and Microsoft for helping to preserve the Cherokee language and expand its use globally through the use of technology.
“Each year, the Cherokee Nation pauses to pay recognition to Cherokee citizens, as well as our non-Native friends, who have worked tirelessly to promote and advance the efforts of the Cherokee Nation,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “This year’s honorees have gone above and beyond in their service both here on the Cherokee Nation Reservation, and around the world. Their efforts will have generational impacts. Congratulations to former Tribal Councilor Harley Buzzard for the Medal of Patriotism Award; to Charlie Soap for the Statesmanship Award; to Jade Day, Channce Condit, Mary Flute-Cooksey Buzzard and Dr. Clint Carroll for the Community Leadership Individual Award; to the Marble City Food Pantry and Youth Services for the Community Leadership Organization Award; and to our friends at Google, Apple, and Microsoft for the Samuel Worcester Award, which is given to non-Cherokees who have made substantial contributions to preserving Cherokee heritage, culture, community and sovereignty. We are honored to have worked with each and every one of you, and we thank you for your service to the Cherokee people.”
The Statesman Award is given in recognition of those who, as public servants, epitomize the servant leader ideal, exemplifying Cherokee values and acting with respect, dignity and graciousness while working for the betterment of Cherokee Nation and its citizens.
• Charlie Soap, of Adair County, Oklahoma, formerly served as the executive director of community services for the Cherokee Nation. He, along with his wife and former Principal Chief, Wilma Mankiller, worked tirelessly to create and improve water access in communities now serviced by the Cherry Tree Rural Water District, including the historic Bell waterline. That planning and work as a community organizer started in the early 1980s. In 2021, Principal Chief Hoskin signed the Wilma P. Mankiller and Charlie Soap Water Act, injecting needed funding and strategic planning into the tribe’s efforts at increasing availability of clean water across the tribe’s reservation.
Community Leadership Individual Award
The Community Leadership Individual Award is given in recognition of Cherokee Nation citizens who tirelessly have given, without hesitation, their time to make their communities more vibrant, livable places. Their example of servant leadership embodies Cherokee values, and is held in high esteem by their peers for strengthening the bonds of Cherokee Nation citizens.
• Mary Flute-Cooksey Buzzard, of Flute Springs, Oklahoma has been guided by the Cherokee principle of “Gadugi” throughout her life. She has served on the Elder Advisory Board of Muskogee for more than 15 years and has assisted Cherokee Nation in many roles, including her service on the Council of the Cherokee Nation and working for Cherokee Nation Elder Services. Recently, she volunteered in a door-to-door effort that brought fresh produce to many households in the Marble City area, and even as COVID-19 has impacted the reservation, she has led her organization in continuing its growth, and has spearheaded capital projects at the community center.
• Dr. Clint Carroll, of Longmont, Colorado, Jade Day, of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Channce Condit, of Modesto, California were also honored for Community Leadership.
Community Leadership Organization Award
The Community Leadership Organization Award is given in recognition of Cherokee Nation communities that have demonstrated the spirit of working together through servant leadership, as well as applying Cherokee values to make their communities a better place for Cherokee Nation citizens.
• Marble City Food Pantry and Youth Services is a community-based organization providing critical resources in the Marble City community and Sequoyah County. The organization was an important partner during Cherokee Nation’s COVID-19 emergency food distribution program, and assisted in distributing hundreds of food boxes in their community. Their volunteers are passionate about bringing food security to Cherokee citizens and neighbors.
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