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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Four Cherokees Honored With Dream Keepers Awards
by Jami Murphy - Reporter, The Cherokee Phoenix

TULSA, Okla. – Four Cherokees were honored Nov. 6 at the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission’s 17th annual Dream Keepers Awards Banquet inside the University of Oklahoma-Schusterman Center.

Buddy McCarty, a Cherokee Nation citizen, was honored with the Lewis B. Ketchum Excellence in Business Award. He said to be honored by fellow Native Americans meant much to him.

“It’s an incredible honor. I never dreamed I’d be up here with all the great business people we have, you know. I’m just very fortunate to be here,” McCarty said.

He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and graduated from Chilocco Indian School in 1961. After getting a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern State University he entered the U.S. Army. After serving he moved to Tahlequah and opened a men’s clothing store that he operated for 15 years. In 1982, he went to work for State Farm Insurance and has resided in Owasso ever since.

McCarty said he also likes to make bow and arrows and enjoys traveling to Tahlequah for bow shoots. He and his wife have been married more than 40 years. They have two daughters and three grandchildren.

CN citizen Mary Baker Shaw of Broken Arrow received the Charles Chibitty Family Community Award. Shaw has devoted time volunteering and fundraising for different organizations in the Broken Arrow/Tulsa area. She said volunteering to raise money for organizations are more important today than ever.

“In today’s economic hardships we find that many of our nonprofits are very dependent. As a matter of fact most of their survival is dependent upon volunteer fundraising,” she said. “So I’d like to encourage everyone if you have any free time, volunteer. I promise you someone will appreciate it.”

Shaw serves on the American Indian Resource Committee for Tulsa City/County libraries, Tulsa Community College Foundation, Bacone College Board of Trustees, Signature Symphony Advisory Board, Salvation Army Advisory Board and is an emeritus board member of Tulsa Opera.

She and her husband Dr. B Frank Shaw have been married for 34 years. They have one daughter and two granddaughters.

Lester Revis, who is of Cherokee Yuchi descent, was honored with the Perry Aunko Indigenous Language Award. Born in Claremore and raised near Kellyville, he works to preserve the Yuchi language and culture by teaching it to the young people of the Yuchi community.

At 10 years old, Revis began learning the language from his mother, Ann Holder, and aunt, Addie George. He later worked with Jimmie Skeeter, the last fluent Yuchi language speaker of the Snake Creek ceremonial ground. In 2003, he began to work with the Yuchi language project in Sapulpa, and in 2006 he graduated Pawnee Nation College with a Native Language teaching certificate.

Revis said he was happy to receive the reward from the commission.

“It’s a wonderful thing and I’m glad to be here with all of you. I never thought I’d ever be standing up here. It never occurred to me, you know, but it’s a wonderful feeling being up here and I appreciate it,” he said.

United Keetoowah Band citizen Mel Cornshucker received the Moscelyn Larkin Cultural Achievement Award for his work as an award-winning potter.

Cornshucker was born near Jay in 1952. After high school, he attended Bacone College in Muskogee and Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri.

He said he was honored to receive the award because he comes from a family of artists that encouraged his creativity and gave him a solid foundation in life.

“At 101, my grandfather was still telling me stories about how life was in the Indian Nation. He would tell me how he got by, how he would go out and get his own materials to make the rugs he wove…and he would tell me stories of how life was in Indian Territory,” he said. “My parents provided me with an education and gave me support as an artist. It’s hard to be an artist. You have to work hard at it. So to have your family behind you is quite inspiring.”

He owns and operates the Brady Artists Studio in Tulsa with his wife Michele. He. They have a daughter and son.

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