A Native American music revival has been taking shape, with releases, sales and airplay increasing substantially... and the New York-based Native American Music Association have lobbied the recording academy for a Native American category since the mid-1990s. ”

— Knight Ridder Newspapers




Jesse Ed Davis To Be Inducted Into The N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame
September 27, 2018 – Niagara Falls, NY.  The Native American Music Awards is proud to announce an A List of entertainers, special guests, nominees and performers for Native Music's biggest night on Friday October 12th at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York. Featured guests include; singer/songwriter Annie Humphrey, pianist Connor Chee, Buffalo-based house band the Ed Koban Group, Blues Rock guitarist Tracy Lee Nelson, Canadian Folk duo Twin Flames, Seneca Nation's, Newtown Women's Singers, Red Rhythm Band, Faron Johns, plus a special closing performance by NAMA Hall of Famer, Felipe Rose joined by award winners Jan Michael Looking Wolf and Sten Joddi.  Other special guests include;  WWE's Mickie James who was inducted into the NAMA Hall of Fame last year and will be both c*ohosting the event and performing live, NAMA Living Legend Saginaw Grant, actor Rick Morer, musician Jimmy Lee Young who was featured in U2's recent concert video, and comedy duo, Williams and Ree who will be introducing the Awards' new category for Best Comedian. In addition to performing,  Felipe Rose will be hosting the pre-show Red Carpet event.
The Native American Music Awards & Association is very proud to announce that the late influential rock guitarist, Jesse Ed Davis will be inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame.  Along with attending family members, Davis's original Graffitiman bandmembers, Mark Shark and Quilt Sahme, will be performing a tribute in his honor. The induction will put Jesse Ed Davis' right up in the ranks of other N.A.M.A. Hall of Famers including; Jimi Hendrix, Link Wray, Hank Williams, Nokie Edwards, Rickey Medlocke, Redbone, Felipe Rose (Village People), Richie Valens, Keith Secola, Taboo (Black Eyed Peas) and other greats.

An Opening Performance of Saginaw Grant's "Don't Let The Drums Go Silent" will feature contemporary dancers from Janet Dunstan's Dance Academy, located in Niagara Falls New York, under the direction of Courtney Glenn.  The dancers are trained in jazz, contemporary, tap, acrobatics and hip hop styles. 

Annie Humphrey was born and raised on an Ojibwe Indian reservation in Minnesota.  She is the daughter of author Anne Dunn, and a father who was a musician. Annie taught herself piano and was playing guitar and writing songs by third grade. After college, she made her first album with guitarist Don Robinson, For the Children. She spent a year in the Marines, played at coffee houses and in bands, graduated from the Police Academy and then enrolled at the University of North Dakota where she studied art. She appeared on three songs from the compilation album The Whispering Tree, released by the Makoché label. Makoche’ also released her stunning debut album, the critically acclaimed, The Heron Smiled, in 2000 which showcased Annie’s soft voice, emotional honesty, and poignant lyrics. In 2004, she released Edge of America, a folk, pop and rock mix of songs that shared her truth about the world as she saw it.  It wasn’t until 2016, that Annie released a more harder rocking release, Uncombed Hair.  This year, Annie released her fourth album entitled The Beast and The Garden which features a tribute song to her brother and the late John Trudell.

Navajo pianist and composer, Connor Chee began playing piano at age 6. By age 12, Chee won a gold medal in the World Piano Competition Young Artist Division, and earned his first performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. In the following years, he won multiple awards, earned performances at the United Nations, and an international feature on CNN. Chee has performed with the Cincinnati Pops, the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. Chee received his Bachelor of Music from Eastman School of Music, and went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music. Recently, he was awarded a First Prize in the Bradshaw & Bouno International Piano Competition, and performed in the winners' recital at Carnegie Hall. This extraordinarily gifted pianist also plays works by Chopin, Rachmaninoff and Liszt. He was awarded Best Instrumental Recording at the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards for his album, The Navajo Piano, which featured original piano compositions and transcriptions based on traditional Navajo chants sung by his grandfather, Keith Chee. His newest Cd, Emergence, is a portal to another dimension. Chee goes further, creating his own melodies to tell the old stories and captures the essence of his Native Arizona. All of Connor Chee’s melodies reflect a more mature musician and composer, with overtones of joy, power, longing and nostalgia.


Ed Koban has organized and led the House band for the Native American Music Awards since 2011. His versatile and high energy group is comprised of world class musicians who can shift between genres and styles to support the wide range of artists at the annual Awards show stage. Ed Koban is a guitarist and Native American Flutist from Niagara Falls, New York. He has performed on stage and recorded with many respected artists including, Joanne Shenandoah, and a Taste of Honey’s Janice Marie Johnson, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee: Nokie Edwards, as well as: Gabriel Ayala, Tonemah, Cody Blackbird, Leanne Shenandoah, Jim Boyd, Keith Secola and others. He has shared the bill with groups such as: Foghat, Three Dog Night, Molly Hatchet, Indigenous, Rusted Root, and has performed at prestigious events at the Kennedy Center and the 2002 Winter Olympics. Ed's music defies categorization. His sound is much like the man himself, unable to be confined by style or genre. Ed Koban's NAMA nominated 2015 release How to Fly blends the gorgeous & haunting Native American flute with guitar playing that ranges from gentle acoustic to blistering electric Rock & Blues, combined with sounds inspired by music from Africa to Chicago, from Folk to Jazz, Reggae to Rock, making for a fresh new sound that is accessible to music fans everywhere.


Felipe Rose was best known as the original "American Indian" singer of Taino and Lakota heritage in the Village People. Together, he and the group scored several popular international dance hits including; "Macho Man, "In the Navy" and "Y.M.C.A.". Felipe has also earned multiple Native American Music Awards for his various solo recordings including for the song, “Trail of Tears”.  Decades later, Felipe Rose is still recognized for his role in the Village People and more recently, as a successful solo artist. Two of Felipe's greatest personal achievements were; receiving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and only one month later, being inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame. In his 40th year in the entertainment industry, Felipe continues to use his influential position to highlight issues that are important to him, encourage other Native artists, and entertain the public at large. Felipe will be giving a special closing performance with award-winning flutist Jan Michael Looking Wolf and hip-hop artist Sten Joddi. He will also be hosting the Red Carpet for a second straight year.


Author, composer, multi-instrumentalist and educator, Mark Shark has spent the last 35 years composing, recording and touring with The Grafittiman Band featuring John Trudell and Jesse Ed Davis.  After Jesse's untimely passing in 1988, Shark continued on as musical director for Trudell's Bad Dog band. Grateful for almost every moment shared, he and the rest of the Bad Dog family are committed to keeping John and Jesse's work alive for future generations. Shark is "Very happy to be here tonight to celebrate our brothers and thankful to Annie Humphrey for creating something beautiful, remembering and reaching out." For more information on Mark Shark please visit:  The Tao of Tunings.com  “Crazy Horse we hear what you say...We are the 7th Generation......”  


Quilt Sahme is a traditional American Indian singer and drummer from Simnasho in Warm Springs, Oregon. Quilt and Mark Shark are both founding members of the legendary Grafittiman Band, and John Trudell’s Bad Dog.  Along with Quilt, Bad Dog features; Mark Shark (guitars), Ricky Eckstein (bass & keyboards), Billy Watts (guitars), Debra Dobkin (percussion), Quiltman and his son Teewhanee Sahme (traditional vocals) along with Joel Rafael (vocals). This past February, singer songwriter Jackson Browne held a benefit concert at Pechanga Resort & Casino honoring Quiltman who lost his family home in the Warm Springs Reservation wildfire.  

Tracy Lee Nelson is a Luiseno/Diegueno Native Californian Indian from the La Jolla Indian Reservation in San Diego. With 38 years of experience as a musician and artist, Tracy has engaged in playing many genres of music from blues to rock. He has emerged with a ground-breaking new perspective of the blues; a Native American’s point of view.  This Southern California premiere Blues artist has traveled across the nation sweeping the country with his hard-hitting perspective of reservation life. From New York City to Seattle, Washington, Tracy’s unique voice, original lyrics and blues guitar work comes straight from the heart, writing and singing songs of issues that should have been spoken of long ago. Tracy Lee Nelson, a former Tribal Chairman of the La Jolla Indian Reservation, has had the honor of being in Native Peoples Magazine as “one of the finest up and coming Native American Artists”.  Tracy and his new recording, Blues Loving Man have been featured in such publications as; Hollywood Reporter, Indian Artist, News from Native California, LA Times, Union Tribune, The Press-Enterprise, ICE Indian Cinema Entertainment, Indian Country Today, and Blues Blast Magazine.  Blues Loving Man has also been nominated for  “Best Blues Recording,” Artist of the Year” and “Best Music Video” with The 18th Annual Native American Music Awards. As an artist, Tracy’s art work is on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. and was recently on display at the San Diego Museum of Man. Currently Tracy has released a total of nine CD’s.


Twin Flames is a captivating duo that combines two accomplished and very unique singer/songwriters who are also husband and wife.  Chelsey June is an Algonquin Cree Métis woman from Ottawa and Jaaji (pronounced Yaah Ye) is an Inuk Mohawk man from Nunavik and Kahnawake. Together, they take the audience on a musical journey across Canada and the Arctic, echoing the voices of their ancestors and depicting life on the land through songs in English, French and Inuktitut. Both fascinating and intriguing, this powerful duo came together on their self-titled debut album, Jaaji & Chelsey JuneTwin Flames,  released in December 2015. The album received rave reviews for their groundbreaking mixture of cultures and heritage including two Native American Music Awards nominations and a 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award for Aboriginal Songwriters of the Year. Their much anticipated second album, Signal Fire has earned them a total of seven nominations in the 18th Annual Native American Music Awards. The album features their hit song, “Porchlight” which was written to raise awareness for missing and murdered Inuit/Indigenous woman and their families. The song took the #1 slot on The National Aboriginal Countdown and is being played across the United States and Canada. In just three short years together, Twin Flames have performed over 700 shows and have uniquely shared their great ability to convey stories and emotions through their voices, lyrics and melodies. Entertaining, yet thought-provoking, their songs also gently educate audiences on Indigenous and Inuit history and current issues.  


All the members of the Newtown Singers work hard to continue their traditional ways. Since their inception, Ohwejagehka Hadegaenage has distributed Earth Songs, or Iroquois Social Songs, as an effort to preserve and promote Iroquoian culture.  The Newtown Womens Singers are a traditional group from Seneca Territory. In this new era, they believe, they must all continue to work together to carry on their culture for the generations yet to come.


Mickie James will be co-hosting and performing at this year's Awards ceremony. Mickie James is a WWE® Superstar & SMG Recording Artist. While growing up in Virginia, Mickie James, or Mickie Laree James was a tomboy who always loved riding horses and the wrestling business. Mickie's strong Powhatan ancestry tracing back to the Middle High reservation on her mother’s side, is something she has always embraced throughout her career and still remains very proud of. Today, WWE® Superstar  Mickie James™ is internationally recognized in the world of professional wrestling. She is a six time Women's champion. She has set a precedent and broken many barriers for women in the WWE. As a SMG Recording Artist, with two full length albums and five singles to her credit, she is also widely known in the country music circuit. Mickie was inducted into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame during the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards ceremony.  Her single entitled, "Shooting Blanks" was well received and won for Song of the Year. She has also just released two recordings; Don't Be Afraid, and Left Right Left which are currently impacting radio and can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon and other online digital retailers. Mickie continues to serve as an incredible inspiration and role model for many artists as well as Native youth from across the country. Her world renowned reputation as a WWE Superstar, professional wrestler, country singer and entertainer undoubtedly warrants her a permanent place of prominence


Get ready for comedy gold with Williams and Ree, AKA the Indian and the White Guy. The hilarious comedy duo from the Dakotas will bring their humor to the Native American Music Awards stage. Bruce Williams and Terry Ree have been making crowds crack up for over 30 years with their politically incorrect brand of humor. They’ve entertained audiences across the country at shows, festivals, on Sirius Radio and with their own irreverent podcast, the Red, White and Slightly Blue show. Williams and Ree are a CMA-nominated music group, who won Entertainers of the Year by the Native American Music Awards.  They have also made a name for themselves on television with appearances on Country Kitchen, HeeHaw, Laff TV and Comedy Central. Williams and Ree were featured guests at the inaugural Native American Music Awards show in 1998.



Jesse Ed Davis was one of music’s most distinctive and influential guitarists of the late '60s and early '70s. Whether it was blues, country, or rock, Jesse’s' impressive guitar playing was featured on numerous albums by such artists asEric Clapton,  Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Willie Nelson, Steve Miller, Leonard Cohen, Neil Diamond, John Lennon, George Harrison, Taj Mahal, John Lee Hooker and Rod Stewart as well as on his own.

Born in Norman Oklahma, Jesse's father was Comanche and his mother was Kiowa. He began his music career touring with Conway Twitty and was introduced to recording session work by his friend Leon Russell. He became a steady lead guitarist for Taj Mahal on three albums before going on to work with; George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, B.B. King, Gene Clark, Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne  and others. From 1971-1973, Jesse recorded and released three of his own albums: Jesse Davis, Ululu, and Keep Me Comin'  which highlighted his own vocal character, and songwriting abilities and featured contributions from Leon Russell and Eric Clapton. Jesse continued to contribute to many other albums

In 1985, he honored his roots and began working with poet/activist John Trudell and formed the Graffiti Band. Along with members Mark Shark and Quilt Sahme (Quilt man), they coupled Jesse's sound with the poetry and imagery of Trudell. Together, the band pioneered a new  indigenous rock sound for a politically charged, critically acclaimed album entitled, AKA Grafitti Man.  Bob Dylan called it "the album of the year." 

Since his death 30 years ago, Jesse Ed Davis has left behind a legacy both as an artist and as a Native American and is revered as one of rock music's finest guitarist. The Native American Music Awards is proud to induct Jesse Ed Davis into the Native American Music Hall of Fame.  Along with attending family members,  Graffitiman bandmembers, Mark Shark and Quilt Sahme will perform a tribute in his honor.The Jesse Ed Davis Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame video will be presented during the induction as created and provided by Dr. Hugh Foley.

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WHO:   The 18th Annual Native American Music Awards will be a star-studded gala filled with a VIP pre-show Red Carpet reception, incredible performances  and a special Hall of Fame induction along with unforgettable moments as today’s most talented indigenous musicians are honored. Experience live music performances from reflecting the impressive and diverse array of talent and soundscapes for all ages and tribal nations. It’s sure to be a night you won’t forget.

WHAT:  The Native American Music Awards is "devoted to bringing Indigenous music to the world's consciousness" as credited by the New York Times, and was cited as being "The Awards Show For Native American Entertainment" by Jeopardy TV.  The Native American Music Awards is an ultimate celebration of music and entertainment.  Founded in 1998, it is the world's first and largest national professional membership-based organization for the advancement & recognition of contemporary and traditional music initiatives by artists with Native American heritage.

WHERE: The 18th Annual Native American Music Awards is hosted by the Seneca Nation of Indians (one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy) and will be held at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York on October 12th in the Seneca Events Center.  Doors open at 7:00PM EST. The Awards ceremony will be preceded by a free Pre-Show Red Carpet Event for nominees, and guests.. The awards is also presented in part by the Pechanga Indian Reservation and the Pechanga Resort. 

Tickets for the 18th Annual Native American Music Awards Gala start at $45.00 and are available through Ticketmaster or by visiting the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino box office which is located at 310 4th St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303  (877) 873-6322. Other pre-event  Native American performances leading up to the event at Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino include; A Tribute to Redbone featuring Thunderhand Joe on Wednesday, October 10 and a comedy performance by Williams and Ree, AKA The Indian and The White Guy on Thursday, October 11.

Voting for the Native American Music Awards is open to the general public. Music tracks from all the nominees  are featured on the audio players on www.NAMALIVE.com. Anyone can vote by visiting the Awards website VOTING page, or by clicking here. 

#VOTENATIVE            #NAMA18                 #NATIVEAWARDS
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                      Nokie Performing at the 13th Annual Native American Music Awards Pictured Above


Nokie Edwards (Cherokee), universally recognized as one of the world’s premiere guitarists and member of the internationally acclaimed instrumental group, The Ventures, has died at the age of 82.

Known for his innovative guitar sound, and credited for such hit songs as; Hawaii Five-O, Walk Don't Run, Surf Rider and Wipe Out, Nokie died from complications of a hip surgery he had in December in Yuma, Arizona according to a family source. 

Nokie won Best Instrumental Recording at the 12th Annual Native American Music Awards for his solo instrumental effort, Hitchin' A Ride. He was also honored with a Hall of Fame Induction by the Native American Music Association at the 13th Annual Awards ceremony in 2011 and performed.

Native American Music Association President, Ellen Bello recalls, “One of the first sounds to capture me as a child were the guitar riffs of Nokie Edwards from the song, Wipe Out. I could never hear enough of it. To personally have met Nokie, the Legend behind that hit song, and be able to induct him into our Association’s Hall of Fame, was a tremendous honor that I will always cherish and remember. On behalf of the Native American Music Association & Awards, I extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers to Nokie's wife Judy, and their family and friends. Nokie was an inspiration to so many individuals and bands. He will be greatly missed." states Ellen Bello.

Nokie Edwards was born Nole Floyd “Nokie” Edwards on May 9, 1935 in Lahoma, Oklahoma. He was one of 12 children of Albert Lee Edwards and his Cherokee mother, Nannie Mae Quinton. Nokie first picked up the guitar at age 5. By age 11, he was playing every string instrument but chose the guitar to master. He turned professional at the age of 12 and by age 17, his guitar technique was unprecedented.

Nokie first joined Don Wilson and Bob Bogle to form the Ventures in 1959. These surf-rock icons became the number one instrumental band in the world and were considered a phenomenon in the music business. Nokie and his group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008. They were inducted by John Fogerty who hailed their pioneering sound that “empowered guitarists everywhere.” To date, The Ventures recorded over 350 albums and sold over 100 million albums worldwide.

Nokie’s many accomplishments include composing the song, ‘Ginza Lights (Futari No Ginza)’ which was one of the first Ventures’ hits in Japan. The Lively Ones' hit Surf Rider,  which was used in the final sequence of Quentin Tarantino's film, Pulp Fiction. Nokie’s contributions in the Light Crust Doughboys’ albums; 20th Century Gospel and Southern Meets Soul also earned him two GRAMMY nominations.

Nokie played Fender Telecasters before switching to Mosrite guitars until 1967. He designed and sold his own customized guitar called, “The Hitchhiker,” a hybrid of the best elements from the Fender Telecaster and Mosrite guitars.

As a solo artist, Nokie has recorded over two dozen solo albums including the award-winning, Hitchin A Ride. He has been a guest performer on dozen of CD recordings, has received numerous awards along with his inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Native American Music Hall of Fame. Nokie also performed on the soundtrack for the movie, “Pulp Fiction,” and appeared as an actor in the HBO series, “Deadwood.”

Nokie will forever be revered as one of the world’s best and most influential guitarists. Nokie’s unique guitar style and sound will always be remembered as will his endearing sense of humor and his enjoyment for telling jokes. As part of his recipient speech at the 13th Annual Native American Music Awards, where he was inducted into the Music Association’s Hall of Fame, Nokie cracked a couple of jokes. You can view his induction on the following link:


From the era of 45s and LPs, to the age of social media and digital downloads, master musician Nokie Edwards and his unprecedented talent will undoubtedly withstand the test of time.

Nokie leaves behind his wife Judy and their four children from previous marriages. Nokie's leaves his daughter Tina (he tragically lost his other daughter Kim in a car accident in 1988) and Judy's two boys' Patrick and Seth. Together, there are six grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Judy also serves as president of the Nokie Edwards Official USA Fan Club.

Our thoughts and prayers to Nokie’s wife Judy and their family. Nokie will be greatly missed but his music and undeniable guitar style will live on forever.

For more information on Nokie Edwards, visit his official website, http://www.nokieedwards.com/biography.htm 

or visit us at www.NativeAmericanMusicAwards.com


The Native American Music Awards is proud to introduce the newest member of the Native American Music Awards House band from Six Nations, Please welcome.....Dwayne LaForme!!!

Wes Studi Presents Military Tribute at The Oscars

One of the most distinguished American Indian Actors, Wes Studi, recently presented an Oscars Military Movie Tribute at the 90th Academy Awards.

Studi who served as a soldier in the Vietnam War. stated, “I’m proud to have served there for 12 months with Alpha Company of the 39th Infantry... As a veteran, I am always appreciative when filmmakers bring to the screen stories of those who have served. Over 90 years of the Academy Awards, a number of movies with military themes have been honored at the Oscars. Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to these powerful films that shine a great spotlight on those who have fought for freedom around the world.” 

Studi closed his presentation by reintroducing the montage by speaking in his Native Cherokee language.  American SniperThe Hurt LockerSaving Private Ryan, and Zero Dark Thirty were among some of the clips featured in the montage.

Wes Studi has appeared in numerous movies and roles including; Hostiles (2018), Dances with Wolves (1990) and The Last of the Mohicans (1992), and in the Academy Award-nominated films Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) Other films he's appeared in are HeatMystery Men, AvatarA Million Ways to Die in the West, and the television series Penny Dreadful.

Wes Studi was a presenter at the Inaugural Native American Music Awards in 1998 and has was the host of the 12th Annual Native American Music Awards where he also performed.

Watch his Oscar appearance here.

An update at Spotify....

They've  worked to create a search hub for Native American Music!!!

Now, when anyone searches for any of the songs, artists or playlists we provided, they'll surface that hub, which features a collection of playlists that highlights our cobranded lists!  In addition, Spotify is highlighting the playlists on their home page (the landing page of the mobile app) throughout the month!




WWE's Mickie James Inducted Into The Hall of Fame
Josh Halverson and Northern Cree Take Two Awards Each
The Revenant's Arthur Redcloud Receives Honorary Award for Excellence
The 17th Annual Native American Music Awards was an evening filled with love and inspiration from some of the biggest celebrities, musicians and actors in the fields of music and entertainment.
Highly dynamic and energetic music performances along with encouraging words of inspiration  dominated the evening from; WWE Superstar and SMG Recording artist, Mickie James, Multiple Award winner and The Voice finalist, Josh Halverson, to Nahko Bear who is kicking off his international tour this week, among others. The awards were held on Saturday, October 14th at the Events Center at Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.

Opening the show was the Seneca Nation's traditional female vocal group, Newtown Singers followed by the award winning Powwow drum group, Northern Cree, who gave a powerful vocal and hand drum performance. The group was then joined by DJ Shub and his dubstep influenced dance and electronica which took the entire segment from traditional into the future.  Northern Cree won for Best Powwow Recording and shared their second win with DJ Shub for Best Music Video for the song, "Indomitable' which was presented remotely by MTV's Downtown Julie Brown.

Mickie James was inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame, by actor Arthur Redcloud who appeared in the movie, The Revenant, with Leonardo DiCaprio. James told the audience, "You don't come with your destiny....You earn it" as she shared her story of success.  She also won for Single of the Year for "Shooting Blanks" and performed live belting out three powerful songs including her hit song, "Somebody's Gonna Pay." James is up for a WWE Women's title this Sunday on Pay Per View and is working on a new album. Redcloud received an Honorary Award for Excellence for his role in The Revenant.
Presenting the Artist of the Year Award was Felipe Rose, original member of the Village People, who was joined by his group from a live remote, and presented Josh Halverson with the award. Halverson, a previous award winner from 2013, acknowledged the awards first supported him before anyone else including The Voice, and encouraged the audience to offer "love first."  Rose hosted the Awards' pre-show Red Carpet event. Halverson also took home Best Folk Recording.
Nahko, who gave a stellar and moving solo acoustic performance received Record of the Year for his recording, Hoka which he released with Medicine for the People.  He is about to release a new recording entitled, Nahko, My Name Is Bear on October 20th. 
Kelly Derrickson, took the evening's Best Female Artist award and performed two songs including the uplifting "Rise Up".
Brothers Lil Mike and Funny Bone who won Group of the Year in 2016 and were contestants on America's Got Talent, gave a special performance which included their hit single, "Do The Rain Dance".  The brothers later joined Lifetime Achievement recipient, Gary Farmer, and the Troublemakers featuring previous award winners, Marc Brown and Derek Miller,  for a closing performance. Former Mrs. Universe, Ashley Callingbull presented Farmer with his award who has over 100 movie and television credits.
A special video tribute was held in honor of the late flutist, Joseph Fire Crow.  House band, The Ed Koban band performed flawlessly and provided backing instrumentation for Josh Halverson with special guest Carsen Gray, Kelly Derrickson, as well as Mickie James.
Awarded for Debut Artist of the Year, was the incredibly talented, 17-year old Lucas Ciliberti. The drum group, Black Bear Brothers accepted Debut Group of the Year along with twelve young children from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. 
Other award winners in attendance include; Artson for Best Music Video Narrative, Conrad Benally for Best Male Artist, James Edmund Greeley for Best Traditional Recording, Jan Michael Looking Wolf for Best Music Video Performance, Randy McGinnis for Flutist of the Year, Sten Joddi for Best Rap Hip Hop Recording, Bearheart Kokopelli who came in from Austria to receive the Native Heart Recording.
Over 18,500 individual voters participated in the Award's national voting campaign. The awards were emceed by National Indian Gaming Association's Ernie Stevens Jr. and were broadcast live by WGWE radio and streamed live by Singlefeathermedia.com. Plans for rebroadcasts are underway.

The Native American Music Awards proudly congratulates all the Award winners.  Visit www.NAMALIVE.com for a complete list of winners or see below.

Artist of the Year

Josh Halverson

“Year of the Thunderbird”


New Artist or Debut Artist of the Year

Lucas Ciliberti



Debut Duo/Group of the Year

Black Bear Brothers

“Songs from Cheyenne Creek”


Best Female Artist

Kelly Derrickson

“I Am”


Flutist of the Year  

Randy McGinnis

“The Journey  - hi a vi si i”


Duo/Group of the Year

The Cody Blackbird Band

“Live From Chicago”


Best Male Artist

Conrad Benally

“Always And Forever”


Record of the Year


Nahko and Medicine For The People 


Song of the Year

“Shooting Blanks”

Mickie James


Best Music Video -Best Concept


DJ Shub  &  Northern Cree Singers


Best Music Video -Best Performance


Jan Michael Looking Wolf Band  


Best Music Video- Best Narrative

“Never Give Up”

Artson, Supaman & Quese Imc


Native Heart (Non Native)

Bearheart Kokopelli

Bernhard Mikuskovics

“Native Heart”


Best Country Recording

“You’ve Got to Go Back the Way That You Came”

Danielle Egnew


Best Folk Recording

“Year of the Thunderbird”

Josh Halverson


Best Gospel/Inspirational

“Awake, Arise and Shine”

Callie Bennett


Best Instrumental Recording

“Songs of the Earth”

Vince Redhouse


Best Native American Church Recording


Cheevers Toppah


Best Pop Recording


Cherokee National Youth Choir


Best Pow Wow Recording

“It’s A Cree Thing”

Northern Cree


Best Rap/Hip Hop/R&B Recording

“The 7th Generation Prophecy”

Sten Joddi


Best Rock / Best Blues Recording

“Take Me Back”

Levi Platero


Best Traditional Recording

“Before America”

James Edmund Greeley  


Best Waila Recording

“Creed and Culture”

Native Creed


Honorary Award of Excellence

Arthur Redcloud


Lifetime Achievement Award

Gary Farmer


Hall of Fame

Mickie James




In The News



Mickie James To Be Inducted Into The N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame
October 2, 2017 – Niagara Falls, NY.  The Native American Music Awards & Association is very proud to announce that WWE® Superstar & SMG Recording Artist Mickie James™ (Powhatan) will be inducted into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame during the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) ceremony on Saturday, October 14th at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.
While growing up in Virginia, Mickie James, was a tomboy who always loved riding horses and the wrestling businessMickie's strong Powhatan ancestry tracing back to the Mattaponi reservation, is something she has always embraced throughout her career and still remains very proud of. Today,  WWE® Superstar  Mickie James™ or Mickie Laree James is internationally recognized in the world of professional wrestling. She is a six time Women's champion.  As a recording artist, she has released two full length albums and two singles and is widely known in the country music circuit. Her single entitled, "Shooting Blanks" released last November, has been nominated by the Native American Music Awards for Song of the Year. She has also just released a new single, "Get Down" which is currently impacting country radio and can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon and other online digital retailers.
In addition to her Hall of Fame induction, Mickie will be performing live at the Awards ceremony and will be joined by an A List of entertainers and musicians including;  Josh Halverson (Sioux) from NBC's The Voice, brother rappers Lil Mike & Funny Bone (Pawnee/Choctaw) from Americas Got Talent, Nahko of Nahko & Medicine for the People (Apache/Mohawk), Juno winners and GRAMMY nominees Northern Cree (Cree), the Village People's Felipe Rose (Taino/Lakota), The Revenant actor, Arthur Redcloud (Navajo), actor/musician Gary Farmer (Cayuga) and former Miss Universe Ashley Callingbull (Cree).

"Devoted to bringing Indigenous music to the world's consciousness" as credited by the New York Times, and cited as being "The Awards Show For Native American Entertainment" by Jeopardy TV, the Native American Music Awards is an ultimate celebration of music and entertainment.  It was founded as the world's first and largest national professional membership-based organization for the advancement & recognition of contemporary and traditional music initiatives by artists with Native American heritage.

The 17th Annual Native American Music Awards is hosted by the Seneca Nation of Indians (one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy) and will be held at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York on October 14th in the Seneca Events Center.  Doors open at 7:00PM EST. The Awards ceremony will be preceded by a free Pre-Show Red Carpet Event on the Mezzanine starting at 6:00PM open to nominees, patrons, and the general public and will feature meet and greets with the evening's featured entertainers & performers and live music performances by Seneca Nation bands; JJ White and Red Rhythm..
Tickets for the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards start at $15.00 and are available through Ticketmaster  or by visiting the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino box office which is located at 310 4th St, Niagara Falls, NY 14303  (877) 873-6322.

Voting for the Native American Music Awards is open to the general public. Music tracks from all the nominees  are featured on the audio players on www.NAMALIVE.com. Anyone can vote by visiting the Awards website VOTING page, or by clicking here.   

A live webcast of the event will be available at http://www.singlefeathermedia.com/live  



WWE® Superstar  MICKIE JAMES™ or Mickie Laree James (Powhatan) is internationally recognized in the world of professional wrestling. As a SMG Recording Artist, with two full length albums and two singles to her credit, she is also widely known in the country music circuit. Mickie, who is of Powhatan heritage from her maternal side, grew up in Virginia as a tomboy who loved riding horses, playing violin and dreamed of being in the wrestling ring performing for fans all over the world. By 2002, Mickie's dream was realized when she debuted on the national stage for Total Nonstop Action (TNA) and signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) that following year. She made her on screen debut for WWE in 2005 and would go on to win her first Women's Championship at WrestleMania 22 after a very memorable feud with Trish Stratus. She captured the Women's Title five times and the Divas Title once for a total of six championships in the WWE. Mickie had achieved her goals which were to become the first woman to win WWE's Women's & Divas titles as well as TNA's Knockouts Title. Not only did she do just that but she also went on to win TNA's Knockouts Title three times. She has set a precedent and broken many barriers for women in the WWE.

Mickie has always had a passion for music and singing as well. While on the road with WWE, she would travel to Nashville on her days off to meet with producers, songwriters and vocal coaches to pursue her dream of recording a country music album. By the spring of 2010, Mickie released her first album entitled, Strangers and Angels. The first single released off the album was a fast paced, exciting track called "Are You With Me?" and the album featured Mickie's incredible vocal range in her self-assured powerful manner.  In May 2013, Mickie released her second album entitled, Somebody's Gonna Pay through Entertainment One Music which debuted at #15 on Billboard's Heatseekers charts. The album also featured the bonus track, "Hardcore Country," which became Mickie's TNA entrance song.  Mickie also personally penned three of the songs off the album; “Best Damn Night,” “80 Proof” and the cover track, “Somebody's Gonna Pay” in which the music video co-starred fellow professional wrestlers Trish Stratus and Magnus (Mickie's husband Nick Aldis).  Mickie released a new single in November of last year, "Shooting Blanks" which has been nominated by the Native American Music Awards for Song of the Year. She has also just released her second single, "Get Down" which is impacting country radio now and can be purchased through iTunes, Amazon and other online digital retailers.

Mickie's recordings have been embraced by the Country music community and have received positive reviews from publications such as; Country Weekly and CMA Magazine. She has performed in concerts throughout the world and has shared the stage with other country artists such as; Rascal Flatts, Montgomery Gentry, Gretchen Wilson and Randy Houser. Mickie has served as an incredible inspiration and role model for many artists as well as Native youth from across the country.  Her world renowned reputation as a WWE Superstar, professional wrestler, country singer and entertainer undoubtedly warrants her place of prominence as an outstanding individual and honoree. The Native American Music Awards & Association is proud to honor Mickie James, and induct her into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame.  Mickie will also be performing live at the Awards ceremony.       www.MickieJames.com


Special Guests:


Ashley Callingbull, is the 1st First Nations woman to win the Mrs. Universe title. Callingbull is from Alberta's Enoch Cree Nation, west of Edmonton. Callingbull says she was drawn to the Mrs. Universe competition in 2015 because of its domestic violence theme. "I thought, this is a perfect platform for me because I'm relatable to people, I've experienced this myself and I'm able to speak about it," she said. "I'm glad I'm able to use this title as a way to speak for others that can't speak for themselves." Callingbull was chosen as Miss Canada for the Miss Friendship International Pageant held in Hubei, China in September, 2010, and represented Canada at the Queen of the World Final held in Germany 2010. She also represented Canada at Miss Humanity International in Barbados in October 2011. Ashley is also an actress and plays Sheila Delaronde in the series Blackstone.  




Felipe Rose is best known as the "Indian" singer and dancer of Taino and Lakota heritage in the Village People. Originally created by Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo to target disco's gay audience, Felipe was sought as the central member of Village People who quickly became popular and moved into the mainstream. The group scored several disco dance hits internationally, including three hits in the US, "Macho Man, "In the Navy", and their biggest hit, "Y.M.C.A.". Almost five decades later, Felipe and Village People remain a pop culture mainstay in music, sports arenas, commercials and television as they continue to tour the world. “Y.M.C.A” remains the group's biggest hit since it’s release in 1978. The song remains popular and is played throughout the  U.S. and Europe, with crowds using the dance in which the arms are used to spell out the four letters of the song's title. The song is number 7 on VH1's list of The 100 Greatest Dance Songs of the 20th Century. To date, Felipe and the Village People have sold over 100 million records and have won many international music awards and garnered over 30 Platinum and Gold records. Felipe's highest moment of achievement was receiving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the being inducted into the NAMA Music Hall of Fame. He has also earned a multiple Native American Music Awards for his various solo recordings. In his 40th year in the entertainment industry, Felipe continues to use his influential position to highlight issues that are important to him and maintain his personal objective of helping and connecting with people throughout the world.




AS SEEN ON NBC'S THE VOICE, JOSH HALVERSON  grew up in Texas as the son of a cattle rancher and a Dakota Sioux Indian. He has played piano since the age of five and has grown into an adept songwriter, approaching time-honored topics like heartbreak and devotion with a sense of hard-won innocence. Josh’s  first album, One Shot, earned him the Songwriter of the Year Award at the Native American Music Awards in 2013., Josh has since become a nationally recognized singer and songwriter after appearing on  NBC’s The Voice 2016 Blind Auditions where he performed Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” in front of superstars Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and host Carson Daly. Once Miley, Alicia, and Blake hit their buttons, they all turned around to fight for Halverson. Although Blake brought out his best cattle talk, Halverson chose to join Team Alicia who called Josh’s voice “striking”. Later in the season, Josh was chosen to be on the team of Miley Cyrus. Josh has just released his second recording, Thunder Bird Sky which has earned him four Native American Music Awards nominations. Josh and his wife Rexana are currently expecting their second child.



Kelly first became interested in music during her childhood, which led her to the very prestigious Victoria Conservatory of Music in British Columbia and the Berklee College of Music. Despite her lifelong musical training and deep love for every genre, country music has always held a soft-spot in her heart. Tracing her lineage back to the famous Indian leader Chief Joseph (Nez Perce), it’s no wonder how Kelly can embody everything you’d expect to find in a country artist — she’s strong, intuitive, spiritual, and impassioned. After six terms and 12 years as Chief, Kelly listened and witnessed first hand to her father’s rise from being a poor kid born on the reservation, to a leader who always fought hard for his people’s rights.There is an impassioned fight that is in their blood and in her music. With the release of “Warriors Of Love”, Kelly unleashes her strong vocal prowess and songwriting skills on an album that leaves the listener craving and chanting for more.



AS SEEN ON NBC'S AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, AKA MIKE BONE made their world debut with an unforgettable performance on NBC’s America's Got Talent program. Members of the Pawnee Tribe, these brothers, though they may look like twins, are not, nor are they midgets at 4 feet 8 inches tall. Mike and Bone have appeared on live television, DJ'd Night Clubs, played gigs throughout the US & Canada and opened for big-name acts such as Billy Ray Cyrus and T-Bone. Like their most popular single, Rain Dance, which wowed the judges of America’s Got Talent, their songs have found radio play on radio stations worldwide. Their full length recording Rain Dance The Album, earned them Group of the Year at last year’s Native American Music Awards. From homelessness to gang violence and discrimination, these two brothers have hustled and flowed their way from nothing to something through their extreme faith in GOD and have credited Christian Music for changing their life.



Also known as the Northern Cree Singers, Northern Cree is a powwow and Round Dance drum and singing group, based in Maskwacis, Alberta  
who have been singing together for more than 20 years. With 37 albums to their credit, the group has been nominated for six Grammy Awards, and have won three Native American Music Awards for Best Pow Wow Recording in 2001 and 2007 and for Best Compilation Recording in 2004. In 2017, the singers, along with founder Steve Wood and Tanya Tagaq, won a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year – Large Ensemble for the album Going Home Star. Formed in 1980 by Steve Wood, with brothers Charlie and Earl, the group’s other members include; Ferlin McGillvary, Randy Wood, Joel Wood, as well as Conan Yellowbird. Northern Cree remains one of the most respected pow-wow groups in North America. The group is featured in the song and music video "Indomitable" by DJ Shub, which was nominated for Best EDM/Dance Video in the 2017 iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards and the Native American Music Awards. Their new album on Canyon Records entitled, “It’s A Cree Thing,”  has been nominated for Best Pow Wow Recording and earned them a nod for Group of the Year and for Best Music Video.



A a sixth generation Apache and Mohawk with a Puerto Rican Taino mother and a Filipino father, Nahko grew up with the family that adopted him. Nahko and Medicine for the People is an American musical collective formed in 2008. The five member group is headed by frontman Nahko Bear and their music is a fusion of various cultural musical influences.  His creative inspiration is the desire to bridge cultural gaps. Nahko Bear has been musically inclined since the age of six when he started learning piano. As he grew older, Nahko remained tied to music as a piano teacher and casual songwriter. Nahko's songwriting became grassroots oriented around 2012 during which time he would travel around the US by van with his dog.  Nahko and Medicine for the People has toured with Michael Franti, Trevor Hall, Xavier Rudd, and SOJA Nahko Bear has also performed duos with Leah Song of Rising Appalachia.  His recording Dark As Night  released in 2013 reached No. 4 on the Billboard Top Alternative Albums chart; and went to  No. 6 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. His recording, Hoka  released last year,  went to No. 72 on the Billboard 200 charts and has earned Nahko and Medicine for the People several nominations at this year’s Native American Music Awards including  Record of the Year.




AKA DJ SHUB is a former member of A Tribe Called Red,  a Canadian electronic music group, who blend instrumental hip hop, reggae, moombahton and dubstep-influenced dance music with elements of First Nations music, particularly vocal chanting and drumming.  With Dan, the group won the 2014 Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year. A lifelong fan of hip hop, Shub has been a DJ for 15 years, originally inspired by the experience of his older brother, who would cross the border to DJ in Buffalo, New York. Equipped with DJ gear, Shub polished his skills in his parents’ basement, eventually winning the Canadian title at DJ competitions in 2007 and 2008. Family remains a huge part of this Mohawk father’s decision to remain in his hometown of Fort Erie, Ontario today. By combining electronic dance beats with samples of aboriginal singing and drumming, Dan is also credited for the creation of a new sub-genre of electronic music, dubbed ‘powwow step.’ At first, he didn’t want to limit himself to a sound pioneered by his former group but Powwow step is still in its infancy. He now loves the fact that he’s contributing to a whole wave of new contemporary indigenous music by creating his own tracks. DJ Shub along with the drum group Northern Cree have been nominated for Best Music Video for their collaborative effort entitled “Indomitable ft. Northern Cree.”



Carsen Lee Gray was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and is of First Nations Haida and mixed descent.  Carsen Gray is no stranger to a life of art, music, and entertainment.  Being the oldest daughter of Robert Gray, who played along side Nick Gilder in the band "Sweeney Todd" and niece of Bobby Taylor, most noted for his discovery and mentoring of Michael Jackson - The King of Pop; Carsen comes by her love for music naturally and started performing and recording with her uncle Bobby Taylor at age eleven overseas. Now, Carsen has been living between Saskatoon and Vancouver and working with Independent heavy weight artist Joey Stylez since 2013. Carsen has been writing songs, recording, and touring across Canada.  In 2015, Carsen was a regional finalist in the CBC 2015 Searchlight contest, and her single "Supernatural" reached #1 on the National Aboriginal Music Countdown. This year, Carsen received three nominations for the Indigenous Music Awards in Canada and won Best New Artist. She has been nominated for Best Music Video and Song of the Year for “Wanna See You” with DJ Shub.



Lifetime Achievement Recipient Gary Dale Farmer was born in Ohsweken, Ontario, into the Cayuga nation and Wolf Clan of the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois Confederacy. Gary was the Founder and Publisher of Aboriginal Voices Magazine, a magazine  devoted to Native Canadian issues.  He has over 100 Film and TV appearances to his credit as an actor with early roles in Police Academy (1984), The Believers (1987) with Martin Sheen, and Renegades (1989) starring Kiefer Sutherland and Lou Diamond Phillips. Gary starred as in the Robert Redford- produced thriller, The Dark Wind (1991); opposite Lou Diamond Phillips and Corey Feldman and Corey Haim in the drama Blown Away (1993). In Sioux City (1994) and  the first Tales from the Crypt (1989) horror movie: Demon Knight (1995). Gary was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his performance as Nobody in Dead Man (1995), in which he starred opposite Johnny Depp, and for his role in Smoke Signals (1998). He appeared alongside Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro in The Score (2001). Gary has also directed  a few projects and has his own blues band: 'Gary Farmer and the Troublemakers’ who have released two CDs, Lovesick Blues and Road Songs. The band features N.A.M.A. award winners, Derek Miller on guitar, and veteran bluesman Marc Brown on guitar, along with Jaime Bird Yellowhorse on bass, and Jme Russell on drums.




Joseph Fire Crow one of the top Native American flute players and flute makers in the world and was called a “National Treasure” by the media and “a cultural ambassador” by his hometown in Billings, Montana,  Joseph was Cheyenne and a Native American Music Awards multiple award winner who released albums from 1992 to 2017. Since 1992, Joseph released eight solo albums, with six of them released internationally. His accomplishments include; a GRAMMY nomination in the Best Native American Music Album category, eight Native American Music Awards, a Telly Award, and a GRAMMY as a guest artist on David Darling’s Prayer for Compassion. He holds Native American Music Awards for; Songwriter of the Year, Best Instrumental Recording, a three-time Flutist of the Year, Artist of the Year, Song/Single of the Year, and a NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Some of Fire Crow's music was also included on the soundtrack of the documentary Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery. Joseph was a humble, caring, compassionate man, whose smile and laughter is what people remember most. Joseph’s life was dedicated to sharing the wonders of his homeland with others around the world. He died on July 11, 2017 at the age of 58 after battling idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Following word of his death, there was an outpouring of condolences and memories from other Native musicians across the country who found inspiration from him.



Since its inception, Ohwejagehka Hadegaenage has distributed Earth Songs, or Iroquois Social Songs, as an effort to preserve and promote Iroquoian culture.  All the members of the Newtown SIngers work hard to continue their traditional ways. In this new era, they believe, they must all continue to work together to carry on their culture for the generations yet to come.


Ed Koban is a multi-instrumentalist from Niagara Falls, New York playing mostly guitar and Native American Flute. Like the waters that roar over the edge in his hometown, Ed Koban's own music can be beautiful and evocative, raging and powerful. He has shared the bill with groups like; Foghat, Three dog Night, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, Indigenous, Rusted Root, and has performed in such nationally renowned venues like the Kennedy Center and at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Since 2011, Ed Koban has led the NAMA House band with his group, the Ed Koban Band for the Native American Music Awards performers and has become what Paul Shaffer was to Late Night with David Letterman. On the NAMA stage, Ed can rise to any occasion. He has performed with artist such as:  Nelly Furtado,, Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd & Blackfoot, Joanne Shenandoah ; A Taste of Honey’s Janice Marie Johnson, Rock And Roll Hall of Famer Nokie Edwards and many more.




Ernie Stevens, Jr. is the Chairman and national spokesperson for the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) in Washington, D.C.  Stevens is currently completing his seventh two-year term as the organization’s leader, which is a position elected by the member tribes of the National Indian Gaming Association. As Chairman of NIGA, Stevens represents the Indian gaming industry.  In this role, he has worked to educate Congress, the media and the public about the positive impacts of Indian gaming on tribal and nearby communities.  Stevens is also responsible for shaping policy initiatives that have the potential to impact the industry. Chairman Stevens is an enrolled member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin.






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September 7, 2017 – New York, NY. Nominations for the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) have been announced by The Native American Music Association. Nominations reflect the highest quality of recordings by music makers throughout North America and were selected by the combined votes of the national NAMA Advisory Board Committee. 

This year's new trends were evidenced by an overwhelming amount of music videos being released which spawned the creation of two additional music video categories to honor performance and narrative videos as well as the original conceptual category. The number of traditional music initiatives increased as well as the creation of songs about the many water protectors who were at Standing Rock this past year.


Both new and established artists share the list of nominations throughout a diverse array of 25 varied music categories. Some of the year's mainstream artists include; a Country music song, "Shooting Blanks" by WWE's Mickie James (Powhatan), "Stand Up", the music video by NAMA Hall of Famer Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas along with seven other Native artists which was recently honored at the MTV VMA's.  Leading  with four nominations is NBC-TV's The Voicefinalist, Josh Halverson and his new CD entitled Year of the Thunderbird, nominated for Artist of the Year, Best Folk Recording, Record of the Year, and Best Music Video for a Performance.


Recording artists with three nominations each include: Artson (Raramuri/ Tarahumara), The Cherokee National Youth Choir, Kelly Derrickson (First Nation), Lucas Ciliberti (Cherokee/MicMac),  Northern Cree (Cree), Perry Cheevers ToppahShining Soul (Tohono O’odham/Dine’), and The Cody Blackbird Band. Triple nominations also went to flutists; Jan Michael Looking Wolf Band (Kalapuya), Randy McGinnis (Cherokee), Steven Rushingwind & The Native Groove (Cahuilla, Taino), and Vince Redhouse   (Dine) who all released highly impressive instrumental recordings this year within the eligibility period.  

With two nominations each are; Anthony Benally (Navajo /Cool Runnings), Billy Simard (Ojibwe), Black Bear Brothers (Emanuel & Tim Black Bear, (Oglala Lakota), Broken Walls(Mohawk/Tlingit), C.C. Murdock (Shoshone/Piaute), Callie Bennett (Navajo/Diné), Carsen Gray & DJ Shub  (Haida), Cindy Paul (Metis/Cree), Clark Tenakhongva (Hopi / Canyon), Conrad Benally (Shoshone Bannock), Craig Elkshoulder, Janelle Turtle, Nelson Turtle Jr.  (Northern Cheyenne/Southern Cheyenne), Danielle Egnew  (Cherokee), James Edmund Greeley  (Hopi, Nez Perce), Joanne Shenandoah & Bambi Niles  (Oneida-Iroquois), Jonah Littlesunday“Gratitude” (Navajo Dine), JuQ (Oglala Lakota/ Dakota South), Kelly Jackson  (Lac du Flambeau/Chippewa), Levi Platero (Navajo), Nahko and Medicine For The People  (Apache), Painted Raven (Cherokee/Sioux), R. Carlos Nakai Quartet   (Navajo Ute), Radmilla Cody (Navajo Dine ), Rellik (Metis), Rhonda Head (Cree), Son of Hweeldi (Navajo) and Sten Joddi  (Muskoke Creek). 

Hosted by National Indian Gaming Association's Chairman, Ernie Stevens, Jr., featured performers invited to this year's Awards ceremony include; nominees  Josh Halverson,  Kelly Derrickson and Nahko of Nahko & Medicine For The People. A special tribute to the late Joseph FireCrow will be held.  As featured on America's Got Talent last year's Group of the Year, Lil Mike & Funny Bone will be performing. This year's Lifetime Achievement recipient will be Gary Farmer, who will also be performing with his band The Troublemakers featuring award winnersMarc Brown and Derek Miller, with more to be announced.

General Public voting is now open. To vote, visit the VOTE page of the Awards website or by clicking on the following link:  VOTE NOW   Public voting will determine the winner of each category. Music tracks from all nominees are also featured on the Awards' website at www.NAMALIVE.com.

Winners will be announced live at the 17th Annual Native American Music Awards which will be held on Saturday October 14th at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.

The Native American Music Awards & Association is the world's largest professional membership-based organization committed to honoring contemporary and traditional Native American music initiatives.

The Native American Music Awards & Association extends its sincerest congratulations to this year's NAMA Nominees.



C.C. Murdock “Resistance” (Shoshone/Piaute)

James Edmund Greeley “Before America” (Hopi, Nez Perce)

Josh Halverson “Year of the Thunderbird” (Mdewakanton Dakota)

Perry Cheevers Toppah “Sing To Your Lady” (Cool Runnings)

Randy McGinnis “The Journey  - hi a vi si i” (Cherokee)

Vince Redhouse  “Songs of the Earth” (Dine)



Billy Simard “Being Free”  (Ojibwe)

Jean Albert Renaud - JAR “I Ride Horses” (Cherokee/Blackfoot)

JuQ “Tempo: A Short Story by juQ” (Oglala Lakota/ Dakota South)

Kokopelli Girl “Ricochet” (Metis)

Lucas Ciliberti “Rainmaker” (Cherokee/MicMac)

Rose Angel  “Inner Voice Vol 1 & 2” (Tegua/Papago)



Black Bear Brothers (Emanuel & Tim Black Bear) “Songs from Cheyenne Creek” (Oglala Lakota/Rez West/KILI)

Craig Elkshoulder, Janelle Turtle, Nelson Turtle Jr.  “Cheyenne Peyote Songs” (Northern Cheyenne/Southern Cheyenne)

Crazy Flute  “Echos From The Mountain” (Cherokee)

Joanne Shenandoah & Bambi Niles “One World Christmas” (Oneida)

Shining Soul “Politics Aside” (Tohono O’odham/Dine’)

Steven Rushingwind & The Native Groove “Fuego” (Cahuilla, Taino)



Callie Bennett  “Awake, Arise and Shine” (Navajo/Diné)

Cindy Paul “The Flight” (Metis/Cree)

Danielle Egnew  “You’ve Got To Go Back The Way That You Came” (Cherokee)

Kelly Derrickson “I Am” (First Nation)

Radmilla Cody “Ke’ Hasin” (Navajo Dine/Canyon Records)’

Rhonda Head “Kisahkihitan (Cree)



Jan Michael Looking Wolf “Ascension” (Kalapuya)

Jonah Littlesunday “Gratitude” (Navajo Dine)

Matthew Tooni “Through Their Eyes Vol 1” (Eastern Band of Cherokee)

Randy McGinnis “The Journey  - hi a vi si i” (Cherokee)

Steven Rushingwind & The Native Groove “Fuego” (Cahuilla, Taino)

Vince Redhouse  “Songs of the Earth” (Dine)



Cherokee National Youth Choir “Celebration” (Cherokee Nation)

Jan Michael Looking Wolf Band “Ascension” (Kalapuya)

Northern Cree “It’s A Cree Thing” (Cree)

R. Carlos Nakai Quartet  “What Lies Beyond” (Navajo Ute / Canyon)

Broken Walls “The Path"  (Mohawk/Tlingit)

The Cody Blackbird Band “Live From Chicago” (Eastern Band Cherokee & Dakota/Redi Records)



Artson “E.A.R.T.H.” (Raramuri/Tarahumara)

Anthony Benally “Humble Expressions” (Navajo / Cool Runnings)

Clark Tenakhongva “Su’Vu’Yo’ Yungw” “Long And Steady Drizzle” (Hopi/ Canyon)

Conrad Benally “Always And Forever” (Shoshone Bannock)

Jonah Littlesunday “Gratitude” (Navajo Dine/Canyon)

Levi Platero “Take Me Back” (Navajo)



“Celebration” Cherokee National Youth Choir (Cherokee Nation)

“Hoka” Nahko and Medicine For The People  (Apache)

“Music From Turtle Island: Songs of Freedom” Various Artists (Metis/Cree)

“One World Many Voices” Various Artists (Ed Lee Natay, R. Carlos Nakai, Xavier Quijas Yxayotl, Earl Ray, Aaron White, Jonah Littlesunday)

“Sacred Inspirations” Various Artists (Spiritwind Records)

“Year of the Thunderbird” Josh Halverson (Mdewakanton Dakota)



“Alcatraz” Calina Lawrence  (Suquamish)

“Bullet Dress” Melissa Doud with the Mambo Surfers (Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa)

"Father" Spencer "Lightfoot" Wiley Wizick (Colville)

”If Only” Marcia Chum-Sackaney (Cree)

“Red Dust On Route 66”  Wolfsheart, Roy Pete, Jose Feliciano (Navajo)

“Shooting Blanks” Mickie James (Powhatan)

“Urban Nativez” Joey Stylez & Sten Joddi (Muskoke Creek)

“Wake Up” Kelly Jackson  (Lac du Flambeau/Chippewa)

“Wanna See You” Carsen Gray featuring DJ Shub  (Haida)


BEST MUSIC VIDEO - Conceptual 

“Come and Get Your Love” B. of Dakota South Records (Yankton Sioux/Oglala Lakota/Knudsen)

“Indomitable” ft DJ Shub  Northern Cree Singers

“Lady of the Lake” Painted Raven (Cherokee/Sioux)

“Me & The 99” Son of Hweeldi (Navajo)

“Springfields” Lucas Ciliberti (Cherokee/MicMac)

“Wanna See You” Carsen Gray & DJ Shub  (Haida)


BEST MUSIC VIDEO - Performance

“All Day” Shining Soul (Tohono O’odham/Dine’)

“Ascension” Jan Michael Looking Wolf Band  (Kalapuya)

“Just Enough” Josh Halverson” (Mdewakanton Dakota)

“Promised Land” The Cody Blackbird Band (Eastern Band of Cherokee & Dakota)

“Suicide Song” Kelly Derrickson (First Nation)

“Wake Up” Kelly Jackson (Lac du Flambeau/Chippewa)



“Black Snakes” Prolific The Rapper w/ A Tribe Called Red - Black Snakes 

“Love Letters To God” Nahko and Medicine For The People  (Apache)

“Never Give Up”  Artson featuring Supaman & Quese Imc (Raramuri)(Tarahumara)

“Rise Up” Komplex Kai (Tulalip)

“Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL” Taboo & Various Artists

“The Hour” (Mamas song) Rellik (Metis/New Leaf)


NATIVE HEART  (Non Native)

Bearheart Kokopelli (Bernhard Mikuskovics) “Native Heart” (Namaste Music)

Jefferson Svengsouk “Peaceful Journey” (Celestial Light Show)

Jonny Lipford “Waves of Serenity”

Lex Nichols “Songs of the Plains”

Peter Phippen “Solace” (Promotion Music Records)

Timothy J.P. Gomez “The Awakening” (Wandering Trail Records)



“Being Free” Billy Simard (Ojibwe)

“I Am” Kelly Derrickson (First Nation)

“I Ride Horses” Jean Albert Renaud-JAR (Cherokee/Blackfoot)

“Native Americana Volume 1” Rob Saw  (Rob Saw/Mohawk)

“Rainmaker” Lucas Ciliberti  (Cherokee/MicMac)

“You’ve Got to Go Back the Way That You Came” Danielle Egnew  (Cherokee)



“Desert Wind” Sayani (Cherokee/Choctaw/Creek)

“Keeper of the Family” Shining Woman & Otsigeya (Cherokee)

“One World Christmas” Joanne Shenandoah & Bambi Niles  (Oneida-Iroquois)

“The Flight” Cindy Paul (Metis/Cree)

“Year of the Thunderbird” Josh Halverson (Mdewakanton Dakota)



“Always And Forever” Conrad Benally (Shoshone Bannock)

“Awake, Arise and Shine” Callie Bennett (Navajo/Diné)

“Embraced By The Light” Richard Redleaf, Ruby Redleaf, Lydia Redleaf (Rosebud Sioux)

“Kisahkihitan” Rhonda Head (Cree)

“Victory Road” Elvis Ballantyne  (Cree)

“The Storm Awakens” Verdell Primeaux and Leon Skyhorse (Yankton Sioux/Ponca/Navajo)



“Crossroads” Painted Raven (Cherokee/Sioux)

“Empty Cradle” Michael Longrider and Lester “Seven Star” Greenwood (Mi’kmaq/Metis)

“Fuego” Steven Rushingwind & The Native Groove (Cahuilla, Taino)

“Songs of the Earth” Vince Redhouse   (Dine)

“The Journey  - hi a vi si i” Randy McGinnis (Cherokee)

“What Lies Beyond” R. Carlos Nakai Quartet   (Navajo Ute/ Canyon)



“Cheyenne Peyote Songs” Craig Elkshoulder, Janelle Turtle, Nelson Turtle Jr.  (Northern Cheyenne/Southern Cheyenne/Cool Runnings)

“”Family Tradition” Jarvis Hunter (Navajo)

“Maskiki Awasis” Kelly Daniels (Cree /Cool Runnings)

“New Beginning” DonJay Nelson (Navajo / Cool Runnings)

“Simplicity” Cheevers Toppah  (Kiowa/Navajo / Cool Runnings)

“Songs of the Good Way of Life” Irvin Bahe (Navajo / Cool Runnings)



“Celebration” Cherokee National Youth Choir (Cherokee Nation)

“Doing It All” Irv Lyons Jr (Oneida)

“Give It My All” NDN Soul (Chickasaw/Cherokee)

“Tempo: A Short Story by juQ” JuQ  (Oglala Lakota/ Dakota South)

“The Path” Broken Walls (Mohawk/Tlingit)



“Belongs To The People” Young Bear (Canyon)

“Blacked Out” Southern Style (Navajo/Hopi/ Cool Runnings)

“It’s A Cree Thing” Northern Cree (Cree/Canyon)

“Sing To Your Lady” Perry Cheevers Toppah (Cool Runnings)

“Songs from Cheyenne Creek” Black Bear Brothers (Emanuel & Tim Black Bear) (Oglala Lakota/Rez West/KILI)



“Politics Aside” Shining Soul (Tohono O’odham/Dine’)

“Reverse Through Time.” Artson (Raramuri/Tarahumara)

“The 7th Generation Prophecy” Sten Joddi  (Muskoke Creek Nation of OK/Tattoo Muzik)

“The Dream” Rellik (Metis)

“Vision” Gabriel Yaiva and DJ Soe (Navajo/Hopi/Yaqui/Cree)



“019910” Son of Hweeldi (Navajo)

“Live From Chicago” The Cody Blackbird Band   (Eastern Band Cherokee & Dakota/Redi Records)

“Red-White & Blues” Bluedog (Ponca/Dakota)

“Resistance” C.C. Murdock (Shoshone/Piaute)

“Saddle Mountain Blues” Cecil Gray Native Blues (Kiowa)

“Take Me Back” Levi Platero (Navajo)



“Before America” James Edmund Greeley  (Hopi, Nez Perce)

“Humble Expressions” Anthony Benally (Navajo /Cool Runnings)

“Joyful” Jiiniikwe  (Bay Mills Michigan Ojibwe)

“Ke’ Hasin” Radmilla Cody  (Navajo Dine /Canyon)

“Sing To Your Lady” Perry Cheevers Toppah (Cool Runnings)

“Su’Vu’Yo’ Yungw” -“Long And Steady Drizzle” Clark Tenakhongva (Hopi / Canyon)



“10 Years of  P-Dub’n” Papago Warrior (Tohono O’odham)

“Creed and Culture” Native Creed (Tohono O’odham)

“From Us To You” Pick-Up Kings (Tohono O’odham)

“Otra” Native Creed (Tohono O’odham)

“Versatile Music 2” Famous Ones (Tohono O’odham)







NBC's The Voice  recent contestant, Brooke Simpson is 26 years old and is a full-blooded Native American from the Haliwa-Saponi tribe. Brooke is from Hollister, North Carolina and currently lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She grew up on tribal grounds with 4,000 Native Americans, including most of her family. Every year they have a powwow and celebrate their traditions just like their forefathers. She discovered her love of music at age seven when she started singing with her parents. They are full-time evangelists and would take trips every weekend in their RV to different churches to sing as a family, leading praise and worship. Brooke has been performing for many years and it's gotten to the point where she has started to look for a plan B, so a lot is riding on this audition.

Below Brooke sings Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" during The Voice knockouts and absolutely nailing her audition. Brooke competed in the Playoff Round, landing third place but first in our hearts.  https://www.nbc.com/the-voice/credits/credit/season-13/brooke-simpson


Jan Michael Looking Wolf performed his award-winning song, Live As One with the Oregon State University choirs and his ensemble. The song "Live As One" was written and released by Jan Michael in 2010. It's message shares a universal truth that we all are connected and have equal value regardless of nationality, ethnicity, heritage, gender, and personal differences. Live As One has received international radio play and won the award for Best Music Video at the Native American Music Awards in 2011 from a live taping of a special performance with native musicians from across the country on stage with Jan Michael and the Ed Koban band in Niagra Falls, New York. This version was specially arranged for choirs by OSU graduate student in Music Education, Danika Locey and conducted by Dr. Steven Zielke. In working with OSU, a published choral arrangement will be available to choirs across the country and beyond.


Jana at NAMA 9 32.1 MB
Dallas Washkahat & Fawn Wood NAMA 11 Great Traditional 8.27 MB
Gabriel Ayala NAMA 11 11th Annual NAMA's, This guy is awesome!! 9.76 MB
Gil Birmingham NAMA 11 Nice Instrumental by Gil Birmingham from "Twilight" the movie 8.6 MB
Joanne Shenandoah w/ Michael Bucher NAMA 11 With Michael Bucher 16.9 MB
Jimmy Wolf NAMA 11 Oozie Suzie!!!!! 15.6 MB
Gil Birmingham Jimmy Wolf NAMA 11 Rockin Blues! A little Stevey Ray Vaughn 6.75 MB
Jana NAMA 11 This is Jana at her best! 6.35 MB
Stevie Salas NAMA 11 Great Rock Performance by Stevie, TM Stevens and Dave Abbruzzese 28 MB
Young Gunz NAMA 11 Pow Wow Drum 9.01 MB
NAMA 11 Opening Music Note Fireworks 3.33 MB
Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd - 10th Anniversary Live at the 10th Anniversary of the Native American Music Awards 39 MB
Buddy Big Mountain NAMA 10 This is great!!!! 5.13 MB
Janice Marie NAMA 10 Get Down Boogie Oogie Oogie! 21.3 MB
Richie Valens NAMA 11 Highlight Clip 8.65 MB
Tommy Allsup Performance NAMA 11 Big Boss Man, with Mario Ramirez 9.92 MB
Tommy Allsup HOF NAMA 11 Ritchie Valens Hall of Fame Induction 15.3 MB
Back Yard Blues Band NAMA 11 La Bamba with Mario Ramirez and Tommy Allsup 8.32 MB
Tracy Bone NAMA 10 Best Country Recording 11.5 MB
Night Shield NAMA 10 With Maniac The Siouxpernatural 3.93 MB
Eagle and Hawk NAMA 11 Winnipeg Manitoba's Vince Fontaine 14.4 MB
Honoring Redbone's Tony Bellamy Tony Bellamy of Redbone Playing Their Hit Song "Come And Get Your Love" At The First Awards, and Tony's Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech at the 10th Annual Native American Music Awards. 7.39 MB
Tony_Bellamy_2 Hi Resolution for Michaelina 42.6 MB
Tony_Bellamy_3 Best Quality 90.6 MB
Buddy Big Mountain NAMA 5 Windell Yodelling, Absolutely Awesome!!! 5.13 MB



The Native American Music Community Loses A National Treasure And Cultural Ambassador

New York, NY - It is with profound sadness and great sorrow that the Native American Music Awards & Association (NAMA) shares in the announcement of the passing of multiple Native American Music Awards winner, Lifetime Achievement honoree, and GRAMMY award winner, Joseph FireCrow.


In the early morning of Tuesday, July 11th, Joseph FireCrow died at his home in Winsted, Connecticut with his wife Joann by his side. Joseph succumbed to complications from the respiratory effects of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), a serious lung disease which causes lung tissue to become stiff or scarred over time. There is no known cure. Joseph was 58 years old. He is survived by his wife, Joann Moore, children Brandon, Karrie, Joseph III, Damian and Jared, and his siblings.


Called a “National Treasure” by the media and “a cultural ambassador” by the Billings Gazette, Joseph was one of the most gifted players of the Native American Flute. Following the early announcement of his death, there was an outpouring of condolences and memories from other Native musicians across the country who were touched and found inspiration from Joseph. Some of those artists who recently paid tribute to him are; Jan Michael Looking Wolf (Kalapuya/Grande Ronde) who called him a “teacher” and “leader” and recalls Joseph as a “beautiful human being filled with love and light” who enjoyed “coming together with other artists and giving thanks.” Gary Small (Northern Cheyenne) states, “It’s a sad to learn that my brother in arms has passed. Maheo’ bless Joe. I will miss you forever.” Flutist Rona YellowRobe (Cree) called Joseph “gracious and wonderful…His smile was BIG and Beautiful and could light up your day.” Cody Thomas Blackbird (Cherokee/Dakota) posted, “The world lost an amazing being, the music industry lost the greatest Native flutist and traditional musician to ever grace a stage, and I lost one of my best friends today.” Spencer Battiest (Seminole) shared, “My heart is heavy today to hear about the passing of my dear friend. Joseph’s gentle spirit and authentic approach taught me so much. I will forever be grateful for the times we’ve shared over the years, and I will keep you in my heart and on stage with me for life!” Many others who were touched and found inspiration from Joseph FireCrow are continuing to pay tribute to him privately and on social media.


Joseph FireCrow was born in Crow Agency, Montana. He is one of 10 children born to Joseph FireCrow Sr. and Elva Stands in Timber. He attended the St. Labre Mission School an graduated from Salmon High School in Iaho. He also studied at Brigham Young University in Utah. The love of the flute captured Joseph's heart the very first time he heard it as a young boy living on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in southeastern Montana. "Through all of the hardships of reservation life, the beauty and wonders of our homeland beckoned to me" he once said. Joseph's life was dedicated to sharing those wonders of his homeland with others around the world.


Native American Music Awards President, Ellen Bello recalls, “Joseph was one of the most humble and genuine artists from the Native music community. His big, beautiful smile, sincere kindness and undeniable talent touched and influenced everyone in his path. I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of our friend, Joseph from his wife Joann. Not only was he one of our leading Award winners, but even more than that, he was an incredible human being who was truly loved by all.”


At the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards last September 17, 2016 at Seneca Allegany Casino, Joseph FireCrow received a Lifetime Achievement Award honoring him as a top singer/songwriter, flute player, vocalist and musician. “We remain grateful we were able to bestow him one of the highest honors at our last Awards ceremony. Despite his struggle with such a debilitating illness, Joseph stood strong with that great smile of his and gave each of us his last and most memorable performance.” Bello fondly reflects.


Since 1992, Joseph FireCrow has recorded music and released eight solo albums, with six of them released internationally. He is an eight time Native American Music Award winner for; Songwriter of the Year, Best Instrumental Recording, a three-time Flutist of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Song/Single of the Year, and a NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award honoree as well as has won a Telly Award, a GRAMMYTM as a guest artist on David Darling’s “Prayer for Compassion” at the 52nd Annual GRAMMYTM awards.


Joseph’s first recording was Fire Crow. His second recording entitled. Cheyenne Nation, was released in 2000 which earned him a GRAMMY nomination for Best Native American Recording at the 43rd Annual GRAMMYS. In 2002, he collaborated with the Billings Symphony Orchestra performing on a composition by Jim Cockey, Parmly’s Dream. In 2003, his third release, Legend of A Warrior (Makoche’) won him Songwriter of the Year at the Sixth Annual Native American Music Awards. At the Seventh Annual Native American Music Awards, Joseph’s second collaboration with Jim Cockey and the Billings Symphony Orchestra, Signature, took Best Instrumental Recording. In 2006, his fourth solo release, Red Beads, featuring his late mother, Eva Stands In Timber, earned him Flutist of the Year at the Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards. In 2010, his fifth release, the critically acclaimed, Face The Music won him both Flutist of the Year and the esteemed Artist of the Year award at the 12th Annual Native American Music Awards. In 2011, a Joseph FireCrow Live At the Winstead DVD was released. Joseph’s song, Out of Many We Are One with Thomasina Levy and others was awarded NAMA’s Song/Single of the Year at the 13th Annual ceremony. That following year, the recording, Nightwalk was voted Best Flute Recording at the 14th Annual Native American Music Awards.


Joseph also acted and appeared in the Off Broadway play, Distant Thunder, with Spencer Battiest (Seminole) and he worked with Steven Spielberg on Into the West. Joseph contributed to a stunning composition entitled, The Gift of the Elk, which was commissioned by the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra and premiered in April 2010 with Maestro Jung-Ho Pak conducting. The piece was based on the traditional story of how the Native American flute came to the Northern Cheyenne people, a simple tale with a profound message of receiving and returning those gifts that are given to us by the universe.

Joseph will always be remembered for his generosity and compassion as well. He was a frequent contributor to Operation Music Aid for veterans who suffered from PTSD or Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, often donating his handmade flutes and music library to assist in their recovery through music therapy.


In recent months, the Native American Music Association was joined by many generous individuals who donated funds to assist Joseph with his medical costs and transportation while he was awaiting a bilateral lung transplant. The Native American Music Association is continuing to accept donations to assist Joseph’s wife, Joann Moore FireCrow, with his burial costs. Donations can be made on the Association’s web page at;



Ellen Bello states, “On behalf of my family and the entire NAMA family, we extend our deepest condolences and prayers to his business partner and wife, and their family. We will all miss him deeply and dearly.” As his wife, Joann, prepares to say farewell to the love of her life, she asks that we please join her in a celebration of Joseph FireCrow’s life. She would like to share the following service information:

Service Information for Joseph Firecrow Celebration

Calling/Viewing hours will be from 2 – 6 on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at Maloney Funeral Home.
Address: 55 Walnut St, Winsted, CT 06098
: (860) 379-3794
Services will began immediately thereafter. A private burial at the convenience of the family.

Cards and memorial gifts can be sent directly to Joann at: PO Box 173, Winsted, CT 06098


Joseph FireCrow was an incredibly talented award-winning musician, vocalist and flute player who seamlessly wove both his traditional Cheyenne traditions and stories into his contemporary works. He remains one of the most influential flute players and musicians in the Native music community whose work will continue to inspire many.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient & Multiple Award Winner, Rita Coolidge,
releases her Memoir, " Delta Lady " April 11th




Native American drum group invited to perform as part of the pre televised ceremony

Northern Cree At The GRAMMYS

Canyon Recording artist, Northern Cree, performed as part of this year’s GRAMMY celebrations. The three time Native American Music Award winner, Northern Cree (Cree) has won for Best Pow Wow Recording twice and Best Compilation Recording, and member Randy Wood has won Best Traditional Recording twice. Northern Cree has earned a total of seven nominations from the GRAMMYS.
The Northern Cree Singers have been performing since 1980 and have released 37 albums over the past 35 years. Northern Cree were nominated in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category with their newest album, It’s a Cree Thing. Their latest album was released in 2016 through Canyon Records.
  1. of Northern Cree and Carla Morrison performed at the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony on Feb. 12 in Los Angeles. Carla Morrison is a Mexican indie-pop singer and composer. She has won two Latin Grammys for her album, Déjenme Llorar, which has also been certified Gold in Mexico. Margarat Cho hosted the pre televised awards. A total of 83 total categories from 30 fields were featured at the 2017 Grammy Awards. Music's Biggest Night pre telecast event also featured performances from Ziggy Marley, Judy Collins, Ravi Coltrane and more. The Native drum group performed two songs, “Cree Cuttin'” and “Un Beso”.

    The 2017 GRAMMY winner for the Regional Roots category was awarded to E Walea for Kalani Pe’a.
    To listen and purchase Northern Cree's GRAMMY Nominated album, Northern Cree, ‘It’s a Cree Thing.’ visit the Canyon Records website at:


Watch their GRAMMY performance here which was streamed live on the GRAMMY website.


Northern Cree, 'It's a Cree Thing.' - Courtesy Canyon Records

The Native American Music Award​s & Association were invited to take a more active role in assisting the GRAMMYs in obtaining recordings for nomination consideration from our members this past year. The 59th GRAMMY Awards received over the required minimum number of recordings for their Regional Roots category which includes Native American music initiatives. NAMA plans to continue to assist The Recording Academy®, aka the GRAMMY®s with obtaining new memberships and recording submissions of high prod​uction quality and​ artistic merit, that may qualify now or in the future of the annual GRAMMY Awards.




Standing Rock protest video screened at N8tive Reel Cinema Festival in Hollywood

NAMA Hall of Fame inductee and Black Eyed Peas member, TABOO, has released a music video and song entitled, STAND UP! in support of the water protectors at Standing Rock.

TABOO dedicates the song to #mniwiconi #waterprotectors -"This is our thank you to all those who stood in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at #standingrock" he says. The music video “Stand Up,” features an intro by actress Shailene Woodley along with images of North Dakota police who face off against a wall of picketing protesters on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, the proposed site of the controversial Dakota Access pipeline. “You are my tribal people,” sings Spencer Battiest, a Seminole-Choctaw singer living in Hollywood who won Best Pop Recording at this year's awards ceremony and performed with his brother Zack Battiest. Zack, raps, “I’m ready for the battle and we ain’t runnin’.” Standing between them is rapper, Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, who directed and raps in the video. “Stand Up” also features 20 other Native American musicians from around the country.

left to right: Zack Battiest, TABOO, Spencer Battiest

“Stand Up highlights the vibrant native culture of the Sioux Tribe and features compelling footage of how their land was being disrupted by pipeline construction,” Taboo explains. “I am part Shoshone, but this issue is deeper than my Native American heritage. The Dakota Access Pipeline is a shameless example of corporate interests being put ahead of human rights and our environment. This song is a ‘thank you’ to the protectors that have stood against the pipeline and a call to action for all native peoples to stand proud and unify for our human rights and to protect our land." The “Stand Up” video has been viewed more than 244,000 times on YouTube since being uploaded in December. The music video "Stand Up," a collaboration with Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas, screened during the N8tive Reel Cinema Festival in Hollywood, Florida on Friday, Feb. 10, and Saturday, Feb. 11, at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

“My brother and I are planning to visit Standing Rock in the next couple of weeks,” Battiest says. “I know from people who’ve been on the front lines, and from friends, they have no intention of leaving or giving up. We need to take care of this planet and not pollute the water. By giving us the opportunity to share our thoughts, it shows the world we are there with them. We all have a voice.






Standing Rock



Gabriel NightShield
NightShield (Rosebud Sioux)
Winner of Best Rap Hip Hop Recording 07, Song Single of the Year 08,
Best Rap Hip Hop Recording 16

"I'm shooting a video for my new single "Bang Your Head" featuring Maniac The SiouxperNatural & FLUXX on the evening of February 26th" .

Night Shield - The Addiction Available on CDBABY.com




Following his appearance at the Native American Music Awards in September 2016, TABOO released a video single entitled, #Th3Fight . It was created by TABOO aobut his darkest time during his personal fight against cancer. "This video speaks to the isolation of that moment as well as the hope and promise of tomorrow that I found in my own young children. The talented kids featured in this video represent my continued commitment to movement, dance and a future without cancer."




On Monday, September 26th, Award winner, Josh Halverson, appeared on NBC’s The Voice 2016 Blind Auditions and performed Bob Dylans “Forever Young” infront of superstars Miley Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and host Carson Daly this season and selected Alicia Keys as his coach.

Josh Halverson (Mdewakantonwan Sioux) won the Songwriter of the Year Award at the Native American Music Awards in 2013 for his Cd, One Shot. Josh, earned a last minute three-chair turn during The Voice Blind Auditions as his wife and young son Thunderbird watched backstage. Josh, who is a cattle rancher from Texas, performed a haunting version of Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" that had the coaches hanging on the edge of their seats. Once Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine, Alicia Keys, and Blake Sheldon hit their buttons, they all turned around to fight for Halverson's voice on their team. Though Blake brought out his best cattle talk, Halverson chose to join Team Alicia.

Josh stated on the show and to Alicia Keys, "I really like this opportunity to provide a good life for my family and to be able to do what I'd love to do which is music" Alicia responded, "I turned around because your voice is striking. I know what music that feels good should sound like. I think it would be very unique and probably unexpected for us to rock together. I think that it would make something that would be very powerful so I would love to be your coach."
With Halverson's country background, seasoned viewers may have been convinced this cattle rancher would join Team Blake—but they were wrong. Halverson is hoping to change that exact image, which is why his chose to join Team Alicia. With Alicia, Halverson will be encouraged to test his limits and try new things. Halverson's mystifying voice is full of potential, and Alicia will be able to help the Texan tap into that potential.

Season 11 of The Voice is said to be shaping up to be an interesting one. For the first time, a pair of female coaches, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys, are commanding the red chairs for NBC’s immensely popular musical competition series. With a fresh voice and new perspective, these ladies have made these Blind Auditions the most exciting yet.

The Voice show’s innovative format features five stages of competition: the first begins with the blind auditions, followed by the battle rounds, the knockouts, the live playoffs and, finally, the live performance shows. And with the Battle Rounds just around the corner, things are about to get a whole lot better.
During the blind auditions, the decisions from the coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks. The coaches hear the artists perform, but they don’t get to see them – thanks to rotating chairs. If a coach is impressed by the artist’s voice, he/she pushes a button to select the artist for his/her team. The coach’s chair will then swivel so that he/she can face the artist he/she has selected. If more than one coach pushes his/her button, the power then shifts to the artists to choose which coach they want to work with. If no coach pushes his/her button, the artist is eliminated from the competition.

Alicia Keys will really be able to show off her coaching skills now that Josh Halverson is on her team. She has the opportunity to assist in an artist's total reinvention which doesn't happen often. Alicia has the ability to turn Halverson into a front-runner in this competition. And with her help, Josh Halverson can achieve just that.

Subscribe and watch last night’s The Voice episode with Josh Halverson on youtube here https://youtu.be/YSGjcB1NNU4

Tweet to Josh at https://twitter.com/jhalversonmusic

To buy Josh’s award winning Cd on Amazon, click here https://www.amazon.com/One-Shot-Josh-Halverson/dp/B00CW54LAG/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1474982999&sr=8-15&keywords=josh+halverson

Read more social media reactions at http://www.business2community.com/entertainment/josh-halverson-social-media-reactions-joining-alicia-keys-voice-01665144#eW2czuDxOl46Qi24.99

Or Watch NBC’s The Voice Monday and Tuesdays 8:00pm EST and 7:00pm CST

On Saturday September 17th, the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards was an evening filled with beauty, love, laughter and tears from actors, comedians and musicians in Native American entertainment.

Interspersed with moving musical tributes and highly dynamic performances, it was an emotionally and spiritually charged event with special award recipients ranging from from elder and Living Legend Award recipient, Saginaw Grant, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Joseph FireCrow, Entertainers of the Year Williams and Ree, and Hall of Fame inductee Taboo, who leaked to the audience that a new Black Eyed Peas recording is in the near future.

A special appearance was made by the family of nominee Joseph Flying Bye, whose recording, Putting The Moccasins Back On, was post humously nominated in two categories. His son, Allen Flying Bye and ten other family members, drove all the way from Standing Rock, North Dakota to the show. In a showing of unity and solidarity, they received an overwhelming response from the attendees supporting their opposition of the Dakota Access pipeline. Several weeks prior, Seneca President John had visited with Standing Rock Tribal Chairman David Archambault II. Recently, nominees of the Native American Music Awards contributed their songs to a free Cd entitled, Water Is Life to support the Standing Rock Sioux Community.

Awarded Entertainers of the Year, the comedy duo Williams and Ree who were at the inaugural awards show back in 1998, had the entire audience laughing with both their spoken skits and their songs.

Traditional performances were held by the Awards' youngest nominee and rising star, 12 year-old hand drummer, Nizhoo Sullivan, as well as Theresa Bear Fox and the Akwesasne Women Singers, and Joseph Fire Crow who also picked up the tempo with a contemporary song performed with the Ed Koban house band.

Shelley Morningsong took the coveted Artist of the Year award, and commanded the stage with a stellar performance of singing and playing flute as her husband and musical partner, Fabian Fontenelle performed in his stunning regalia.

Best Pop Recording winner, Spencer Battiest, and his brother Doc, gave an impressive performance with a moving ballad and a hip hop song.

John Trudell’s tribute was held in two parts; a song entitled DNA,by Annie Humphrey who has previously collaborated with Trudell, and Ancestors Song, by Thana Redhawk featuring the intertwined words of both Trudell and Redhawk.

The evening closed with a bittersweet moment when the award for Record of the Year went to the late Jim Boyd for his last recording,Bridge Creek Road. His wife Shelly, was on hand to accept the award accompanied by 15 members of Jim’s family including Jim’s eldest son, daughter, his sister, nieces and nephews. Their somber acceptance was followed by a tribute performance held by Keith Secola and Jim’s long time drummer Alfonso Kolb along with special guests Annie Humphrey and Sage Bond.

Other award winners in attendance include; Logan Staats for Debut Artist of the Year, David Rose and Pete Barnhart for Debut Duo of the Year, Rona Yellow Robe for Flutist of the Year, 7 Trees for Best Historical Recording, Connor Chee for Best Instrumental Recording,Conrad Benally for Best Inspirational Recording, Blue Flamez for Best Music Video, B of Dakota South Records for Song of the Year,Sue Straw for Best Spoken Word Recording, Women of Heart for Best Traditional Recording, and Michael Longrider for Native Heart.

The Native American Music Awards extends their sincerest congratulations to all the Award winners.


Shelley Morningsong
Love Medicine

All Our Relations
Blue Mountain Tribe

Reservation Girl
Desert West

Logan Staats
Goodbye Goldia

David Rose & Pete Barnhart
Falling To Grace

Fawn Wood

Native American Songs & Stories For Children
Sue Straw

Rona Yellow Robe
Shoot For The Moon

Rain Dance The Album
Lil Mike & FunnyBone

Heart and Soul
Conrad Benally

Mackenzie’s Raid
7 Trees

The Navajo Piano
Connor Chee

Roman Orona
Circling Spirits Contemporary Apache Songs

Stupid In Love
Spencer Battiest


Born To Sing
Young Bear

The Addiction
Night Shield

Bridge Creek Road
Jim Boyd


Spirit Cry
Spirit Cry

Come And Get Your Love
B. of Dakota South Records

Sisters In Spirit
Women of Heart

Rez Life
Blue Flamez

In Loving Memory of Our Beloved Father & Uncle
Family Pride

Michael Longrider
In Through The Mist

Williams & Ree

Joseph FireCrow

Saginaw Grant





The Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards will be broadcast on Dish channel 9407 by Colours Television Network on Saturday, March 31st. Broadcast times are at 12:30PM EST / 9:30AM PST and again at 1:00AM EST / 10:00PM EST. These broadcasts will feature a two hour edited version of the Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards originally taped at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida with over one dozen live music performances, awards presentations, a Hall of Fame tribute to the late Link Wray and a Lifetime Achievement presentation to Tiger Tiger. Special guests include; Little Steven, John Trudell, and Rita Coolidge among others. Colours Television Network (www.ColoursTV.org) is a production of Black Star Communications (BSC). BSC is an African American-owned non-profit corporation formed for civic, charitable and educational purposes reaching over 12,000,000 households. Directed by Andy Anderson, and co-produced by Seminole Broadcasting, post production editing support was also received by the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida, Indigenous Peoples Music, and Foxwoods Media Arts Department.


On Tuesday April 10th at 7:00PM, Yarina and Jana will be giving a very special benefit performance for the children and families of the Ronald McDonald house in uptown Manhattan. The Ronald McDonald House has reinvited the Native American Music Association to present a music show to the children currently residing there with their parents. Our events have been said to offer much healing to these children and their families battling life threatening illnesses. Yarina and Jana participated in a previous event the Association held at the Ronald McDonald House along with Evren Ozan and members of the SilverCloud Singers. Anne Marie Oliver and the staff of the Ronald McDonald house would like to thank the Native American Music Association again for graciously agreeing to perform at The Ronald McDonald House on April 10. She states, "We are so happy and honored to have you." Showtime is at 7:00 PM and will be ending at about 8:30 PM. The Ronald McDonald House is located at 405 East 73rd Street Between 1st and York Avenue New York, NY 10021 Phone 212.639.0100.

Congratulations to Mary Youngblood for winning a Grammy for "Dance To The WInd". This is the second time Mary Youngblood has won a Grammy Award.

QuaTiSi was up for three Grammy categories: Best Female Country Vocal performance for "Your Not The Only Heart In town", Best Female Pop Performance, "Calling The Rain", and Best Folk/Americana Album "Buffalo".

“Beyond Words," with Gentle Thunder, Will Clipman and AmoChip Dabney, were Grammy Nominees in the New Age Category for the 49th annual Awards

Jennifer Kreisberg was nominated for a Genie Award for "Have Hope," the closing credit song for the film “Unnatural and Accidental” in the category of Achievement in Music - Original Song, from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television which produces the Genie Awards (Canadian Oscars). “Unnatural and Accidental” was written by Marie Clements, Directed by Carl Bessai and features: Tantoo Cardinal, Margo Kane, Carmen Moore, and Michelle Thrush. The Genie Awards will air on City TV in Canada and Bravo in the United States, on February 13, 2007. To hear “Have Hope” visit: www.myspace.com/jenniferkreisberg

Dawn Karima Pettigrew is the host of a public radio talk show, REZERVATIONS WITH DAWN KARIMA, which airs on Native Voice One (www.nv1.org)--its website and station affiliates. If NAMA members are interested in being interviewed by telephone as guests on the show,, having their music reviewed for the "what I like"segment, or used as one of the musical interludes on the broadcast, they should send a complimentary review copy of their cd/dvd and press kit to: REZERVATIONS WITH DAWN KARIMA c/o Native Voice One 2401 12th Street NW Albuquerque,NM 87104

Arigon Starr has just returned from Cedar Rapids, Iowa where she was one of a select few Native performers featured at the annual National Performance Network Conference. She performed an excerpt from "The Red Road" -- which brought the house down! Also adding their wonderful talents were James Luna, Rulan Tangen and Dancing Earth and Wade Fernandez.

Felipe Rose just returned from Italy with the Village People, and received the news, that the video for one of his NAMMYS award winning songs, "Trail of Tears," that was taped live at the Fifth Annual Nammys is on Youtube.com and Myspace

Chris Webb, grandson of the late Link Wray will be holding a tribute for his Grandfather on Jan. 26 at the Birchmere in Alexandria Va. Show starts at 7:00 pm and Chris will be performing with his Grandfather's band The Raymen at 10:00PM.

Jana will have a feature role in a major motion picture entitled, "Raptor Ranch" She is currently filiming in Texas and plays the main character called, Abbey. The movie is has the same Creators as "Jurasic Park" is intended for a Summer release.

Musician and longtime Native music supporter, Richard Iyote has been managing KINI radio station in St. Francis, South Dakota. Richard (Wanbli Gleska Tokahe) welcomes your support and current recordings. You may contact him at: KINI 96.1 FM - P.O. Box 499 - St. Francis, SD 57572 Tel: 605-747-2292 email: kinifm@gwtc.net His band website is http://www.arrowspace-rock.com

Nite Shield's friend Amanda Dunn has been selected for the final 12 contestants to sing with Justin Timberlake at this years Grammy Awards. Amanda is a very talented singer and is featured on Night Shield's new single "That Road" with Buggin Malone on his upcoming 3rd solo album, "Loved & Hated". You can give the song a listen at: www.MySpace.com /NightShizzle. It's all up to the views and voters so Nite Shield asks that you vote for Amanda Dunn and log on to: http://www.music.yahoo.com/mygrammymoment.

N.A.M.A.'s 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Stephen Tiger (pictured above right) of Tiger Tiger passed away on June 27, 2006 just a couple of weeks after receiving his award. He was 57. Services were very moving and family members, including his brother Lee (pictured left), enlightened the crowd with wonderful memories of their life with Stephen.

Prior to the tragic passing of his son, Jim Boyd Jr., Jim Boyd had launched a new project for promoting native entertainment. Jim can be contacted at (509)879-0241 or jimboyd@thunderwolfrecords.com

Special thanks to Blue Dog and Chrystal Hartigan for helping coordinate the Eighth Annual Nammys Post Show VIP party at Club Paradise. Host band Blue Dog did a masterful job with ongoing contributions from Calton Coffie, Douglas Bluefeather, Micki Free, Pura Fe’, Keith Secola, Matt Kramer, formerly of “Saigon Kick” and John Trudell.

November 2, 2006


Next Broadcast Scheduled for December 28th, 2006

New York - The critically acclaimed Native American Music Awards will be featured in two nationally televised broadcast specials in November on MHZ Networks Worldwide with repeat broadcasts tentatively taking place throughout the year on additional MHZ affiliates, and an international package on DirecTV.

The first special entitled, “Best of the NAMMYS,” is a one hour program featuring performances from Awards shows held from 1999 to 2003 and will air on November 2nd on MHZ at 8:00PM EST. The second program is a two hour edited version of the Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards which will be broadcast on the MHZ Network on Thursday, November 9th at 8:00PM EST and a repeat broadcast scheduled for December 28th.

Up to four repeat broadcasts are scheduled on the network throughout the year. Additional broadcast dates are also expected to be announced from Black Star Communications’ Colours TV which broadcasts on the Dish Network.

The Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards, originally held at the Seminole Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida this past Summer, features a wide array of star-studded talent including Little Steven, Calton Coffie (Cops Theme Song) and John Trudell along with other special guest award presenters.

The program features dynamic music performances by nominated and award-winning artists including; Keith Secola (Artist of the Year), Pura Fe’ (Best Female Artist), Wade Fernandez (Best Male Artist), Arvel Bird (Best Instrumental), Eagle & Hawk (Best Pop Rock), Douglas Blue Feather (Flutist of the Year), Red Rhythm Band plus a Lifetime Achievement Award presentation to Tiger Tiger and a Hall of Fame Induction of the late Link Wray with a tribute performance lead by his grandson Chris Webb.

“Best of the Nammys” features over one dozen music performances recorded from the Second Annual show to the Fifth. Featured performers include; Crystal Gayle (Cherokee), Bill Miller (Stockbridge Munsee), Thunderbird Sisters (Shinnecock), Bird Singers (Viejas Band of Kumeyaay), Pamyua (Yup ‘ik), Howard Lyons (Onondaga) Felipe Rose of the Village People (Lakota/Taino) and more.

The airing of both programs help commemorate the month of November as National Native American Heritage Month proclaimed by the President of the United States of America.

MHZ Worldwide is an independent, noncommercial television network delivering international, educational and arts programming to an estimated 18 million households nationwide. Owned by the Commonwealth Public Broadcasting Corporation, the network consists of independent public television stations, cable and satellite television channels across the country. See affiliate list below or visit www.mhznetworks.org .

The Miccosukee Tribe of Florida, Indigenous Peoples Music and Foxwoods Media Arts Department provided postproduction underwriting support for the Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards.

The Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards was taped in front of a live audience by the Native American Music Awards Inc and Seminole Broadcasting. Founded in 1998, the Native American Music Awards proudly continues to honor the outstanding musical achievements of Native American artists from across the country and celebrate their gift of music around the world.

MHZ Networks and Colours TV have already expressed commitments in airing the Ninth Annual Native American Music Awards in 2007.

MHZ Affiliates:

WNVC Washington, DC Broadcast Channel 56 (analog), 30-1 (digital broadcast) 2,241,610 DMA HHS Cable various 1,587,840 Cable

WEIU Charleston, IL Broadcast Channel 50-2 (digital broadcast) 382,460 DMA HHS Cable 50 256,810 Cable HHS

KCSM San Francisco,CA Broadcast Channel 43-2 (digital broadcast) 2,359,870 DMA HHS Cable various 1,785,510 Cable HHS

WYCC Chicago,IL Broadcast Channel 21-2 (digital broadcast) 3,417,330 DMA HHS Cable various 2,382,760 Cable HHS

KBTC Tacoma/Seattle, WA Broadcast Channel tba 1,690,640 DMA HHS

LSR Access Colorado Springs,CO Cable: Channel 15 Adelphia 90,000 Cable HHS

MPS Cable Minneapolis, MN Cable: Channel 76 Time Warner 80,000 Cable HHS

Globecast (DTH) Cable: Channel 156 200,000 HHS

DirecTV Cable: Channel TBD international package 200,000 HHS Cable/DTH Sub-totals: 18,590,350 Cable HHS

*** Actual cable systems and subscriber counts will follow. Public tv affiliates are working out the details of their multiple channel carriage with their respective cable systems. The cable HH# is a “guide only” at this time.

June 8, 2006


On Thursday, June 8th, 2006, at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida, the Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards inducted the late Link Wray into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame. The induction was presented by Little Steven and a special tribute performance was lead by his grandson, Chris Webb. The NAMMYS also awarded original Doors drummer, John Densmore with a Native Heart award for his contribution on Keith Secola’s “Native Americana”, Miami-based 70’s rockers, Tiger Tiger with a Lifetime Achievement, and GRAMMYS® MusiCares’ Harold Owens with a Humanitarian Award. Leading Award winners included Keith Secola for Artist of the Year and Best Folk Recording, Jana’s “Flash of a Firefly” for Record of the Year, Jim Boyd for Songwriter of the Year, Bill Miller for Song/Single of the Year, and Rita Coolidge’s “And So Is Love” for Best Blues/Jazz Recording. See below for a complete list of winners.

The Awards ceremony, which was founded by music industry veteran Ellen Bello in 1998, was held at the new state-of-the-art facility, the Hard Rock Live at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. A post show VIP party was held at Paradise At Paradise, formerly the Legends Theatre, where winners and nominees jammed throughout the remainder of the evening.

Hosted by Navajo comedy duo, James & Ernie, this year’s program featured a magical evening of pride and musical excellence with over 28 awards presentations and a dozen live music performances including a special All Star Native Rock performance by Micki Free (Shalimar) Jean Beauvouir (Plasmatics/Little Steven), Stevie Salas (Mick Jagger/Rod Stewart), John Brant (Cheap Trick) and Dave Abrusezze (formerly of Pearl Jam). All have Native American heritage except Brant and Beauvoir who produces & records with Micki Free.

The awards show was broadcast live on the internet via Indigenous Peoples Music. Overwhelming responses were received in Australia, Nigeria and Venezuela. An edited version of the Awards show is expected to be broadcast nationally by Seminole Broadcasting. 

The Native American Music Awards has been acclaimed for having “all the professionalism and production values of much larger events like the Grammy Awards and the American Music Awards” (American Federation of Radio Television Artists). The Awards has received wide critical praise from both national and international media such as; USA Today, Associated Press, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Billboard Magazine, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, La Voce Italiana and France's International Herald Tribune. Nominees were selected by the Awards Advisory membership committee and winners were determined through a national voting campaign open to the general public. 





Actor and Activist Floyd Westerman Dies

December 14, 2007 - 8:15pm
Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Floyd Red Crow Westerman, an American Indian activist, actor and folk singer who appeared in "Dances with Wolves" and performed with Willie Nelson and other musicians, has died. He was 71. Westerman died Thursday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of complications from leukemia, said his son, Richard Tall Bear Westerman. The entertainer appeared in dozens of movies and television shows, including in recurring roles as Uncle Ray Firewalker on "Walker, Texas Ranger" and George Littlefox on "Dharma & Greg."  His most memorable movie role was in Kevin Costner's 1990 Oscar-winning Western epic, "Dances with Wolves." He played the Sioux leader Ten Bears, who befriends Costner's character.

A respected musician, Westerman worked with Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Harry Belafonte, Jackson Browne and others. His debut album, released in 1970, was titled "Custer Died For Your Sins." Last year he released "A Tribute to Johnny Cash" to positive reviews. "He always said he was a musician first and he just acted for the money," his son said Friday. Westerman completed work in September on the upcoming Costner film "Swing Vote." He was an activist for environmental causes, and for the rights of American Indians and other indigenous people. In the 1990s, Westerman toured the world with Sting to raise money to preserve rain forests. "He was really, really politically conscious," his son said. "He said the Iraq war is just another land grab, like they did with Oklahoma and the Midwest in America. Back then it was about land and gold, and now it was about oil."

Westerman was born Aug. 17, 1936, on the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Sioux reservation in South Dakota. He left the reservation as a youngster to attend a government boarding school. In keeping with policies at the time, the school frowned on his culture. "They cut his hair and they wouldn't allow him to speak the language," his son said. "He was a survivor of everything that the government has tried to do to Native Americans."

Westerman graduated from a reservation high school, spent two years in the Marines and earned a degree in secondary education from Northern State College in South Dakota.  He made his movie debut in 1989's "Renegades," playing the father of Lou Diamond Phillips' character. He was a shaman in Oliver Stone's 1991 movie "The Doors." Survivors include his wife, Rosie, and daughters Jennifer Westerman of Arizona, Chante Westerman of Washington state, Nicky Jackson of Minneapolis, and Chenoa Westerman of South Dakota.



NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Robbie Robertson, guitarist and primary songwriter for The Band visited his "old band mate" Levon Helm after learning he was in the final stages of cancer just days before his passing. 

Helm, 71, who as a drummer became a critically acclaimed artist with The Band and as a solo artist, died April 19 from throat cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. 

Robertson wrote on his Facebook page, "It hit me really hard because I thought he had beaten throat cancer and had no idea that he was this ill....I sat with Levon for a good while, and thought of the incredible and beautiful times we had together. It was heartwarming to be greeted by his lovely daughter Amy, whom I have known since she was born. Amy's mother, Libby Titus, and her husband, Donald Fagen, were so kind to help walk me through this terrible time of sadness. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sandy." 

Robertson, 68, added, "Levon is one of the most extraordinary talented people I've ever known and very much like an older brother to me. I am so grateful I got to see him one last time and will miss him and love him forever." 

"Thank you, fans and music lovers, who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration," said Helm’s daughter, Amy, and wife, Sandy, in a statement released the day before he died. "He has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the backbeat and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage." 

As a young man out of Elaine, Ark., in the early 1960s, Helm hooked up with fellow Arkansan and rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins (Who Do You Love?), moved to Toronto and recruited four Canadians to join the backing group: guitarist Robbie Robertson, bassist/vocalist Rick Danko, pianist/vocalist Richard Manuel and organist Garth Hudson. Known as The Hawks, they toured with Hawkins, then split and eventually became Bob Dylan's backing band. They and Dylan settled near West Saugerties, N.Y., in the latter half of the '60s where they wrote and recorded songs steeped in old-time country, soul, R&B, '50s rock, gospel, blues and folk ballads — with lyrics that spoke of an older America. 

Helm and the four Canadians got a recording contract of their own, and as The Band they released 10 studio albums from 1968 to 1998. Their two highly influential albums, Music From Big Pink and The Band, delivered such timeless songs as The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Helm sang lead and drummed on all three), and earned the group an induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in 2008. 


Download the NAMA 2012 Nomination Submission form To Submit a Recording for Nomination Consideration For the 14th Annual Native American Music Awards 

** Extended Period 

Submission Entry Deadline June 30, 2012 

Fourteenth Annual Awards Show - Tentatively scheduled for November 30, 2012 at Seneca Niagara Casino


Many NAMA Winners, Nominees and nationally renowned celebrities as well as Tribal Nations are coming together in a historic move to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their protest against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline whether by peacefully protesting, sending letters of support, or through social media posts.

Lil Mike & Funny Bone, Lee Plenty Wolf, Radmilla Cody, Thana Redhawk, Spirit Cry and Blue Mountain Tribe are just some of the artists Standing With Standing Rock to protect their lands and the Missouri River against the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Revenant star, Leonardo DiCaprio, has repeatedly an openly posted his support in for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. His latest social media post states,"Stand with the Standing Rock Sioux in their opposition of the Dakota Access Pipeline which threatens our climate."

Divergent star Shailene Woodley joined youth from the Standing Rock Reservation (www.rezpectourwater.com) on a run from North Dakota to Washington, D.C. in hopes of preventing construction of the pipeline. Woodley was reportedly joined by Actress Rosario Dawson at Union Square in New York City for another Dakota Access Pipeline protest.

Actor Jason Momoa posted on his Instagram page,"I support the #NativeYouth of #StandingRockRez. I signed the petition to stop the #DakotaAccessPipeline, your turn click on the link in my bio. Please take a second to check out what's happening."

Singer/songwriter, Pharrell Williams posted on Facebook, "We have so much we can learn from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Native American tribes. The children of Standing Rock ran 2,200 miles on foot to Washington, DC to save their sacred land from the oil industry. Let's help protect them so they can continue to live in peace #rezpectourwater "

The Dakota Access pipeline is set to be constructed near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, crossing under the Missouri River which is the only source of water to the reservation. The pipeline is planned to transport approximately 470,000 barrels of crude oil per day. The potential of oil leaks would contaminate the only source of water for the reservation.

Leaders from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation lies just south of the pipeline’s path, are peacefully protesting an are now joined by with thousands of others who have travelled from across the country to spiritually participate in these peaceful protests.

Although mainstream media coverage seems scarce, MTV News just reported on the issue stating, "From protesting offshore oil drilling to calls for green energy initiatives, Native communities know that environmental justice is a fight for survival. Far too often Native land is drilled, bulldozed over, or poisoned by what America calls progress, putting people and the natural resources they need to survive at risk."

The New York TImes also reports, "The conflict may reach a crucial moment on Wednesday in a federal court hearing. The tribe has sued to block the pipeline and plans to ask a judge in Washington to effectively halt construction. The pipeline runs overwhelmingly along private land, but where it crosses bodies of water, federal rules come into play and federal approvals are required. The tribe says the pipeline’s route under the Missouri River could threaten its water supplies if the pipeline leaks or breaks, and it says the United States Army Corps of Engineers failed to do proper cultural and historical reviews before granting federal approvals for the pipeline."





Tickets On-Sale Now At All Ticketmaster Outlets
August 16, 2016– New York, NY. Nominations for the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) have been announced today by The Native American Music Association. Nominations reflect the highest quality of recordings by music makers throughout Indian Country and were selected by the combined votes of the NAMA Advisory Board Membership.

Both new and established artists share the list of nominations throughout a diverse array of 25 music categories. Some of this year's featured nominees include: America's Got Talent finalists, Lil Mike and Funny Bone, and GRAMMY Award winners, Primeaux & Mike. Multiple nominations went to flutists; Gareth Laffely, Randy Granger, Rona Yellow Robe and the drum group Cree Confederation who all released several recordings within the eligibility period.

Several noteworthy nominees have been invited to peform at this year's Awards ceremony. They include; Shelley Morningsong who was nominated for both Artist of the Year and Record of the Year for her recording "Love Medicine," her musical and personal partner, Fabian Fontenelle for his twice nominated recording, "Songs of Our Ancestors: Songs of the Zuni", Pop sensationSpencer Battiest who recently appeared in an off Broadway play, and previous NAMA Award winner, Bear Fox who was nominated for her solo effort, "Daybreak" and will also perform with her traditional women's group she co-founded, The Akwesasne Singers.

Posthumous music nominations are also being made this year. The late Lakota elder Joseph Flying Bye, received two nominations for his recording, "Putting The Moccasins Back On" for Best Historical Recording an Best Traditional Recording. At the time of the recording, Flying Bye was an 83 year old Lakota medicine man from the Standing Rock reservation in South Dakota, who shared ceremonial songs and teachings of the sun dance, as passed down for many generations.

Awarded NAMA LIving Legend at the inaugural Native American Music Awards, John Trudell, was a Santee Dakota activist, artist, actor, and poet, who led a life dedicated to indigenous human rights, land and language issues. He lead a spoken word movement that is a continuation of Native American oral traditions until his death in December 2015. Trudell's spoken word can be heard on several nominated recordings by the musical group, 7th Generation Rise, and musician and poet,Thana Redhawk who will be performing a tribute to Trudell at the Awards show.

Another tribute is also being planned for the late Jim Boyd who earned multiple nominations with two recordings; "Unity" and "Bridgecreek Road", he released before his untimely death this past June. Boyd was a multiple-award winner who has performed on the motion picture soundtrack for Smoke Signals and in several groups including XIT, Greywolf, and Winterhawk. He was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native American Music Awards in 2014.

This year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient will be Joseph Fire Crow, a Cheyenne singer/songwriter, flutist, and actor. He has been releasing albums since 1992 and was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2001. Fire Crow has won Best Songwriter, Best Instrumental Recording, Artist of the Year, Best Song Single, and is a three time Best Flutist award winner by the Native American Music Awards. Fire Crow will also give a commemorative performance as part of his Lifetime Achievement Award presentation.

General Public voting is now open. To vote, visit the VOTE page of the Awards website or by clicking on the following link: VOTE NOW Public voting will determine the winner of each category. Music tracks from all nominees are also featured on the Awards' website at www.NAMALIVE.com.

Winners will be announced live at the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards which will be held on Saturday September 17th at the Seneca Allegany Entertainment Center in the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, New York located South of Buffalo, New York on Seneca Nation territory.

The Native American Music Awards & Association is the world's largest professional membership-based organization committed to honoring contemporary and traditional Native American music initiatives.

Nominees and Advisory members who plan on attending the Awards ceremony, should contact the Awards office and RSVP by emailing NAMALIVE@aol.com.

The Native American Music Awards & Association extends its sincerest congratulations to this year's NAMA Nominees.

Annie Humphrey (Ojibwe) – Uncombed Hair
Joe Tohonnie Jr (Apache/Navajo) – Family Keeping Our Traditions Alive
Shelley Morningsong (Northern Cheyenne) – Love Medicine
Steven Rushingwind (Cahuilla) - Red Beaten Path
Tabitha Fair (Chickasaw) - Toward The Rising Sun
Vince Redhouse (Navajo) – Appear To Be

All Our Relations - Blue Mountain Tribe (Chiricahua Apache)
Big N’ Tasty – BNT Big N Tasty Blues Band (Oneida of Wisconsin)
Native American Gratitude – Tony Eagleheart Garcia (Tarasco/Purepecna of Michoacan/Huichol/Sierra Madra)
Song of the Wolf – Graywolf Blues Band (Yaqui)
Swingin’ Tomahawk - Billy Joe Green (Anishinaabe Ojibway)
That’s All I Need – Twice As Good (Pomo)

Acoustic Sessions - Tyra Preston (Navajo)
Last Ride - C-WEED (Anishinaabe aka Ojibway)
Love Drunk Fool - Wayne Garner (Cherokee)
Reservation Girl - Desert West (Navajo)
Til The Cowboys Come Home- Kimberley Dawn (Metis)
Warriors of Love - Kelly Derrickson (West Bank First Nation Okanagan)

Blackkiss (Navajo) – Dirt Dance Floor
Carmen Jones (Ojibway) – Can You See It
Connor Chee (Navajo) – The Navajo Piano
Logan Staats (Mohawk) – Goodbye Goldia
Niizhoo Sullivan (LCO Ojibway)- Rez Kid Rhythmn
Thana Redhawk (Apache/Cherokee/Aztec/Sioux/Mexica) – Medicine Frequencies

7th Generation Rise (Oglala/Yaqui) – The Fifth World
Company 2015 (Navajo) – Company 2015
David Rose & Pete Barnhart (Choctaw/Cherokee) – Falling To Grace
Jaaji & Chelsey June (Mohawk/Inuk) - Twin Flames
Scatter Their Own (Oglala Lakota) – Taste The Time
Jay – Wellz Music (Rosebud Sioux/Sicangu Oyate) - Every Minute of it or EMOI

Bear Fox (Mohawk) - Daybreak
Fawn Wood (Cree) - Kikawiynaw
Kelly Derrickson (West Bank First Nation Okanagan) – Warriors of Love
Kimberley Dawn (Metis) – Til The Cowboys Come Home
Rona Yellow Robe (Chippewa Cree) – Lighting Our Way
Sage Bond (Lakota) - Sage Bond

Another Man’s Son – Jonathan Maracle (Mohawk)
Justice In Time - Bobby Bullet (Lac Du Flambeau/Lake Superior Chippewa)
Medicine Frequencies - Thana Redhawk (Apache/Cherokee/Aztec/Sioux/Mexica)
Native American Songs & Stories For Children Vol 1 - Sue Straw (Cherokee Nation West)
This Northern Girl - Cindy Paul (Metis Cree)
Twin Flames – Jaaji & Chelsey June (Mohawk/Inuk)

Cody Blackbird Band (Eastern Band of Cherokee/Dakota) - Euphoria
Darren Thompson (Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior/Chippewa) - Between Earth and Sky: Native American Flute Music Recorded in the Black Hills –
Ed Koban (Mohawk) – How To Fly
Randy Granger (Mayan/Apache) – Ancient Grace
Rona Yellow Robe (Chippewa Cree) – Shoot For The Moon
Ryan Little Eagle (Taino/Lakota) – My Song, My Stories

Cree Confederation (Cree) – Piciciwin – Cree Round Dance Songs
Lil Mike & FunnyBone (Pawnee, Choctaw) - Rain Dance The Album
Primeaux & Mike (Sioux/Navajo) – Road To Peace
Spirit of Thunderheart (Schaghticoke & Metis) - Unity
Tony Duncan & Darrin Yazzie (Apache/Mandan/Arikara/Hidatsa/Dine’) – Singing Lights
Young Spirit (Plains Cree) - Nitehe Ohchi-“From The Heart”

Dear Lord Jesus- Melissa Pettignano (Apache)
Heart and Soul - Conrad Benally (Shoshone Bannock)
Into The Storm - Primeaux & Skyhorse (Lakota/Ponca/Navajo Dine)
Northern Lights 3 - Devin Whirlwind Soldier (Rosebud Sioux)
Spirit of the Swirling One: Songs of the Native American Church - Louie Gonnie (Dine’)
Meditations For Two - I Golana (Echota Cherokee of Alabama)

Mackenzie’s Raid - 7 Trees (Lipan Apache)
Justice In Time - Bobby Bullet (Lac Du Flambeau/Lake Superior Chippewa)
Putting The Moccasins Back On - Joseph Flying Bye (Lakota)
Songs of Our Old People - Kenneth Cozad & Friends (Kiowa & Comanche)
500 Years - Rhonda Head (Cree)
Unity - Jim Boyd (Confederated tribes of Colville Reservation)

Appear To Be - Vince Redhouse (Navajo)
Red Beaten Path – Steven Rushingwind (Cahuilla)
Sky Before A Storm - Gareth (Mi’kmaq/Cree)
The Navajo Piano - Connor Chee (Navajo)
The River - ETHEL & Robert Mirabal (Taos Pueblo)
Wildflowers - Painted Raven (Cherokee/Sioux)

CC Murdock (Timpanogos/Shashone Piaute) - Resistance
Fabian Fontenelle (Zuni/Omaha) – Songs of Our Ancestors/Songs of Zuni
O. Jay Moz (Navajo) – Affectional Moment
Randy Granger (Mayan/Apache) – Desert Dreaming
Roman Orona (Apache) – Circling Spirits Contemporary Apache Songs
Spencer Battiest (Seminole) – Stupid In Love

Dare To Dream - Gareth (Mi’kmaq/Cree)
Do You Mind – The GroovaLottos (Cherokee, Choctaw and Wampanoag)
Freedom - Rockapelli (Chumash/Huichol)
Hallucinations - Nikkole (Meherrin Nation)
MIGHTY - Jace Martin (Mohawk)
Stupid In Love - Spencer Battiest (Seminole)

Born To Sing: Pow Wow Songs Recorded live at ASU - Young Bear (Various)
Kihtawasoh Wapakwani/Beautiful Flower - Cree Confederation (Cree)
Live @ Apache Gold - Yellow Spotted Horse (Ponca)
Live From The Big Sky – Show Time (Various /Three Affiliated Tribes)
Now and Forever Love Songs - Big River Cree (Cree)
True North Strong & Cree Pow Wow Songs Recorded Live at Enoch - Northern Cree (Cree)

Beam Me Up - Blue Flamez (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Oregon)
Broken Bridges - Red Haze (Jicarilla Apache)
Defover 30 - Quese Imc (Pawnee/Seminole)
NDN (Warrior DNA Album) - Chase Manhattan (Mvskoke, Anishnabe, Lakota)
Rain Dance The Album – Lil Mike & FunnyBone (Pawnee, Choctaw)
The Addiction - Night Shield (Rosebud Sioux)

Bridge Creek Road - Jim Boyd (Confederated tribes of Colville Reservation)
Kikawiynaw - Fawn Wood (Cree)
Love Medicine - Shelley Morningsong (Northern Cheyenne)
Mahli - Injunuity (Choctaw/Chickasaw)
Songs of Our Old People - Kenneth Cozad & Friends (Kiowa & Comanche)
The Navajo Piano - Connor Chee (Navajo)

Elevolution - Hour Eleven (Choctaw/Cherokee/Taino/Zacateco)
Evolution - Phoenix Rises (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwa)
Old Dog Cryin - Corey Medina (Navajo Dine’)
Taste The Time - Scatter Their Own (Oglala Lakota)
Hard Road Out of Hell - Geronimo Paulette (Chipewyan)
Spirit Cry - Spirit Cry (Choctaw/Wyandotte of Oklahoma)

Bad One - Dylan Jenet (Montaukette)
Come And Get Your Love - B. of Dakota South Records (Yankton Sioux)
Fire Inside - Sten Joddi (Muskoke Creek Nation of OK)
Goodnight Moon - Clan-Destine (Lakota/Dine)
In Your Eyes - Howard Lyons (Mohawk)
Toward The Rising Sun - Tabitha Fair (Chickasaw)

Family Keeping Our Traditions Alive - Joe Tohonnie Jr (Apache/Navajo)
Generations – Windwalker and the MCW (Linape/Mik Maq/Cherokee)
Our Dance - Alaska Native Heritage Center Dancers (Various)
Putting The Moccasins Back On - Joseph Flying Bye (Lakota)
Sisters In Spirit - Women of Heart (Passamaquoddy/Cherokee)
Songs of Our Ancestors/Songs of Zuni - Fabian Fontenelle (Zuni/Omaha)

#DearNativeYouth - Mic Jordan (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewas)
Hellraisers On Harleys - Jim Boyd (Confederated tribes of Colville Reservation)
One Day - Indian City (Ojibway)
Rez Life - Blue Flamez featuring BLL (Warm Springs/Klamath/Crow/Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians)
We Didn’t Ask Why – Shelley MorningSong
Why? – Supaman and Acosia Red Elk

In Loving Memory of Our Beloved Father & Uncle - Family Pride (Tohono O’odham Nation)
O’odham Tradition Waila Band - Mumsigo Himdag (Tohono O’odham Nation)
Steel Rollin - Nativille (Tohono O’odham Nation)
Waila In Our Eyes - Mumsigo Tribe (Tohono O’odham Nation)

Charles Button - White Buffalo
John Oglesby – Spirit Path
Lex Nichols – Into The Canyon
Michael Longrider - In Through The Mist
Terry Frazier – Above The Mist

Joseph FireCrow

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient,
Multiple Award Winner, & Colville Tribal Chairman,
Jim Boyd Passes Away

New York, NY 6/24/2016 - It is with great sorrow and profound sadness that the Native American Music Awards (NAMA) shares the announcement from The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation on the passing of multiple award winner and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Jim Boyd. On Tuesday, June 21st, Jim Boyd reportedly died due to natural causes. He was 60 years old.

"Jim Boyd was one of the most talented and genuine artists ever to grace our stage. He touched and influenced many by his sheer presence, modesty and versatile songwriting ability. A seven time award winner and a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, he was loved by all. We are grateful we were able to honor him and his music. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Shelly and family and to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. He will be greatly missed.” states NAMA Founder and President, Ellen Bello.

On June 22, 2016, the Office of the Vice Chairman, Michael E. Marchand of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation announced in a press release that the Chairman of the Colville Tribes, James L. Boyd, who had held the post of Tribal Chairman since 2014, had passed on. Vice Chairman Michael Marchand stated, “This is a very, very sad day for the Colville Tribes. One of our most respected leaders, and talented tribal members is no longer among us. The sheer enormity of our loss has not set in yet, and I doubt that it will for quite some time.” Jim Boyd hailed from the small town of Inchelium on the Colville Indian Reservation in Washington State. He was a member of the Arrow Lakes tribe, which is one of the twelve tribes of the Colville Confederacy. He once stated, "I will always stand for our people, our land, and our future generations".

As one of the most active Native American recording artists, Jim Boyd’s music career spanned over four decades in the roles as; musician, performer, songwriter, and producer. He has worked on projects for Miramax, Warner Brothers, Mega International Records, Dixie Frog Records, Sound of America Records, as well as produced audio-visual projects for businesses and colleges. Jim has released 15 records to date; Reservation Bound, Unity, Reservation Blues, First Come Last Served, AlterNatives, Jim Boyd w/ Alfonso Kolb Live At The Met, Kyo-t Live, Going To The Stick Games, Them Old Guitars, Live At Two Rivers, Blues To Bluegrass, Voices From The Lakes, Harley High, Living For The Sunny Days, and most recently Bridge Creek Road​. Jim also managed his own career and continued to perform as the business owner and operator of his label, Thunderwolf Records.

Jim has received multiple nominations and awards for his work from the Native American Music Awards over the years. At the Second Annual Native American Music Awards, he took home the award for Best Compilation Recording for the Smoke Signals soundtrack; at the Fifth Annual Awards, he won Record of the Year for his recording, AlterNatives. The next year he took Best Pop/Rock Recording for LIVE; at the Seventh Annual Awards he received Record of the Year for Going To The Stick Games; he received Songwriter of the Year at the Eighth Annual Native American Music Awards for Them Old Guitars; he won Best Short Form Music Video for Inchelium at the Ninth Annual Awards; and he received the prestigious Artist of the Year Award at the Tenth Annual Native American Music Awards.

On November 14, 2014, Jim Boyd was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contributions in the field of Native American music at the 15th Annual commemoration held at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, New York. His wife Shelly and daughter Stevey were both in attendance.

Jim first started playing gigs in junior high in his older brother’s band, The Benzi Kriks, around Sewart Air Force Base in Tennessee. In 1968, the family moved back to the Colville reservation where Jim continued to play gigs with his lifelong friend Jerry Stensgar, who played bass. He started playing cover music in bars by the age of sixteen.

At the age of 23, Jim was recruited as a guitar player in the group XIT, which was one of the first rock groups in Indian country to have success. Boyd played for two years with XIT. Boyd also appeared in the documentary, XIT: Without Reservation, which was a live recording filmed at the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, Minnesota. Boyd and XIT bass player, Frank Diaz, started a cover group called Greywolf with drummer, Ed Banning. This group continued in many forms throughout the next fifteen years, and eventually added drummer Alfonso Kolb, who continued to play with Jim afterward. After Diaz’s departure, Jerry Stensgar joined as bass player until Greywolf officially disbanded. With intentions to become a recording engineer instead of a songwriter, Jim attended the Recording Workshop in Chillicothe, Ohio in the early 80's. He didn't start writing his own songs until the age of thirty, penning lyrics about Native American issues placed to contemporary music. He met Sherman Alexie at the Columbia Folk Festival in Spokane when Alexie was preparing his first movie, Smoke Signals on Miramax. He asked Boyd to write songs for the soundtrack. The first song Jim wrote, "Father and Farther," became the movie's central theme. "Music is Jim's voice," Alexie had said. "With his music, he is more courageous, more passionate, more extroverted. He is a gentleman, tender and funny in his private life, and brash and courageous on his public stage. I love them both."

Jim had four songs featured in the Miramax motion picture Smoke Signals, which were also included on the TVT Records soundtrack. He also recorded music for Warner Bros. books on tape, Indian Killer.

Not all of Jim’s songs dealt with Native American issues or Native American genres for that matter. His songs ranged from folk to country, rock and blues all while balancing his commercial and artistic sides. A music magazine said he was "a mix of folk, rock, blues, thoughtful lyrics with great guitar riffs and strong vocals".

In 2001, Jim released AlterNatives, which received Record of the Year by the Native American Music Awards.

In 2002 and 2003, Jim released consecutive live releases. The first was Live At the Met, which was recorded with just Jim and percussionist friend Alfonso Kolb. The next year he released Kyo-t, LIVE, which was Jim’s four-piece band at that time.

In 2005, Jim released what would win another Record of the Year. This release was called, Going To The Stick Games, which was a tribute to a traditional game that is still played today. Jim fused Stick Game songs with contemporary music in an Americana vein. Jim said “although it was a tribute to the Stick Games, it was also a tribute to Hidden Beach, which is on Twin Lakes where I used to play this game when I was younger.” Them Old Guitars was released in 2005, of which the title song was a tribute to Boyd’s childhood friend and bandmate, Jerry Stensgar. Jerry passed away at the age of fifty. Live At Two Rivers was released in 2006 by the Jim Boyd Band and featured the songs “Inchelium: and “Rebel Moon” which were later released on a compilation recording in France.

In 2007, Jim released Blues to Bluegrass, which was called a “true American gem” and he received Artist of the Year from the Native American Music Awards. In 2010, Jim recorded and released Voices From The Lakes, a more traditional release featuring cedar flutes, drums, and lyrics that were inspired by the history of the Arrow Lakes People. Jim released a twelve-song Cd entitled, Harley High, in 2011 that was recorded in Nashville and engineered by Grammy award winner Bobby Bradley. Harley High was a mainstream rock recording that portrayed Jim’s love for riding Harley Davidsons.

In 2013, Jim re-mastered and re-released, UNITY, originally released in 1993. This year, Jim released, Bridge Creek Road, featuring an album cover photo of him performing from the last awards ceremony which he had just submitted for nomination consideration in the upcoming Native American Music Awards.

Jim has toured throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. He has performed and/or recorded with mainstream artists as; Bonnie Raitt, The Indigo Girls, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, and Clint Black, both as a solo artist and with other groups. He appeared at festivals like The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Seattle's Bumbershoot, Hard Rock Hotels, The Sundance Film Festival, an appeared on CBS 60 Minutes.

At the time of Jim’s death, he was serving his second term on the Colville Business Council as Chairman and was standing for reelection. He was previously the Culture Committee Chairman, Vice-Chairman of the Business Council, and Chairman of the Law & Justice Committee.

Following news about Jim Boyd’s death, his wife, Shelly wrote in a Facebook post...
all we feel right now is the loss. He was a very, very strong person who worked very hard and was so responsible with his word and his commitments. We had suffered a great loss in the community last week and he was working hard to make sure things were running smoothly behind the scenes, as was his way. He collapsed sometime on Tuesday. He passed of natural causes and appeared not to have suffered. All I can say is he took excellent care of himself, he ate well, and he exercised religiously. However, we know now that he was out of his high blood pressure medication. ….As you all know, he loved music and it truly was his religion. It would be such an honor if those of you who loved him brought out your guitars, your hand drums, your big drums, your flutes, your voices and sang him on his way. I just want to give those traveling some idea on how to make plans. For those of you with plans this weekend especially for the kids, he would want you to enjoy your family time.

In addition to his wife Shelly, Jim Boyd is survived by his mother, Violet Boyd; brothers Lanny and Michael; sisters Pam, Luana and LaDonna; sons Joel, Dakota, Brian and Michael Carson, and daughter Stevey Seymour; nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

As we mourn the loss of Jim Boyd with his family, we will also celebrate the many amazing songs and recordings he has left us and the world. An
d wherever you may be, remember to bring out your guitars, your hand drums, your big drums, your flutes, your voices and sing Jim on his way.

Congratulations to Leonardo DiCaprio, Arthur RedCloud, Forrest Goodluck, Melaw Nakehk'o, Duane Howard and the other Native American actors in The Revenant.​


Environmentalists Join Forces in New Orleans To Foster A Growing Alliance to Combat Climate Change and Fossil Fuels

“It is time we wake up the world to stop abusing and destroying a gift of life – before it is too late,”
Chief Arvol Looking Horse



Endangered Mexican gray wolf F613, affectionately nicknamed “Mama Gray,” passed away.



NEW - Native American artist Kevin Locke bringing traditional dance, storytelling to Sweet Briar

bug NEW - Grammy-winning Native American singer-songwriter Joanne Shenandoah needs a new liver after becoming ill with a bacterial infection last summer THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


The Native American Music Awards is deeply saddened to share that internationally recognized poet, recording artist, actor and speaker, John Trudell has journeyed to the Spirit world. We offer our thoughts, love and prayers to John and his family. The Awards organization was informed of his death through an official announcement;

Our beloved Brother, Father, Uncle, Grandfather and Friend made the journey to the ancestors at 2:20 am this morning December 8, 2015. He was in the arms of Johnny Elk, Havoni Coupe, and Kevin Marsh. We are deeply grateful for all your prayers, love and support. May our beloved's words, work on behalf of our people, Mother Earth, all relations and His journey bring you peace in your life, as he loves all of you so very much.

Peace and Love Relatives.

On John Trudell’s Facebook page it states;

My ride showed up.

Celebrate Love. Celebrate Life.

John Trudell

February 15, 1946 - December 8, 2015
John Trudell was a poet, recording artist, actor and speaker whose global following reflected the universal language of his words, work and message. He was presented with a Living Legend award at the Inaugural Native American Music Awards in 1998 which he called "Heart Medicine". Throughout the years, he appeared as a special guest participant and took the Artist of the Year award in 2000 and the Song/Single of the Year for his full length recording Blue Indianswith Quiltman & Jackson Browne.

According to the Associated Press, a trustee of Trudell's estate, Cree Miller, confirmed John Trudell died of cancer on Tuesday morning, December 8th at his home in Santa Clara County in Northern California surrounded by family and friends. He was 69 years of age.

Born February 15, 1946, in Omaha, Nebraska to a Santee Sioux father and Mexican mother, John Trudell grew up near the Santee Sioux Reservation. He became involved in Native American activism after serving in the U.S. Navy on a destroyer off the Vietnamese coast.

In 1969, Trudell joined American Indians who had occupied Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay to demand that the former federal prison should be given to Native Americans under treaty rights. John, who studied radio and broadcasting at a college in San Bernardino, California, became spokesman for the group that called itself the United Indians of All Tribes, and ran a radio broadcast from the island called Radio Free Alcatraz during the 19-month takeover.

John went on to serve as national chairman of the activist American Indian Movement from 1973 to 1979. While he was demonstrating in Washington, D.C. in 1979, his pregnant wife, Tina Manning, their three children and mother-in-law were killed in a fire at her parents' home. After the tragedy, John was compelled to write poetry. He said it just came to him, like Tina was talking to him and he was just “following the lines.”

He published a chapbook in 1982 entitled, Living in Reality. That same year he began recording his poetry to traditional Native music by talking his friend Quiltman into backing him on drum and vocals. By 1983, he released his debut album Tribal Voice on his own Peace Company label. His relationship with Jackson Browne led him to other supporters like Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Indigo Girls, John Fogerty, Willie Nelson, and Bob Dylan.

In 1986, the late legendary Kiowa guitarist, Jesse Ed Davis came up to him and said, “I can turn your poems into songs.” Together, they recorded three albums. Their first, AKA Graffiti Man, was released in 1986, and dubbed the "best album of the year" by Bob Dylan. AKA Graffiti Man served early notice of Trudell's "singular ability to express fundamental truths" through a unique mix of poetry, Native music, blues and rock. It was followed by But This Isn’t El Salavdor and Heart Jump Bouquet, both released in 1987.

Kelly Ed Davis, wife of the late Jesse Ed Davis spoke of the incredible connection between John and Jesse in a documentary entitled, Trudell; "Immediately they were like brothers. They shared a common understanding of what it is to be an Indian in America. The work he (Jesse) did with John was some of the best work he ever did. That connection will go on throughout eternity."

Despite Jesse Ed Davis' untimely death in 1988, John Trudell would go on to release a total of fourteen albums, eight with his band, Bad Dog. Fables and Other Realities was released in 1991 featuring a collaboration with Mark Shark who would remain a consistent member of Bad Dog, Trudell remade and re-released A.K.A Grafitti Man which was originally on tape, as an audio CD. In 1992, he also released Children of the Earth: Child’s Voice. His 1994 album Johnny Damas & Me was critically acclaimed as "a culmination of years of poetic work, fusing traditional sounds, values, and sensibilities with thought-provoking lyrics, and urgent rock and roll."

In 1998, John Trudell was honored as a Living Legend at the Inaugural Native American Music Awards which he called it, heart medicine. His other musical releases included; the multiple Native American Music Award-winning, Blue Indians (1999), the all spoken word effort, JT - Descendant Now Ancestor(2001) which he performed at the 8th Annual Native American Music Awards VIP party, Bone Dayswhich was which was produced by actress Angelina Jolie (2002), John Trudell & Bad Dog Live à Fip, a rare live album recorded in Paris, France (2005), the double album, Madness and Moremes(2007), Crazier Than Hell (2010), and Through the Dust (2014).

His latest album entitled, Wazi's Dream, was just released in 2015. John called it, "a mixing of poetry and singing and music." It was recently reported that John also collaborated with other groups including; A Tribe Called Red, and a band called The Pines. "Bad Dog is who I really work with" he said, "but I've gotten some opportunities to work with different artists, because I enjoy it. Anytime I can get this stuff out there, put to music, I enjoy it."

John has authored three books of poetry. The 1999 release of Stickman: Poems, Lyrics, Talks edited by Paola Igliori brought international attention. His most recent book, calledLines from a Mined Mind, is a collection of his album lyrics over the decades and is currently a #1 Best Seller on Amazon.com.

John's many celebrity fans and friends included; Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, who paid tribute to Trudell with the 1995 song "Johnny Lobo," a tune Kristofferson still frequently performs live and Marcheline Bertrand, Angelina Jolie’s mother, who John partnered with as she dealt with cancer, which she succumbed to in 2007. Marcheline and Angelina also executive produced the 2005 documentary, Trudell, with Heather Rae.

Trudell also played roles in a number of features films and made for television films, including 1992's Thunderheart with Val Kilmer and 1998's Smoke Signals with Adam Beach.

In 2012, Trudell became the creator of Hempstead Project Heart (Hemp Energies Alternative Resource Technologies), a national initiative that creates awareness of the many uses of hemp as way of establishing a green economy in America.

When it had first been reported that John was battling cancer, many reached out to express their love and appreciation. He responded back to them saying;

"I appreciate all of your expressions of concern and I appreciate all of your expressions of love. It has been like a fire to my heart. Thank you all for that fire.

John Trudell and his family ask for people to celebrate love and celebrate life. He asked that people pray and celebrate in their own way in their own communities.

"I don't want to tell people how to remember me. I want people to remember me as they remember me.

So we are to remember John as we remember him. Here are some remembrances now circulating:

Remembering John

"I was very saddened to hear of his death this morning and will always cherish the few brief times I got to spend with him. He was a very down to earth, inspiring and amazing man."
Shyanne Chulyin Ch'ivaya Beatty
Network Manager at Native Voice 1 (NV1)

He helped spark a spoken word movement that is a continuation of Native American oral traditions...To define his voice and presence, words like empowering, authentic, intelligent, inspirational and necessary. He believed in the Spoken Word, that it had power.
Alex Jacobs
Indian Country Today Media Network

I honor and thank this man for his words that changed my life as he embarks upon his journey home to be with our creator.
Lance A. Gumbs
Area Vice-President Northeast Region
National Congress of the American Indian

To John Trudell, my dear old friend and mentor of 30 years ago.
May your journey to the Creator be filled with beautiful memories
and insights of all those lives you touched.
With love always

Joanne & Leah Shenandoah and Doug George

We lost a great Warrior today. My prayers are with the Trudell family in these hard times.
Heart is hurting but he is at peace. Ba-ma-mi-naa until we meet again

Buggin Malone/Musician

He was a hero to me and many others.
Jennifer Elizabeth Kreisberg

Thanking him & his family for their unselfish gift. All Nations loved him because he loved them. A warrior, Leader, Brother & Friend to all.
Beaded Wing

Today the thunderbirds took one of the greats home to watch over his people.
Rest in Paradise

Joey Stylez/Musician

It was an honor to have had the time to visit with him and stand with the Trudell family and be there through this time. John wanted the world to know he is not dead he's simply transformed energies and dimensions.
Thank you John!

Cody Thomas Blackbird

and from NAMA...

A true leader. A fearless warrior. A master philosopher and a prophetic poet, unmatched, unequivocal and inimitable. We will miss his smile, his humble presence, and his profound greatness. He was an integral part of the Native American Music Awards since its inception and before. Thankfully, he has left us with his extraordinary gifts of music and words that will remain in our hearts and minds forever.
Ellen Bello
President, Native American Music Awards

Joanne Shenandoah, Ellen Bello and John Trudell at the First Awards Show


Re-use message







New York, NY - The Native American Music Awards & Association (NAMA) is proud to share with our membership that the month of November is National Native American Heritage Month. NAMA's website features a photo gallery entitled, "Did You Know They Are Native American" to raise awareness about the contributions made by Native Americans and descendants of Native Americans in the music, entertainment and sports industries.
Elvis Presley was honored by a tribal council for his positive portrayal
of a Native American in the movie Flaming Star from 1960.

At the inaugural Native American Music Awards, Graceland confirmed Elvis Presley's Native American heritage. His great great great grandmother on his mother's side was reportedly a full blooded Cherokee Indian named Morning White Dove (1800 - 1835).
In 1990, President George H. W. Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations, under various names including "Native American Heritage Month" and "National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month" have been issued each year since. The Native American Music Association has received a letter of acknowledgement from 43rd President George W. Bush and a proclamation from former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg for our efforts.

For Immediate Release

Tom Ware Makes His Final Journey Home

Oklahoma City, OK - On Tuesday, November 3rd at 10:20am, Thomas Ware III announced on Facebook that his father, Tom Mauchahty-Ware, made his final journey home. Instead of grieving and turning it into a sad occasion, Tom Ware III asked that we celebrate the life his father lived. "Everyone has at least one good Tom Ware story, and those are how he would want everyone to remember him. No one could ever say Dad didn't live a full life, and I'm proud to say I spent a good deal of mine with him, on the road" he stated
Tom Mauchahty-Ware was a Kiowa Comanche musician who sang both beautiful traditional Comanche and Kiowa songs and played contemporary blues music. He is known for his distinguished work playing the Native American flute, was original member of the world renowned American Indian dance theater, and was a member of the popular blues band, Blues Nation and the Wild Band of Comanches. He was also a skilled traditional artist in; painting, sculpting, flute making, bead working, and feather working. He is a descendent of the famous Kiowa flutist, Belo Cozad, and released two commercial recordings, "Flute Songs of the Kiowa and Comanche" in 1978, and "The Traditional and Contemporary Indian Flute of Tom Mauchahty Ware" in 1983.

Tom Mauchahty-Ware was featured in the film, "Songkeepers" which was originally released in 1999, and rereleased in 2010 and directed by Bob Hercules and Bob Jackson and produced by Dan King. "Songkeepers" features five distinguished traditional flute artists; Sonny Nevaquaya, R. Carlos Nakai, Hawk Littlejohn, Kevin Locke and Tom Mauchahty-Ware who all share stories about their instrument and their songs and the role of the flute in their tribes. Both Nevaquay, a NAMA Hall of Fame inductee, and Littlejohn have also journeyed to the spirit world.

To watch Songkeepers click on the link below:

Founded in 1990 by Tom Machauty-Ware (Kiowa/Comanche), Blues Nation recently reunited and played at concerts and festivals across the Great Plains and beyond. Original band members Tom Ware, Terry Tsotigh (Kiowa), Sonny Klinekole (Kiowa/Comanche/Apache), and Obie Sullivan (Mvskoke Creek) were joined by Johnny Johnson, sax, and Cecil Gray (Kiowa), guitar. Blues Nation performed both originals and songs of past and present. Their recorded collection of original compositions entitled, "Blues Nation" released on Red Hands Music in 2000, received a Native American Music Award nomination as one of the Best Blues Albums of the Year.

Condolences can be posted on Facebook at:

RIP Tom Ware


On behalf of the Native American Music Awards, we send our love and condolences to the Ware family.

For Immediate Release
September 15, 2015


Multiple Award winner, Jana Mashonee has spent some time revamping her music style and has finally finished her new album that she's been working on for the past year.
Her new music video of her latest single entitled, "Rocket Launch" can be viewed by clicking on the following link:

For Release

Son of Bill Miller, Garrett Miller, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and worship leader
was killed in an accident. He was 29 years old.

March 12, 2015 - Nashville, TN. Last Friday, a young musician walked out onto Interstate 65 in Cool Springs and was struck by a speeding car. He was 26-year-old Garrett Miller, the son of Native American musician Bill Miller.

Miller had been a musician since childhood — his father, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Bill Miller, first taught him to play guitar when Garrett Miller was still in elementary school. By the time he graduated from Franklin High, he had fully immersed himself in the local music community, playing and recording with Belmont University students in between classes.In 2012, he formed the indie-folk Christian band Vonagarden ("vona" meaning "to hope" in Icelandic). For the past several years, he had been performing worship music in a number of churches around Franklin. "For Garrett, music was an instrument of peace and healing," explained his father. Motivated by fellowship, not finances, Garrett used his musical gifts to bring people together, whether it was through the worship services he led at church, or making music with other local artists.

He leaves behind his daughter, his wife, four siblings, and his mother and father. A funeral service that honor his faith and Native American heritage will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Grace Chapel in Leiper's Fork. Several of Mr. Miller's relatives from Washington and the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation in Wisconsin are traveling to Nashville to perform an honor dance in his memory. The service will also include a Native American ceremony in which Mr. Miller's wife will be presented with three eagle feathers, a flute and a special blessing. A visitation will be held from 3:30-4:30 p.m.

This summer, Mr. Miller was to participate in a naming ritual that would bestow upon him a Native American name. It was, according to his father, a moment Garrett Miller had been anticipating for years. On Friday evening, his loved ones will hold that ceremony for him.

R. Carlos Nakai’s Canyon Trilogy
Is Certified Platinum By The RIAA;
Marking 1,000,000 in Sales
Plus A Look At Nielsen Music's Biggest Selling
Native American Artists To Date

New York, NY - The Native American Music Association (NAMA) is proud to announce that multi-award winner and Lifetime Achievement recipient, R. Carlos Nakai has achieved 1,000,000 units in sales of his 1989 Canyon Records release entitled, Canyon Trilogy, and has been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). NAMA extends its sincerest congratulations to R. Carlos Nakai and the Canyon Records label.

R. Carlos Nakai has received numerous nominations and awards from the Native American Music Awards including; Best Flutist in 1998, Best Male Artist in 1998, Best Instrumental Recording in 2000, Best Flutist in 2001, Best New Age Recording in 2003, and Best World Music Recording in 2006 with the R. Carlos Nakai Quartet. In 2001, the Native American Music Association presented him with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 1983, Nakai signed with the Arizona-based independent label, Canyon Records and released his debut recording, Changes. To date, Nakai has released a total of more than 50 albums in his career, 40 of them with Canyon, and sold more than 4.3 million albums. His Earth Spirit recording, released in 1987, was certified Gold in 2001 and the Canyon Trilogy recording, released in 1989, was certified Gold in 1998 by the RIAA. Produced by Robert Doyle, president of Canyon Records, Canyon Trilogy features 17 music tracks of the cedar flute with three tracks of an overdubbed second flute. By using the Roland SDE 3000 Digital Delay system, Nakai was able to play duets with his own echo.

Nakai has stated that most of his inspiration comes from the expressions of native communities and his desire to preserve his own Native American heritage. He has explored many genres with the traditional Native American flute including world, classical, jazz and new age music. He has also collaborated with a Japanese folk ensemble and the Philadelphia Orchestra's Israeli cellist Udi Bar-David. He has worked with American composer Philip Glass, Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog, flutist Paul Horn, and Hawaiian slack key guitar master Keola Beamer.

The RIAA is the country’s music trade association whose member companies are responsible for creating, manufacturing, or distributing approximately 85 percent of all music sold in the United States. The RIAA® Gold® and Platinum® Awards program was launched in 1958 to honor artists and create a standard by which to measure national sales of a sound recording. The Gold album award is for the sale of 500,000 copies. The Platinum award, which was created in 1976 with the advent of the compact disc is for 1,000,000 in sales. Certifications are undertaken when the label or artist has requested certification after certain sales thresholds have been met nationally. The RIAA award programs are the longest-running objective measure of achievement for sound recordings in the United States, and provide an unmatched historical perspective on the success of countless recording artists.

Although the RIAA does not track recordings by genre or ethnicity, it appears that no other Native American recording artist has achieved 1,000,000 in sales with RIAA certification for a traditional-based Native American music recording. Other commercial recordings, whether Native American inspired, or by contemporary artists of Native American heritage, have been certified for Gold and Platinum, but none for sales of a traditional work.

Originally released in 1971, the all American rock group, Paul Revere & The Raiders were certified Platinum by the RIAA for their classic #1 single, Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian) in 1996. But no one in the group was Native American and the single contained no traditional instrumentation.

The Native American Pop group, Redbone, and NAMA Hall of Fame Inductees, which featured brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas (Yaqui and Shoshone) and Tony Bellamy (Yaqui) were certified Gold in 1974 for their hit single, Come And Get Your Love. The song was also featured on the Guardians of the Galaxy 70’s inspired soundtrack which was just certified Platinum on January 7, 2015.

NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Rita Coolidge (Cherokee), received several Gold and Platinum awards. Her singles, Higher and Higher, Were All Alone, and Anytime, Anywhere and her album Love Me Again all went Gold in 1977 and 1978. The album Anytime, Anywhere was also certified Platinum in 1977. In more recent years, Rita has recorded traditionally-based Native American music with her late sister and niece as Walela, who have received multiple Native American Music Awards and are in the top 10 of the highest selling Native American albums in Nielsen Music’s sales data.

NAMA Hall of Famer, Janice Marie Johnson (Stockbridge-Munsee-Mohican) was certified Gold for her penned singles with her group, A Taste of Honey, for Boogie Oogie Oogie and Sukiyaki in 1978 and 1981. The international Pop hit, Boogie Oogie Oogie was also certified Platinum in 1978.

Robbie Robertson (Mohawk), and NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, was certified Gold for his self-titled recording, Robbie Robertson in 1988. He has also released two Native American recordings featuring himself and various other traditional Native American artists entitled, Music For The Native Americans in 1994, and Contact From the Underworld of Red Boy in 1998. Music For the Native Americans is the #1 best-selling Native American album reported by Nielsen Music with over 233,000 albums.

The 1994 international release of Sacred Spirit: Chants and Dances of Native America featuring an ambient, electronic, new age compilation of sampled Native American chants is reported to have sold over seven million copies worldwide, but has never been Gold or Platinum in the United States. The first single by Navajo elder, Kee Chee Jake from Chinle, Arizona, entitled, Yeha-Noha (Wishes of Happiness and Prosperity) is said to have catapulted the recording into Billboard’s Hot 100 and leveraged its international appeal in such countries as France, Italy and the UK.

Other soundtracks from the motion picture films; Dances With Wolves and Last of the Mohicans which took on the perspective of Native Americans, have both been certified Gold and Platinum by 1993 and 1995, but are void of any traditional or contemporary Native American music.

Nielsen Music is another music industry measuring standard using SoundScan, a sales tracking system. For more than two decades, Nielsen Music has been a trusted and vital resource for companies that want a full picture of music sales, overall market performance and artist activity. Nielsen’s SoundScan has been a source for the Billboard music charts and radio play. Their data is collected from 14,000 retail, mass merchant, and non-traditional outlets (on-line stores, venues, digital music services, etc.) not only in the United States, but also in Canada, UK and Japan. According to Nielsen Music, the top three largest selling Native American recordings are; Music For the Native Americans by Robbie Robertson, Things We Do by Indigenous and R. Carlos Nakai’s Canyon Trilogy. Nakai’s Emergence and Earth Spirit recordings follow suit along with Walela’s debut recording, Walela and Music From A Painted Cave by Robert Mirabal. Collectively, Sacred Spirit’s three releases in 1995, 2007, and 2011 total 219,000, Buffy Sainte-Marie has sold a total of 104,000 and Joanne Shenandoah has sold 89,000 albums exclusively at SoundScan retail outlets.

RIAA numbers may effectively represent sales at a wholesale level and Neilsen Music’s Soundscan represents the retail level. An album may easily be certified Gold or Platinum before it’s retail sales numbers actually reflect it on Soundscan. RIAA also treats physical and digital sales separately, while Soundscan counts only by UPC code. Additionally, many Native American music recordings are released through small and independent labels using various distributors and may escape conventional retail outlets. However, Native American music recordings remain strong among both measuring systems.

As the world’s foremost performer of the Native American flute, Nakai celebrated his first Platinum Record with a commemorative concert at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) Theater in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, January 23, 2015. He presented his Platinum Record to the Museum for inclusion in his exhibit in their Artist Gallery. Joining Nakai at the MIM were his long time collaborators, William Eaton (harp guitar) and Will Clipman (world ethnic percussion/drums). Both Eaton and Clipman have performed and recorded with Nakai for more than 25 years. Nakai also invited Tony Duncan, labelmate and a leading Native American flute player and world championship hoop dancer to share the stage. Classical composer/pianist James DeMars was also invited to perform, “Lake That Speaks,” the second movement on the Two World Concerto recordin along with collaborator, composer and pianist Peter Kater whose latest joint release, Ritual (Mysterium Records), has been nominated for Best New Age Album in this year’s Grammys.

Founded and incorporated in 1998, The Native American Music Association and annual Awards program, the Native American Music Awards (NAMA), are the world’s first and only professional membership-based organization dedicated to American Indigenous music initiatives by Native North Americans. NAMA members are responsible for creating, producing, manufacturing and distributing traditional and contemporary Native American music.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Ellen Bello (917) 468-1176


Satellite Feed Going Out Thanksgiving Day and Saturday
Devoted to bringing Indigenous music to the world's consciousness.

It's time to start taking Native American music seriously.
USA Today

There is no better indication of the remarkable variety of today's
Native American music than a glance at the Native American Music Awards.
Billboard Magazine

The best music created by Indigenous artists in all its variety and excellence.
Indian Country Today Media Network

From the extraordinary rock ballads of Jim Boyd to the powerful tenor Lawrence Harris the comedy of puppeteer Buddy Big Mountain and the emotional vocals of Jamie Coon; the artists featured are without exception in command of the stage and show just how good Native artists can be.
News From Indian Country

Hosted by multi-platinum selling recording artist, A Taste of Honey's Janice Marie Johnson, the 15th Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) will be available to broadcast through FNX-TV, First Nations Experience this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day November 27th at 8PM EST/5PM PST with a repeat broadcast on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at the same time. The FNX satellite feed can be previewed at SD08 on the Public Television Interconnect (Satellite) System. FNX parent station KVCR-PBS in San Bernardino, CA will broadcast a captioned version of the show on December 27th @ 9PM (PST).

Located inside the Allegany Indian Reservation, a territory of the Seneca Nation of Indians (one of the six tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy), the 15th Annual Native American Music Awards was held at the Seneca Allegany Events Center at the Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, New York. Featured performers include: Seven-time award winner Indigenous, fronted by Mato Nanji whose has toured with BB King and whose music has been featured on national radio and TV shows; Season three American Idol finalist Charly Lowry and her award-winning band, Dark Water Rising, former NFL player and opera singer, Lawrence Harris, who has been critically acclaimed as a "major voice" by the NY Times and received a standing ovation; and Jamie Coon, whose music has been heard on the TV Show Ghost Whisperer, plus witness the first time a contemporary drummer beats along to two pow wow drum groups and much more.

The Native American Music Awards is the country's largest celebration of both traditional and contemporary Native American music. It was founded as the world's first and only professional membership-based organization for the advancement & recognition of Native American music expressions around the world.

The awards show will also be available at www.fnx.org/namas2014 simultaneously to the television broadcast.


After a string of mesmerizing performances at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and in her new music video, "Big Hoops", Award-winning singer-songwriter, Nelly Furtado, will once again feature World Champion Hoop Dancer, Tony Duncan in her live performance at the 2012 Much Music Awards (MMVAs) on June 17th. The 2012 MMVAs will be broadcast live at 9 p.m. ET, on the Much Music channel in Canada and on Fuse in the U.S..

At the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, Nelly Furtado debuted her new single “Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)” in a live performance and featured Tony Duncan and his brother Kevin Duncan on stage hoop dancing in traditional regalia. Furtado also performed “Big Hoops” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno where the Duncan brothers hoop danced in black clothing for that appearance. The official music video for “Big Hoops” also features Tony Duncan (Apache/Mandan-Arikara-Hidatsa) with brother Kevin and Tony’s wife Violet Duncan (Plains Cree). Tony Duncan has just released his own solo recording entitled, Earth Warrior (Canyon Records).


Pete Seeger, Friend of the Iroquois

The world knew Pete Seeger, who died on January 27, as a human rights activist, a defender of the earth, an advocate for universal peace and one of the most prolific and creative musicians in American history. He was the composer of songs which have now become folk music standards: 'Where Have All the Flowers Gone", "Turn, Turn, Turn", "If I Had a Hammer", "Good Night Irene" and the civil rights protest ballad "We Shall Overcome".

From his youth he demonstrated compassion for the oppressed, travelling across the country with his five string banjo hitchhiking on backcountry roads or riding the rails. He visited mining camps and sang to labor unions. When he was condemned as a communist by the US federal government and blacklisted by the mainstream entertainment industry he went to the schools and secured a living performing at colleges and whenever an event called for a musician to rally the people.

He was a primary influence on Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bruce Springsteen and thousands of others. He was a friend to Native people, making sure indigenous performers had a national stage to show their abilities. His Clearwater Festival attracted tens of thousands to the shore of the Hudson River, a waterway which was notoriously polluted until Seeger launched his movement to clean it of contaminants a generation ago. His sloop "The Clearwater" educated thousands of children on their environmental responsibilities by giving them a direct connection with the river.

Seeger cited the Mohawk teacher Ray Fadden-Tehanetorens as the man who turned his attention to the natural world. Ostracized by most other musicians during the 1950's Seeger found his way into the northern Adirondacks where he met Fadden. He was educated about Iroquois history and philosophy during sessions which included Fadden teaching Seeger a canoe paddling song. It was that song which Seeger performed in June, 2013 at the Clearwater Festival, one of his last public performances.

Seeger also encouraged Oneida Nation musician Joanne Shenandoah. She was one of his favorite artists. He shared the stage with her on many occasions including a remarkable set with the late Odetta ten years ago, at Madison Square Garden for his 90th Birthday on May 3, 2009, and in 2012 when he, Shenandoah and Patti Smith sang at Cooper Union Hall in New York City for a human rights event. When asked last year as to which performance he wanted to attend he elected to hear Joanne Shenandoah, standing on the side of the stage for her entire hour long set.

Seeger was also ready to stand with the Iroquois on many issues. He did fundraisers for many Native groups. In 1988 he joined the late Floyd Red Crow Westerman to raise support for Akwesasne Notes at a concert in Albany, NY and last year lent his efforts to encourage the Two Row Wampum campaign.

Seeger's wife of 70 years, Toshi Seeger, died last July. Surviving the couple are their children: Daniel, Tinya and Mika along with his sisters Peggy and Barbara. He leaves eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


New York, NY — The Native American Music Association, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) has just released a
special benefit CD entitled, WOLF, featuring songs from award-winning and nominated recording artists in an effort to honor and pay tribute to the wolf, especially the Gray Wolf which may become delisted as an endangered species.

The WOLF CD is being released nationally on Thursday, January 16th or during a full Wolf Moon referred to by Native Peoples because wolves could be heard howling and echoing on the clear moonlit snow-covered nights of January. The WOLF CD retails for $9.99 and is available nationally for purchase through Amazon.com. The CD is also available on the NAMA website www.NAMALIVE.com as a digital download or hard copy.

WOLF features songs by various tribal nation voices and wolf clan members including; Jack Gladstone (Blackfeet), Jimmy Lee Young (Mayan) & international Swiss artist Davide Buzzi, Joanne Shenandoah (Oneida), Joe Firecrow (Northern Cheyenne), Lee Plentywolf & The PlentyWolf Singers (Lakota), The Gray Wolf Blues Band (Yaqui), Jan Michael Looking Wolf (Grand Ronde), Bobby Bullet St Germaine (Lac du Flambeau), Austrian group Big City Indians, world music duo Painted Raven, Rushingwind & Mucklow (Cashuilla/Opata), Silverwolf (Cherokee), a special bonus track for the download version by Wade Fernandez (Menominee) and more including artist Cal Silverfox's (Apache') own little set of howling wolf pups he's helping to raise which can be heard on the CD.

The CD which aims to honor and pay tribute to the wolf, will be donated as a fundraiser for the NY Wolf Conservation Center
(http://www.nywolf.org) and other wildlife organizations who fear that a delisting of the Gray Wolf's endangerd species protection by the US Fish & Wildlife service is premature in its recovery and will leave it subject to recreational hunting and trapping.

The concept behind the CD was sparked when NAMA Founder, Ellen Bello, was invited by the Endangered Species Coalition (www.endangeredspecies.org) to contribute to their celebratory book, Wild Success, The Endangered Species Act at 40, and following a visit with Ambassador Wolf, Atka, at the NY Wolf Conservation Center who was recently featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Native American music was distinctly born outdoors and is expressly connected to the nature world and all related living things. Many animals of which have become endangered species, including the Gray wolf, are revered and respected and continue to be sung about.

Wildlife organizations and wholesalers interested in selling the CD should contact NAMA. The Native American Music Association which also presents the annual Native American Music Awards is the world's largest professional membership-based organization for contemporary and traditional Native American music initiatives. The NY Times has stated that Bello and the Native American Music Association "are devoted to bringing Native American music to the world's consciousness".

# # #



New York, NY — Native American Music Awards & Association Founder and CEO, Ellen Bello, has recently contributed to a book entitled, Wild Success: The Endangered Species Act at 40, celebrating 40 years of the Act and published by the Endangered Species Coalition. Never before has a such a wide range of authors written together about protecting threatened and endangered wildlife.

Bello is among other contributors which include conservation leaders as well as new voices for wildlife; actor Ed Begley Jr, Carter Roberts of the World Wildlife Fund, Jamie Rappaport of Defenders of Wildlife, Pulitzer Prize Winner Mary Oliver, Co-founder Save our Wild Salmon Pat Ford, CEO of Greenpeace Phil Radford, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, President & CEO The Humane Society of the United States Wayne Pacelle, Explorer and Environmental Advocate Phillippe Cousteau, and the late President Richard Nixon who signed the Act in 1973.

By having a diverse range of voices in the book, the Endangered Species Coalition hopes to demonstrate that Americans from all walks of life care about endangered plants and animals while continuing to make an impact on the long-term protections of threatened and endangered species. This past November, the Endangered Species Coalition shared the book with important decision-makers at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC and honored Endangered Species Act heroes which included many members of Congress.


Bello's contribution expresses the close relationship Native American musicians hold with nature. She states, "When you look into the eyes of nature, there is an undeniable and inherent sense of strength, beauty, knowledge and skill. Those same senses are clearly honored and expressed by artists in both contemporary and traditional Native American music initiatives. Native American song is integrally linked with our natural surroundings and various animal species. " Bello closes by commending the Endangered Species Act and reminds us, "As humans, only we have the ability and power to protect our wildlife from facing extinction."


Recording artist and NAMA nominee, Michael Scott Serna, 56, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, made his journey home to the arms of his Creator on November 3, 2013, at 11:05 a.m. He was surrounded by the love of his wife and daughters at his home in Chattanooga Tennessee.

Mike was born May 15, 1957 in Los Angeles, California to Marshall S. Serna & Elaine M. Schuetz. A Mescalero Apache-Gabrieleno Native American, Mike was an accomplished flutist, flute maker, songwriter, educator, poet, dancer and brother to all who knew him. Mike was a Veteran of the U.S. Army, 1975-76 Berlin Brigade.

As a musician, Mike had many successful CD releases: 2004 “Clouds in The Pass”; 2006 “Music In My Soul”; 2009 “Warrior’s Last Breath” (which received a NAMMY nomination); and 2013 “Never Surrrender” with musician and brother Ace Bailey. Mike was the 2006 winner of The Musical Echoes Flute Competition, Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Mike was a Tennessee Eagle Award Recipient in 2006 and 2013. Mike often volunteered to perform for functions which benefitted children and the elderly, as well as other nonprofit causes. He also contributed to the 2004-2005 Rolling Thunder Veterans Wall documentary. A bright touching spirit, Mike touched the hearts of all whom he met.

Mike is survived by his wife Judy Serna of Chattanooga TN; daughters Laela Serna of Chickamauga GA and Adrianna Serna of Rossville GA; father and step mother Marshall (Tall Eagle) and Lauretta Serna of Woodburn, Oregon; mother Elaine M. Schuetz of Morongo Valley California; sisters Elizabeth Serna, Rebecca LoGiudice,and Trish Serna-Carver; brothers Brian Bowman and Scott Serna; nieces Kesha Serna and Crystal Welden, as well as many other nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as special brothers Ace Bailey, Danny Green, Kirby McCloud, and Larry Wyatt, and adopted sister Michelle Wiggins and his sisters of Table C. Mike was preceded in death by brothers Paul E Serna and Rick Serna.

A small private celebration of Mike's life will be held soon at which time Mike’s ashes will be scattered to soar with his brothers Paul and Rick. Details of a public life celebration will be announced at a later date.

Mike will be sadly missed by his family, friends, the Native Nation and all who were touched by his music. He was Indigenous, a Husband, a Father, a Brother and an inspiration to all who met him. His legacy will long outlive our days upon this path, and his music will forever travel softly through the wind. Rest in peace sweet brother, our paths will cross again.

Sharing again Mike’s favorite quote... “I am but a hole in a flute, that the Divine’s breath blows through. Listen to this music” - Hafiz 1320-1389

Serenity Funeral Home, of Cleveland Tennessee is in charge of arrangements


Story courtesy NHL.com

Los Angeles -- There he was, a proud hockey dad on the ice, hugging his kid and searching for more of his family members that were trying to get down to join him. The former coach of the Sabres and Islanders never had this dream of watching his youngest son win the Stanley Cup. But he lived it at the Staples Center. The father of Kings rookie Jordan Nolan celebrated like every other ecstatic father of a Kings player or coach after Los Angeles' Cup-clinching 6-1 win against New Jersey.

Ted Nolan couldn't imagine feeling any better than he did in that moment. "I've been fortunate to do some things in life, but nothing compares to watching your son do it," he said. "I never would have dreamed about this in my life. That was a great feeling, to watch your son go through something like this -- being a parent versus being a coach and walking through it with him. It was a great experience and I'll never forget it." Jordan Nolan told NHL.com, "Having him here is really special. He's a big part of that, so it's definitely great." Ted Nolan still is a coach, most recently leading Latvia at the 2012 IIHF World Championship. He's won 147 games in four seasons as a coach in the NHL.

Russell Means lived a life like few others in this century – a true warrior with remarkable bravery and a legacy of strength. The L.A. Times has called him the most famous American Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. An inspirational visionary, Russell Means will remain one of the most magnetic voices in America. He encompassed tremendous character and ability in multiple mediums on all fronts; whether as a co-founder of A.I.M., leading a protest, fighting for constitutional rights, starring in a motion picture, or performing his "rap-ajo" music through two national recordings, Electric Warrior, released in 1993 and The Radical, released in 2009 which he described as "a Tribal Experience that included all genres of music: classical, country & western rock-n-roll, hard rock, hip-hop, rhythm & blues, jazz and the blues". See NAMA news for more


Russell C. Means, the charismatic Oglala Sioux who helped revive the warrior image of the American Indian in the 1970s died on Monday at his ranch in Porcupine, S.D., on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He was 72. The cause was esophageal cancer, said Glenn Morris, Mr. Means’s legal representative.

Russell Means lived a life like few others in this century – a true warrior with remarkable bravery who was a legacy of strength. He devoted his life to eliminating racism of any kind, and in so doing left a historical imprint as the most revolutionary Indian leader of the late twentieth century. The L.A. Times has called him the most famous American Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. An inspirational visionary, Russell Means will remain one of the most magnetic voices in America.

He encompassed tremendous character and ability in multiple mediums on all fronts; whether as a co-founder of A.I.M., leading a protest, fighting for constitutional rights, starring in a motion picture, or performing his "rap-ajo" music through two national recordings, Electric Warrior, released in 1993 and The Radical ; released in 2009 which he described as a Tribal Experience that included all genres of music: classical, country & western rock-n-roll, hard rock, hip-hop, rhythm & blues, jazz and the blues. He also acted in dozens of movies — most notably in a principal role in “The Last of the Mohicans” (1992).

He rose to national attention as a leader of the American Indian Movement in 1970 by directing a band of Indian protesters who seized the Mayflower II ship replica at Plymouth, Mass., on Thanksgiving Day. The boisterous confrontation between Indians and costumed “pilgrims” attracted network television coverage and made Mr. Means an overnight hero to dissident Indians and sympathetic whites. Later, he orchestrated an Indian prayer vigil atop Mount Rushmore, S.D., to dramatize Lakota claims to Black Hills land. In 1972, he organized cross-country caravans converging on Washington to protest a century of broken treaties. He also attacked the “Chief Wahoo” mascot of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, a toothy Indian caricature that he called racist and demeaning. And in a 1973 protest covered by the national news media for months, he led hundreds of Indians and white sympathizers in an occupation of Wounded Knee, S.D. In the ensuing 71-day standoff with federal agents, thousands of shots were fired, two Indians were killed and an agent was paralyzed. Mr. Means and his fellow protest leader Dennis Banks were charged with assault, larceny and conspiracy. But after a long federal trial, the case was dismissed by a judge for prosecutorial misconduct.

Mr. Means later faced other legal battles and survived several gunshots, and commemorated the centennial of Gen. George Armstrong Custer’s last stand at Little Big Horn in Montana in 1876, the nation’s most famous defeat of the Indian wars. In 1987, Mr. Means ran for president. He sought the Libertarian Party nomination but lost to Ron Paul, a former and future congressman from Texas. Mr. Means retired from the American Indian Movement in 1988. In 1989, he told Congress that there was “rampant graft and corruption” in tribal governments and federal programs assisting American Indians.

Mr. Means began his acting career in 1992 with “The Last of the Mohicans,” Michael Mann’s adaptation of the James Fenimore Cooper novel, in which he played Chingachgook opposite Daniel Day-Lewis and Madeleine Stowe. Over two decades he appeared in more than 30 films and television productions, including “Natural Born Killers” (1994) and “Pathfinder” (2007). He also recorded CDs, including “Electric Warrior: The Sound of Indian America” (1993), and wrote a memoir, “Where White Men Fear to Tread” (1995, with Marvin J. Wolf).

Russell Charles Means was born on the Pine Ridge reservation on Nov. 10, 1939, the oldest of four sons of Harold and Theodora Feather Means. The Anglo-Saxon surname was that of a great-grandfather. He was married and divorced four times and had nine children. He also adopted many others following Lakota tradition. His fifth marriage, to Pearl Daniels, was in 1999, and she survives him.

Folk Singer, Woodstock Legend & Blackfoot Indian Richie Havens Walks On

Havens at NAMA Press Conference & Performing Hendrix tribute at the First Awards

New York, NY – Folk singer, activist, and famed opening act at the 1969 Woodstock music festival who was part Blackfoot Indian, Richie Havens, died of a heart attack on April 22, 2013, Earth Day, at the age of 72.

Richie Havens offered his commitment both as a Blackfoot Indian and as a performer at Native American Music Awards. He proclaimed his Native American heritage at the lower Manhattan at a press conference announcing the launch of the Native American Music Awards on April 22, 1998, exactly 15 years ago. He was also asked by the family of the late Jimi Hendrix to perform a musical tribute for Hendrix’s induction into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame at the First Awards ceremony held in May 1998 at the Foxwoods Resort & Casino. Havens gave a magical and stellar performance of "All Along The Watchtower" that “catapulted the Awards show into something truly spiritual and spectacular” recalls N.A.M.A. President and Founder, Ellen Bello. His mesmerizing and unforgettable performance included a medley of Hendrix songs.

Havens said his Native American heritage came from his father’s side of the family who came from the Montana and South Dakota area. In an interview with National Public Radio he stated, “They were Blackfoot Indian. They came with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, got off in New York City, and left the show there and ended up on the Shinnecock Reservation in Long Island and moved to Brooklyn. And that’s how my father was born in Brooklyn and how I ended up being born in Brooklyn as well.”

Havens’ Mixed Bag II Cd released in 1974 on his own label, Stormy Forest Productions also hinted at his Blackfoot heritage. The song, “Indian Prayer” celebrates and embraces his Native American roots.

Standing at 6 feet 6 inches, Havens was best known for distinctively intense, rhythmic guitar style and soulful songs. He recorded 30 albums and toured for over 40 years before retiring from the road 3 years ago. Those who have met Havens will remember his gentle and compassionate nature, his light humor and his powerful presence.

He told Billboard Magazine that that his breakthrough at Woodstock came after the opening acts’ equipment got stuck in traffic. He was supposed to be the fifth act. He became the first act and played for three hours. Havens remembered, " They're gonna kill me if I go up on stage first. Give me a break. I need those four people in front of me to warm up the crowd. But the people were great. I was supposed to sing 40 minutes, which I did, and from the side of the stage they go, 'Richie, four more songs?' I went back and did that, then it was, 'Four more songs...' and that kept happening 'til two hours and 45 minutes later I had sung every song I know." He played a galvanizing set that included "Motherless Child" that merged into his song "Freedom," which he said came from “a totally spontaneous place.”

Havens’ Woodstock appearance earned him widespread notoriety and proved to be a major turning point in his career and gave him his highest-charting albums -- "Richard P. Havens, 1983" in 1969 (No. 80 on the Billboard 200) and "Alarm Clock" in 1971 (No. 29).

Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash said Havens was an inspiration for the natural gravel in his singing voice. "He lit fire when he started playing within the first song and burned exactly the same way throughout his set. And it never stopped, it never changed," Stills said.

According to media reports, a public memorial for Havens will be announced at a later date. More information can be found at Havens' official website, www.richiehavens.com. Havens is survived by three daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Kitty Wells, the "Queen of Country Music" who opened the door for a host of other country female artists, died on Monday at her home in Nashville of complications from a stroke. She was 92.

Wells, born as Ellen Muriel Deason, actually began performing on local radio in Nashville, but her ascent to stage stardom began in 1937 with husband Johnnie Wright, half of the duo Johnnie & Jack. He died in 2011.

Both Kitty Wells (Cherokee) and her husband Johnnie Wright attended the Fifth Annual Native American Music Awards in 2005, where Kitty was inducted into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame. The show was hosted by Crystal Gayle (Cherokee).

Kitty Wells was the first female singer to reach the top of the country charts with her 1952 song "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," an answer to Hank Thompson's "The Wild Side of Life".

Wells was born in Nashville to a musical family. While she performed with her husband as a girl singer in the 1940s, he began calling her "Kitty Wells," a name taken from a 19th century folk song.

In addition to her hit song, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," which sold 800,000 copies in its initial release in the summer of 1952, Wells sang "Release Me," "Making Believe," "I Can't Stop Loving You" among other classic songs. She garnered 35 Billboard Top Ten records and 81 charted singles.

Wells was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976. Among her many honors, she was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991, the same year as Bob Dylan and John Lennon were honored. She was just the third country singer to be get that most prestigious award, after Hank Williams and Roy Acuff.

Several years after her appearance at the Fifth Annual Native American Music Awards, Kitty finally gave up touring in 2007 and continued to live a quiet life.

Among those mourning her passing was Loretta Lynn. "Kitty Wells will always be the greatest female country singer of all times," said Lynn. "She truly is the Queen of Country Music."

Funeral services were held on Friday, July 20, 2012 at the Hendersonville Church of Christ, 107 Rockland Road Hendersonville, TN 37075

For more information visit, www.KittyWells.com


After a string of mesmerizing performances at the 2012 Billboard Music Awards and on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Award-winning singer-songwriter, Nelly Furtado, will feature World Champion Hoop Dancer, Tony Duncan once again in her live performance at the 2012 Much Music Awards (MMVAs) on June 17th. The 2012 MMVAs will be broadcast live at 9 p.m. ET, on the Much Music channel in Canada and on Fuse in the U.S..

At the 2012 Billboard Music Awards, Nelly Furtado debuted her new single “Big Hoops (Bigger The Better)” in a live performance and featured Tony Duncan and his brother Kevin Duncan on stage who were wearing hoop dancing in traditional regalia. Furtado also performed “Big Hoops” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno where the Duncan brothers hoop danced in contemporary all black clothing for that appearance. The official video music video for “Big Hoops” also features Tony Duncan with brother Kevin and Tony’s wife Violet Duncan (Plains Cree). The song, which is about fashion and earrings, will be featured on Furtado’s highly anticipated forthcoming album, The Spirit Indestructible (Interscope), due out in September. “This album is all about positivity, youth, good energy, and the relentlessness of the spirit” says Furtado about her first US release since 2006.

Tony Duncan (Apache/Mandan-Arikara-Hidatsa) has just released his own solo recording entitled, Earth Warrior (Canyon Records). Duncan’s new recording takes you on an endless journey of love songs with the soft blend of the Native American flute. Furtado tweeted about Duncan’s Earth Warrior to her 2.6 million Twitter followers. MP3 Downloads are available from Amazon and iTunes.

Previously, Tony Duncan and his instrumental group, Estun-Bah, a popular Arizona trio featuring Duncan on Native American flute, Darrin Yazzie (Navajo) on guitar and Jeremy Dancing Bull (Mandan-Arikara-Hidatsa) on drums released, Sounds of Beauty, which was nominated for Best World Music Album and Best Instrumental Album by the Native American Music Awards. The word "Estun-Bah" is an Apache word meaning "For the Woman." Tony Duncan was personally selected by Ms. Furtado after she reviewed video of hoop dancers and found him at the Heard Museum in Arizona. Tony and his brother Kevin are both world championship hoop dancers and regularly perform the hoop dance together. Tony has performed for First Lady Laura Bush at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.

Kelly Furtado’s double-platinum debut album, Whoa, Nelly!, and its single "I'm Like a Bird", won a 2001 Juno Award for Single of the Year and a 2002 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Her second studio album, Folklore, featured three international singles: "Powerless (Say What You Want)", "Try", and "Força" (the theme of the 2004 European Football Championship). Her third studio effort released in 2006 was the double-platinum Loose, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, received multi-platinum certification in 32 countries, and sold 10 million copies worldwide. Loose also generated the No. 1’s “Promiscuous” and “Say It Right”, "Maneater", and "All Good Things (Come to an End)". After a three-year break, she released her first full-length Spanish album, Mi Plan, which received the Latin Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Album. The Spirit Indestructible, is Furtado's fourth English-language studio album.

Of Portuguese descent, the Canadian-born singer, songwriter, actress, and philanthropist has enjoyed a successful career as a multi-language superstar. By embracing different cultures and genres, she has defined musical diversity for a new generation. Ms. Furtado has sold more than 16 million albums and 18 million singles worldwide. She has received a Grammy Award, a Latin Grammy Award, a BRIT Award, World Music Award, and 10 Juno awards.

For More About Nelly Furtado or Tony Duncan, please visit:
www.nellyfurtado.com www.estunbahmusic.com

April 25, 2012

Free Song From NAMA Award winner Gary Small's New CD
Carlos Santana Dedicates New CD To Indigenous Community
Joanne Shenandoah Performs At Oren Lyons Birthday
Robbie Robertson Visits Levon Helm before His Passing
New NAMA Submission Forms Available To Public

NAMA Award winner and member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, Gary Small has just released his sixth full length recording entitled, Hostiles & Renegades on Medicine Tail Music. Hostiles & Renegades is Gary's "Native Americana" sequal to his award-winning recording, "Wild Indians". If you love the music traditions of Bob Marley, Santana, and War, you'll love Hostiles & Renegades.

If you order from Gary directly, he will autograph your CD!!! Just request it by going to www.coyotebros.net. The new CD is also available at www.CD Baby.com. There is a free mp3 download code with this email to receive a free copy of the song, "American Icon" off the Hostiles & Renegades CD.

Gary Small has received three awards from the Native American Music Awards; Songwriter of the Year in 2002, Best Rock Recording, in 2007 and most recently, Best Male Artist in 2011. Small's guitar is at the forefront of one of the most incredible percussion sections featuring former 12-year Santana drummer, Graham Lear, oand former Joe Cocker conguero, Bobby Torres. Small's band is always loaded with heavy weight musicians and the sound definitely reflects it.

Small's guitar playing so reminiscent of Carlos Santana it's stunning. In fact it wouldn't be unfair to say Small could become the Santana of Native American music-translating his history through myriad musical forms in a way that speaks on several levels."- John Graham, Willamette Week, July 18th, 2001

Carlos Santana & Joanne Shenandoah at a Party Last Week

Last week, multiple NAMA award winner Joanne Shenandoah attended and performed at a birthday party for Oren Lyons. Oren’s birthday party was held as an outdoor garden party in Southern California with many surprise guests including Carlos Santana and his wife Cindy Blackman and members of the Shumash Nation. Joanne sang the song, "Eagle Cries" before the meal. Joanne also gave Carlos a copy of her Eagle Cries and Peacemakers Journey CDs. The picture of them above was taken at the birthday party.

Oren Lyons, Jr., recognized advocate of indigenous rights, was born in 1930 and raised in the culture and practices of the Iroquois on the Seneca and Onondaga reservations in Upstate New York. Oren R. Lyons, Jr. is a traditional Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Council of Chiefs of the Hau de no sau nee (ho dee noe sho nee, meaning people of the Long House), of the Onondaga Nation. He is Honorary Chairman of the Iroquois Nationals and was inducted into the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.


Legendary Mexican and American rock guitarist, Carlos Santana, released his new CD, Shape Shifter, a 13-song all instrumental recording on his new label, Starfaith Records, on May 15th. Shape Shifter is the 36th CD from this superior musician with tremendous notoriety and sensitivity. Carlos is dedicating Shape Shifter to all Native Americans, the first people of this land, and acknowledging Australia's 2008 apology to the Aborigines, and President Obama's signing of the 2009 Native American Apology Resolution. He says, "I encourage any and all countries (that have not as yet done so) to acknowledge the first people of their land, and make this a collective global effort." If you are a radio station and would like to request a copy of Shape Shifter for airplay, or if you would like to sell Shape Shifter in your store or on the pow wow trail, please contact us or email us at NAMAlive@aol.com

Carlos has also been very outspoken against NARAS and the recent dropping of the ethnic Grammy categories including the Native American music category. "You can't eliminate black gospel music or Hawaiian music or American Indian music or Latin jazz music because all this music represents what United States is: a social experiment," he was reported as saying in the Canadian news service, The Providence. The cover art of Shape Shifter was created by famed Comanche artist Rance Hood.

The cover art of Shape Shifter was created by famed Comanche artist Rance Hood. Rance Hood is one of the few Native American artists who still paints in the manner which echoes the traditional Indian culture and spirituality of the past. Hood grew up in the home of his maternal grandparents who taught him Comanche Indian ways and values. Hood’s themes are mystical and spiritual. Today, thirty years beyond his original success as a major Indian artist in the 1960’s, Rance Hood is still considered the most successful Plains Indian artist.

This May, Carlos is beginning a two-year run of performances; “An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live – Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow” at the House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. In addition to this two year residency at House of Blues in Las Vegas, Carlos is performing at music festivals and Native American casinos across the country.




On-sale Now in All Retail Outlets Including Walmart!

MAY 2010 Volume 15 - NAMA NEWS, New York, New York – Miss Molly Records /Sony/ RED have announced the much anticipated release of Jana Mashonee's latest album New Moon Born on May 11th, 2010. As part of the launch of New Moon Born, AOL Music will be streaming the album for one week starting May 11. New Moon Born features 18 tracks showcasing Jana’s powerfully sensitive and soulful vocals in an upbeat rhythm and blues flavor.

An eight-time Native American Music Award winner, Jana Mashonee, is one of the most successful and versatile American Indian artists of today. Her Native American Music Awards include: Best Pop Rock Recording (01), Song/Single of the Year (02), Best Female Recording Artist (03), Record of the Year (06), Best Short Form Video (08), and Song/Single of the Year for "A Change Is Gonna Come" from New Moon Born in 2009. Her stunning, exotic beauty and extraordinarily soulful vocals coupled with exceptional songwriting have put her on a tier all her own.

RED Distribution, an Artist Development Company (formerly Relativity Entertainment Distribution), is a Sony Music Entertainment-owned sales and marketing division that handles releases for 50+ independent record labels. Successful RED acts include; Kottonmouth Kings, Ed Kowalczyk, Nine Inch Nails, Steve Earle, Peter, Bjorn & John, Radiohead, Phoenix, Mandy Moore, Passion Pit and Third Eye Blind. RED was originally founded in 1979 as a hard rock music distributor called Important Record Distributors, and released Metallica's first two LPs in the US. It became RED Distribution by the '90s and changed to RED - An Artist Development Company in 2007.

All the songs on New Moon Born are uplifting and inspiring and the critics are raving. "This is just first-rate feel good music"- Cashbox. "A breakout recording" – Wildy's World "Nothing prepares you for Mashonee's stark beauty & lush vocals"- Editor's Pick, Curve Magazine.

The album will be carried in retail outlets everywhere including select Walmart stores which are planning a unique "8 for 18" promo campaign. New Moon Born is selling for $8.00 and features 18 brand new pop/R&B tracks including Jana's first Spanish language song, "Una Noche".

You can purchase New Moon Born for $8.00 through Walmart by clicking on the following link:


In support of New Moon Born, Jana will be performing for her fans as she continues her non-stop touring across the country. Upcoming tour dates include:

Support This Mainstream Retail Effort For Jana.
Buy A Copy of New Moon Born Today!

For more information Contact:
Stephan Galfas Miss Molly Records Phone: 203 531 8111 Fax: 203 531 9444
Email: sgalfas@missmollyrecords.com
Jana Mashonee (www.janamashonee.com)
Miss Molly Records (www.missmollyrecords.com)
RED Distribution (www.REDMusic.com)


Los Angeles, CA - 3/4/10 It has been reported that Lolly Vegas Co-Founder of the group of Redbone, passed away earlier this morning in Los Angeles. His cause of death was from Lung Cancer. He was surrounded by his family and passed away peacefully and without pain. On January 30th, NAMA received a health report on Lolly Vegas from Advisory member Brian Arra and through Redbone's European management. The condition of Lolly Vegas was reported to be serious and in anticipation of further treatment, Lolly was temporary placed in a care facility following surgery. NAMA requested that its members send him well wishes and reassure him how important his work with Redbone had been. NAMA inducted Redbone and it original members into the NAMA Hall of Fame at the 10th Annual Awards show which his brother Pat Vegas and the late Tony Bellamy both attended. On behalf of the Native American Music Awards and its members, we would like to send our condolences to Pat Vegas and his family on their loss.
For more click on LA Times obituary below:


Vancouver, Canada - 2/28/10 Two time NAMMY Award Winner and two-time Juno Award winner for Aboriginal Recording of the Year, Derek Miller, recently performed the song, “Let’s Have A Party” at the Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics with singers, Eva Avila and Nikki Yanofsky.

Eva Avila, is a Canadian singer and songwriter from Gatineau, Quebec, who was the winner of the fourth season of the CTV reality show Canadian Idol in 2006. She was the second female winner in the show's history.

Nikki Yanofsky is a Canadian jazz-pop singer from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She has performed internationally at jazz festivals and major concert venues both solo and alongside such well-known artists as Wyclef Jean, Celine Dion, Marvin Hamlisch and The Count Basie Orchestra. Yanofsky also sang Canada's national anthem at the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Derek's live performance can be seen on the video above.


revised as of 1/7/2010

New York, NY – The Native American Music Awards (N.A.M.A.) organization is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Redbone's Anthony Bellamy, who has died on Christmas morning, December 25th, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada with his family by his side. Anthony, or Tony "T-Bone" Bellamy, who attended the 10th Annual Native American Music Awards and was inducted into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame with Redbone in 2008, was a Mexican-American Yaqui Indian who became the lead guitarist, pianist and vocalist for the Native American band.. He was a beloved and endearing friend of the "Nammys" since its inception, and will be greatly missed.

Redbone became established as a Native American rock group in the 1970s. They reached the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1974 with the hit song, "Come and Get Your Love."

Originally formed in 1969 in Los Angeles, California by brothers Patrick Vasquez (bass and vocals) and Lolly Vasquez (guitar and vocals), the name Redbone started as a joking reference to a Cajun term for a mixed-race person ("half-breed"). The band's members were of mixed blood ancestry. According to Patrick Vasquez aka Pat Vegas, it was Jimi Hendrix who talked the musicians into forming an all-Native American rock group . The band consisted of Patrick Vasquez, Lolly Vasquez, drummer Pete DePoe and Anthony "Tony" Bellamy.

The group signed to Epic Records in 1969, and released their debut album, Redbone, in 1970. The follow-up album, Potlatch, featured the song "Alcatraz," which dealt with the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island. Their first commercially successful singles were, “Maggie,” and "Witch Queen of New Orleans" (1971) which also became a huge hit in the United Kingdom. In 1973, Redbone released the political, "We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee” which reached the #1 chart position in Europe.

By 1974, Redbone had reached the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts with "Come and Get Your Love”. The Pop/Funk/Disco song was certified Gold by the R.I.A.A for selling over one million copies and is still heard today on radio stations and commercials throughout the country. Drummer DePoe was replaced by Arturo Perez on Already Here (1972). Perez was replaced on Wovoka (1974) by Butch Rillera. In 1998 members of the group appeared as special guest performers at the inaugural Native American Music Awards and returned in 2008 as NAMA Hall of Fame inductees.

Tony Bellamy grew up in a family of dancers and musicians and learned to play the flamenco guitar as part of his musical education. Before joining the band Redbone, Tony Bellamy had performed with Dobie Gray, and a was a member of the San Francisco band, Peter and the Wolves, that evolved into the psychedelic band Moby Grape.

Born as Anthony Avila on September 12 1946 to parents James and Olga Bellamy, Tony Bellamy died at age 63. He has five siblings.(It was originally reported that Tony was born in 1940 and was 69 years of age, but it was later corrected as 1946 and Bellamy passed at the age of 63.. Bellamy's family confirmed that Tony originally used a birth year of 1940 so that he could legally play in the clubs.)

N.A.M.A. and its Advisory Board contingency would like extend their condolences to the Bellamy family. N.A.M.A. will forever honor this legendary performer who has been both a leading force in the mainstream music industry and an inspiration to the Native American community.


Tony & Pat Tony w/Eagle & Hawk Ellen Bello, Tony Bellamy Tony Bellamy & Donald Kelly center @ Niagara Falls


Updated: Thursday, 10 Dec 2009, 5:21 PM MST
Published : Thursday, 10 Dec 2009, 12:30 AM MST

Reporter: Crystal Gutierrez
Web Producer: Bill Diven

JEMEZ PUEBLO, N.M. (KRQE) - For decades Jimmy Shendo struggled to get his rock music heard, but just as he was gaining the national attention his family said he deserved, his life came to an end. Every Sunday Jimmy Shendo’s music would fill radio airwaves in New Mexico; his fans would even ask for him by name. “The listener called and asked for Jimmy Shendo,” Lisa Romero, Shendo’s youngest sister, said as she recalled hearing her brother’s songs on the radio. His audience was growing, she added. This year the Jemez Pueblo musician received the best musical production award for his Native American traditional piece "The Town Crier." It was his latest song, however, that put him in the national spotlight. “Walking the Life Road” was nominated in two categories for the Native American Music Awards for Best Rock Recording and Debut Group of the Year. “We knew he had it in himself,” Romero said. A big-time musician; but to his family he was just Uncle Jimmy. “They say, 'Uncle Jimmy; Uncle Jimmy is singing. He's on the radio,'” Romero said. Shendo learned to sing on the grounds of the Jemez Pueblo when he was very young. He even played the trombone in the high school band. The nationally recognized musician was coming home on Monday when the unthinkable happened. Romero’s daughter called her sobbing that morning. “She said, 'Mom I, have some bad news," Romero recalled. "'Uncle Jimmy has been in an accident." On Monday Shendo had been teaching a choir group his songs and was driving back from Durango, Colo., when his pickup truck hit a patch of icy on snow-covered U.S Highway 550 in San Juan County between Blanco Trading Post and Counselors. Deputies reported Shendo's truck slid into the path of a tractor-trailer rigged headed the other way. Shendo died on impact; the trucker was not hurt.

“It's very hard knowing that you're never going to see him again,” Romero said. Still they know hearing his voice will only be a radio dial away. Romero said his songs will do more than blare across speakers in New Mexico. They’ll inspire generations to come starting with the nephews and nieces who barely knew Uncle Jimmy. “I’m going to tell her this was your uncle, he was a very famous musician,” Romero said. Shendo was 59. He was buried on Wednesday morning.

NAMA NOTE: Jimmy Shendo was a multiple nominee and a presenter at the Eleventh Annual Native American Music Awards. His submitted recordings were:
Jimmy Shendo The Town Crier (Jemez Pueblo)
Jimmy Shendo & Moiety Walking The Life Road (Jemez Pueblo)


- Chief Alfred Red Cloud

October 3, 2009
Eleventh Annual Award Winners Announced


Niagara Falls, NY – On Saturday October 3, 2009 the Eleventh Annual Native American Music Awards (N.A.M.A.) was held at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino in Niagara Falls infront of a packed house that featured consistently outstanding live music performances along with an emotionally charged Hall of Fame induction in honor of the late Ritchie Valenz.

Taking this year's top honors are; Joanne Shenandoah & Michael Bucher's Bitter Tears Sacred Ground for Best Compilation, Jana Mashonee's rendition of Sam Cooke's, A Change Is Gonna Come with Derek Miller for Song/Single of the Year, Jan Michael Looking Wolf for Artist of the Year, Skylar Wolf for Debut Artist of the Year, Will and Lil Jess for Debut Duo/Group of the Year, Kevin Locke's Earth Gift for Record of the Year, and American Idol Semi-finalist Charly Lowry for Best Video for her long form video featuring her song, Movin On.

Hosted with grace, class, style, humor and even professional music talent by actor Gil Birmingham, others on hand at the Awards ceremeony included: Shane Yellowbird who won for Best Country Recording, Atsiaktonkie who won for Best Folk Recording, Flutist of the Year JJ Kent, Wind Spirit Drum whose recording Amazing Grace took Best Gospel Inspirational Recording, Thunder Hawk Singers for Best Historical Recording, Gabriel Ayala for Best Instrumental Recording, Bryan Akipa For Best Male Artist, Eagle & Hawk for Best Rock Recording, Rezhogs for Best Rap Hip Hop Recording, Oshkii Giizhik Singers for Best Traditional Recording, Michael Searching Bear for Best World Music Recording, and Michael Brant DeMaria for the Native Heart Award.

Other nominees in attendance included; Benjamin Grimes, Kelly Montijo Fink, Jackie Tice, Mike Serna, Pappy Johns Band, Jimmy Shendo, Augusta Cecconi Bates, Douglas Blue Feather, Yvonne St Germaine and Donna Kay who all participated in the program.

Capping the evening’s ceremonies were consistently transcendant and flawless performances beginning with drum group Young Gunz, Dallas Washkahat and Fawn Wood, classical guitarist Gabriel Ayala, Eagle & Hawk, soprano opera singer Jennifer M Stevens accompanied by composer Augusta Cecconi-Bates, Joanne Shenandoah and Michael Bucher who performed material from their award-winning recording, Lifetime Achievement Recipient Stevie Salas pumped it up with original Pearl Jam drummer Dave Abbruzesse and bass player TM Stevens of Shocka Zooloo and the late James Brown, and a spectacular rendition of Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride & Joy by the show's host Gil Birmingham and nominee Jimmy Wolf. Darryl Tonemah gave a rising performance in his trademarked barefeet, Jana's riveting vocals were unmatched, Shane Yellowbird showcased material for his upcoming Grand Ole Opry appearance, and new artist Jace Martin captured the audience with his Ritchie Valens tribute song, We Belong Together.

Tommy Allsup, original guitarist of the Buddy Holly band who flipped a coin with Ritchie Valens for the last seat on their ill-fated plane, bought the audience to tears as Allsup, who became emotional and choked up as he recapped and retold the story of his tour mate Ritchie Valens and his tragic end.

Following the Hall of Fame induction and Ritchie's sister, Irma's acceptance speech, Tommy Allsup, who is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, joined Ritchie's little brother, Mario, and his group, The Backyard Blues Band, who rocked the house and performed a special extended rendition of “La Bamba”.

N.A.M.A. and its Advisory Board contingency would like to congratulate all the winners and nominees and proudly honors these legendary performers and songwriters who have been leading forces in the Native American music community.

The Native American Music Awards & Association, founded in 1998, is the world’s leading membership-based association consisting of music industry professionals directly involved in the recording and distribution of traditional and contemporary Native American Music initiatives. The growing success of the Awards show now features over one hundred and fifty nominees annually, with at least one third of those nominees being new artists. For the past eleven years the Awards has set industry standards for professional Native American musicians who are gaining greater acceptance and exposure from both national and international audiences.

See below for a complete list of winners


Jan Michael Looking Wolf
The Looking Wolf Project

Dancing In The Rain
Graywolf Blues Band

Bitter Tears Sacred Ground
Joanne Shenandoah & Michael Bucher

Life Is Calling My Name
Shane Yellowbird

Skylar Wolf
Devil’s Son

Will & Lil Jess
Reservation Nights

Joy Harjo
Winding Through The Milky Way

Four Wolves Prophecy

JJ Kent
Ta Te’ Topa Win

Amazing Grace
Lenape Spirits
Wind Spirit Drum

Lakota Piano II

Native Pride
Thunder Hawk Singers

Gabriel Ayala

Bryan Akipa
Songs From The Black Hills

Peyote Ways
Primeaux & Mike

Deep Within
Tony Redhouse

Na Unu Nahai (Shape Shifter)
Apryl Allen

Band of Brothers
Midnite Express

Kelly Parker
Out Of The Blue

All Day All Night

Earth Gift
Kevin Locke

Eagle & Hawk

A Change Is Gonna Come
Jana Mashonee

Samantha Crain
The Confiscation: A Musical Novella

The Great Story From The Sacred Book
Rain Song/Terry & Darlene Wildman

It Is A New Day
Oshkii Giizhik Singers

Movin On
Charly Lowry & Aaron Locklear

Michael Searching Bear

Michael Brant DeMaria

Lifetime Achievement
Stevie Salas

Tommy Allsup

Ritchie Valens

February 8, 2009

Congratulations To GRAMMY Winner
Come To Me Great Mystery — Native American Healing Songs
(Various Artists)
Tom Wasinger, producer
[Silver Wave Records]
FOLK FIELD Category 70
Best Native American Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)

# # #

Wizipan Garriott named Obama's First Americans Public Liaison
Courtesy Indian Country Today


By Rob Capriccioso
Story Published: Dec 15, 2008
Story Updated: Dec 15, 2008


WASHINGTON – Wizipan Garriott, 28, has been appointed First Americans Public Liaison, a newly created position in President-elect Barack Obama's transition team. The position is aimed at honoring a nation-to-nation relationship with tribes.

Amy Brundage, a spokeswoman for the team, confirmed Garriott's role Dec. 10.

Garriott, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, could not offer comment on the development, as members of Obama's transition team have been instructed not to talk about their specific contributions.

Garriott's position on the transition group brings the total number of Native Americans serving on it to seven. Indian Country Today previously reported that John Echohawk, Keith Harper, Robert Anderson, Mary Smith, Mary McNeil and Yvette Robideaux all hold positions on the team.

Garriott, whose first name means "burden" in Lakota, graduated from Yale University in 2003 with a degree in American studies. He then went on to work as an assistant to former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., who has been a key player in the Obama campaign and was recently tapped to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


After Daschle lost his bid for re-election in 2004, Garriott attended the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in Tucson, and obtained a law degree there in June. In 2005, he also helped incorporate the He Sapa Leadership Academy, a college preparatory school on his reservation for students in grades eight to 12.

As Daschle became involved with Obama's campaign, the longtime politician ultimately recommended Garriott to become a part of the effort.

Daschle's recommendation was helpful, as Garriott ended up joining the Obama campaign for president as a Native American outreach coordinator in Sept. 2007. In June, he was officially hired as the campaign's First Americans vote director. His chief objective was collaborating with tribes and Native groups, trying to get out the Native vote in many states, including New Mexico, Wisconsin, Montana and Michigan.

"For us, the campaign has always been about community empowerment," Garriott told ICT in late-September.

"We've tried to put as many resources as possible into Indian communities so we can help our own people organize and empower themselves. That's what this is all about."

He also predicted in the interview that Indian participation in the election would help sway the vote in close swing states.

Garriott is the son of Elizabeth Little Elk, who works for the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in the child and family services arena, and Charlie Garriott, a teacher at Todd County High School, located on the reservation in Mission, S.D.

While in college, Garriott served as a peer counselor to younger Native students. Amid controversy over whether there should be ethnic counselors and cultural houses at the institution, he made it be known that he felt such networks are beneficial, especially for reservation youth.

In a December 2002 issue of The Yale Herald, Garriott noted that the majority of reservation youth hail from economically depressed areas, which can make it especially difficult for Indian students to adjust to mainstream colleges, both academically and culturally.

At Yale, Garriott also worked as vice-president of Night Shield Entertainment, a music-focused company founded by one of his Native friends, Gabriel Night Shield. Garriott assisted with promotion and helped with
efforts on distribution, talent evaluation and music selection.

Upon learning of Garriott's new appointment, Night Shield said he and many other tribal members were "really proud of what Wizi has accomplished."

"We were joking about it the other day – maybe in about 20 years we'll be voting for Wizi as president," said Night Shield, who attended high school at St. Francis Indian School with Garriott in South Dakota.


    October 7, 2008



    Niagara Falls, NY – On Saturday October 4, 2008 the Tenth Annual Native American Music Awards (N.A.M.A.) was held at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York and awarded over 35 artists in a four hour event with 12 onstage presentations and special Hall of Fame inductions and performances that had the packed crowd dancing on their feet. The growing success of the Awards show is now setting industry standards for professional Native American musicians who want to achieve greater acceptance and exposure from mainstream audiences.

    Taking two honors each was; the New Mexico-based Reggae group, Native Roots and the Arizona-based punk rock/Alter Native band, Blackfire. Native Roots’ recording, Celebrate won for Best World Music Recording and earned them Group of the Year. Native Roots gave a high-energy live performance with their messages of pride, unity, and respect among all nations. Blackfire, is comprised of two brothers and a sister with a style that encompasses traditional Native American music with rock that bears socio-political and human rights messages. Blackfire’s (Silence) Is A Weapon won Record of the Year and their producer Ed Stasium (Ramones) took the Native Heart award.

    On hand to receive their awards were: Janelle Turtle for Best Native American Church Recording with New Beginning. Janelle is the first female to receive this award, and the great great great granddaughter of Dog Woman who was the first woman to run meetings among the Cheyenne people; Jan Michael Looking Wolf, winner of Flutist of the Year with his recording, Unity, gave one of the most poignant and genuine speeches that embraced his friend JJ Kent and the recent loss of Kent’s wife; the Cherokee National Youth Choir who took Best Gospel Inspirational Recording and performed traditional Cherokee songs in the Cherokee language. The Choir came into existence from the vision of Principal Chief Chad Smith.

    Other Award recipients in attendance included; Nicole for Best Female Artist, Edmund Bull for Best Male Artist who also performed an acoustic song from his album, Follow Your Dreams. After facing one of his toughest personal years with the loss of both parents and best friend, Golana received a nod for Best Instrumental Recording for Mirror Lake. Taking Artist of the Year was multiple award-winner Jim Boyd, with Blues to Bluegrass. This was Boyd's eleventh release which explored many genres - from rock and bluegrass to blues and folk, and was the first recording since the tragic loss of his son, Jim Boyd, Jr.. Carroll Medicine Crow (Best New Age Recording), Jimmy Wolf (Best Blues Recording), Tracy Bone (Best Country Recording), Cheryl Bear (Debut Artist of the Year), Red Hawk (Best Historical Recording) Adrian Brown, Tim Sampson producers for Still No Good, Dago Braves (Rap Hip Hop), NightShield (Song Single of the Year), Star Nayea (Songwriter of the Year), Ken Quiet Hawk (Spoken Word Recording), and Brule & AIRO (Long Form Video) were also on hand to receive their awards.

    Special guests included; Buddy Big Mountain, Lifetime Achievement Recipient Johnny Curtis, the great great grandson of Geronimo, Houston Geronimo and Lance White Magpie, a direct descendant of Crazy Horse.

    Capping the evening’s ceremonies was a collaborative performance between Joanne Shenandoah and Corn Bred who performed a unique version of “At Last” with two traditionally dressed dancers dancing a romantic slow dance. Internationally renowned and multi-million record selling band members; Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Janice Marie of Taste of Honey, Pat Vegas of Redone & Felipe Rose of the Village People all gave compelling performances following their inductions into the N.A.M.A. Hall of Fame. Rose performed a medley featuring his award-winning, “We’re Still Here” and “Trail of Tears”. Pat Vegas performed “Come And Get Your Love” and was then joined by Janice-Marie Johnson for “Boogie Oogie Oogie.” Show closer Rickey Medlocke performed a five song medley that included “Gimmie Back My Bullets”, “Train Train” and “Highway Song.” N.A.M.A. proudly honors these legendary performers and songwriters who have been leading forces in mainstream music and in the Native American community.

    A post-show VIP party followed the Award ceremonies and featured some impressive and memorable collaborations and jams including; “Rumble” by the late Link Wray’s grandson, Chris Webb, and Jimmy Wolf, as well as a chilling performance of “Proud Mary” by Tracy Bone, Cheryl Bear and Digging Roots’ Shoshana Keech.

    N.A.M.A. and its Advisory Board contingency congratulate all the winners and look forward to entering a second decade with them as the country’s leading resource for Native American music initiatives. For the past decade, N.A.M.A. has been nominating and awarding prominent national music figures of Native American heritage at its annual Awards ceremony, and has steadily and repeatedly attempted to prove that the Native American music community is a viable and impressive industry that is owed reverence and respect.

    The Native American Music Awards & Association, founded in 1998, is the world’s leading membership-based association consisting of music industry professionals directly involved in the recording and distribution of traditional and contemporary Native American Music initiatives.



    New York, NY – On Saturday October 4, 2008 at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino in Niagara Falls, NY, the highly anticipated Native American Music Awards (N.A.M.A.) will proudly commemorate its tenth anniversary with a special celebration that includes over 30 Awards categories from every genre of music as well as Hall of Fame inductions and high energy performances by nationally renowned band members from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Taste of Honey, Redone & Village People.

    N.A.M.A. and its Advisory Board contingency would like to congratulate the following inductees; Rickey Medlocke, current guitarist of Lynyrd Skynyrd and founder, lead guitarist and songwriter of Blackfoot who has sold over 5 million records worldwide with his hits “Train Train” and “Highway Song”; Pat Vegas of Redbone, an original founding member of the Native American rock group that reached the Top 5 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1974 with the song, "Come and Get Your Love;" Janice-Marie Johnson, founder and principal songwriter of the internationally acclaimed group A Taste of Honey, with her multi-platinum smash hit "Boogie Oogie Oogie," which was number one on the Billboard Pop, Disco and R&B charts, and recipient of the 2002 “Nammy” for Producer of the Year,” and Felipe Rose, the “Indian” and Co-founder of the world renown group, The Village People whose previous solo efforts representing his Native American heritage have earned him several Native American Music Awards including “Best Historical Recording” for his song ‘Trail of Tears.’ Just this week, the Village People were honored with their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    N.A.M.A. proudly honors these legendary performers and songwriters who have been leading forces in mainstream music and in the Native American community. For the past decade, N.A.M.A. has been nominating and awarding prominent national music figures of Native American heritage at its annual Awards ceremony, a highly celebratory and critically acclaimed event. NAMA President, Ellen Bello states, “Since our inception, the Awards have celebrated the musical achievements of Native American artists from the tip to the toes of entire North America. This year’s program proudly commemorates an entire decade of honoring the artistic accomplishments of both past and present. With over 30 traditional and contemporary music categories, we have steadily and repeatedly proven that the Native American music community is a viable and impressive industry. N.A.M.A. is proud to be the premiere Awards show for Native American music. As we enter our second decade, we will continue our commitment to excellence and nurturing newer artistic expressions.”

    Two-time N.A.M.A. nominee, Apache’ Gospel artist, Johnny Curtis, who has penned multiple records in the past three decades, will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Other featured performers include: multiple NAMA award winners, Joanne Shenandoah and Robert Tree Cody, Blues recording artist CornBred, Canada’s Edmund Bull, New Mexico’s Native Roots, South Dakota’s Rap Hip/Hop artists Nightshield and Maniac The Siouxpernatural, female power vocalists Star Nayea & Pura Fe’, The Cherokee National Youth Choir, Iroquois Dancers, Trevor Jones & Young Gunz plus Indian Country’s preeminent comedian and ventriloquist, Buddy Big Mountain, and more.

    The Great grandson of Geronimo, Houston Geronimo and Lance White Magpie, a direct descendant of Crazy Horse will serve as special guest presenters. A film screening of Our Spirits Don't Speak English: Indian Boarding School" produced by award-winning RichHeape Productions will be held on the awards premise on Friday, October 3rd as a special pre-show event.

    Tickets are $20.00 and up and are available through Ticketmaster and the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel box office. Showtime is 8:00pm. Hotel reservations can be made by calling 716.299.1100 or 1.888.905.4477.
    All Winners of the Tenth Annual Native American Music Awards will be announced at the awards pre-show event and throughout the Awards ceremony. A post show meet and greet with autograph signings will take place in the lobby following the event followed by a private VIP Party in the Bear’s Den for winners and nominees.

    The Native American Music Awards & Association, founded in 1998, is the world’s leading membership-based association consisting of music industry professionals directly involved in the recording and distribution of traditional and contemporary Native American Music initiatives.

    Music tracks of all artist nominees are posted on www.votenative.com.
    Visit www.nativeamericanmusicawards.com for more information.
    For press credentials please contact Jillian Fiorella, Seneca Gaming Corporation at 716.501.2324 or JFiorella@snfgc.com


    New York, NY/May 29, 2008 - On Sunday, June 1st, at 2:00PM, the highly esteemed Native American Music Awards will be broadcast in over 18 million households as a featured two-hour televised special on CoLours TV. CoLours TV can be found in all 50 states in the top 100 TV markets through the EchoStar/Dish Network channel 9407 and on local cable affiliates, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A rebroadcast of the Awards program is scheduled for Sunday, June 8th from 2:00 to 4:00PM.

    CoLours TV was created by Black Star Communications (BSC), a non-profit corporation organized to operate exclusively for civic, charitable, and educational purposes. The CoLours TV network has set out to be a voice of authority for America’s multicultural community. Today, they are in over 18 million television households which accounts for more than 40 million viewers. CoLours also features an online presence at www.colourstv.org CoLours’ technical information is Satellite Intelsat Americas 13, Transponder 6.

    The Ninth Annual Native American Music Awards show was recently held at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls, New York, and taped in front of a live audience. This two hour broadcast program features award presentations, special guest appearances and live performances in all genres of music by leading artists of Native American heritage from North America. Featured performers include; Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Joanne Shenandoah and Bill Miller, South Dakota’s Brule’ & AIRO (Group of the Year), Buffalo’s own Tonemah (Best Folk Recording), Upstate New York’s Corn Bred (Best Blues Recording) Lumbee pop artist Jana (Best Pop Recording), Gary Small & the Coyote Bros (Best Rock Recording), Drum group Pipestone (Record of the Year), Nightshield with Maniac the Siouxpernatural (Best Rap Recording), the traditional Iroquois Dancers, nominees Digging Roots, and Jan Michael Looking Wolf with renowned Latin music producer, George Noriega. Other special guest presenters include; Beth Wray Webb (Daughter of the late Link Wray), Keith Secola, and Wayquay among others.

    Founded a decade ago in May of 1998, the critically acclaimed Native American Music Awards is the country’s leading membership based association consisting of music industry professionals directly involved in the recording and distribution of traditional and contemporary Native American music initiatives.

    Support for the Ninth Annual Native American Music Awards’ broadcast was received by the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, the Seneca Nation of Indians (SNI), the Shokopee Mdewankaton Sioux Community and The Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel is a premiere entertainment destination and features the largest hotel in Western New York with breathtaking views of one of the most incredible natural sites in the world, Niagara Falls.

    GARY SMALL & HIS BAND OF COYOTE'S Teamed Up with Rock & Roll Icon, Chubby Checker on April 19, 2008 at My Buddy's Place in Sheridan, Wyoming. Small and his band were originally going to open only, but Chubby's manager organized a crash rehearsal with them just hours before the scheduled show. Gary Small played away while Chubby sang "Lets Do the Twist!!!" Gary and his band would like to thank Z94 FM's Russ Davidson and Cathleen and the whole crew at My Buddies Place as the host venue.

    TAOS, NEW MEXICO 2/12/08
    Media Contact: Andrew Flack, flack@starroadrecords.com; 1-800-362-1273

    New Mexico’s Native Son, Robert Mirabal, Wins GRAMMY for Best Native American Album of the Year “Johnny Whitehorse Totemic Flute Chants”

    TAOS PUEBLO, NM (February 12, 2008) — On Sunday February 10th, The 50th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARDS presented its Native American Album of the Year to Robert Mirabal of Taos Pueblo, New Mexico.

    The winning album, “Johnny Whitehorse Totemic Flute Chants” on Silver Wave Records, captures a full-fledged Southwest tribal vibe in addition to blending full-on world music influences. The record was co-produced by Mirabal and Larry Mitchell.

    Johnny Whitehorse is a character created by Mirabal... an iconic vision of the lone Indian on horseback roaming the desert Southwest. Robert's brother, Patrick Shendo Mirabal, is also featured on the album.

    From the liner notes: "All over the world, man has relied on the mystery and power of animals to guide him. Crafted from an array of Native American flutes, keyboards, tribal drums and world music instruments, "Totemic Flute Chants" interprets these animal spirits that have the power to transform lives."

    This is Mirabal’s second GRAMMY in three years. In 2006 he won as part of a ensemble recording, “Sacred Ground,” also on Silver Wave Records.

    The GRAMMY’S Native American category was initiated in 2000 and category is “for recordings of a more traditional nature, but allowing contemporary recordings containing substantial traditional elements.”

    Mirabal's other 2007 release, "In the Blood" has won multiple awards including "Best International Album" at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

    Robert was also voted "Best Male Artist" of the Year at the 2007 Native American Music Awards where his "Pueblo Christmas" release was nominated for "Record of the Year."

    Mirabal's first novel, "Running Alone in Photographs" will be published this Spring.


    LOS ANGELES, CA 12/13/07

    12/13/07 - Renowned musician, activist, and elder, Floyd Red Crow Westerman passed on to the spirit world at 5:00 a.m. PST this morning at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles after an extended illness and complications from Leukemia as reported today by the Native American Times and News From Indian Country.

    Floyd Red Crow Westerman participated and performed in the First Annual Native American Music Awards in 1998, was the recipient of NAMA's Living Legend Award in 2002, and was recently awarded Best Country Recording for his recording, "A Tribute To Johnny Cash" at the Ninth Annual Native American Music Awards in October 2007.

    With music as his first love, Westerman left his home on the Lake Traverse reservation in South Dakota with a suitcase and an old guitar as a young man. He traveled across the country playing country music and his own original songs and then based himself in Denver.

    In 1969, he signed his first recording contract and released his first album, the highly acclaimed, "Custer Died for Your Sins" which captured the Indian movement's pathos and ethos during its formative years. In 1970 he released his second recording, "Indian Country".

    As a member of the American Indian Movement, and spokesman for the International Indian Treaty Council, he traveled around the world to improve social conditions for indigenous peoples. In 1982, he reflected those sentiments in his third recording, "This Land Is Your Mother."

    In 1996, he attended the first Native American Music Awards and performed with Joanne Shenandoah in a tribute performance for Hall of Fame Inductee, the late Buddy Red Bow.

    In 2002 he was awarded the NAMA Living Legend Award at the Fifth Annual Native American Music Awards with Keith Secola accepting on his behalf.

    In 2006, he was won Best Country Recording at the Native American Music Awards for his last full length recording, "A Tribute To Johnny Cash"released by Henhouse Studios.

    During his music career and before his entrance into many films and television shows, he played and collaborated with a number of notable musicians, including; Willie Nelson, Kris Kristopherson, Buffy St. Marie, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelsonm Jackson Browne, Harry Belafonte, and Sting.

    Westerman's film and television appearances include the role of the Shaman for Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's "The Doors" and as Ten Bears in "Dances With Wolves" His television roles have included playing Uncle Ray on Walker, Texas Ranger, One Who Waits, on Northern Exposure and multiple appearances as Albert Hosteen on the X-Files.

    Westerman's numerous other awards include; a Congressional Certificate of Special Recognition, the Award for Generosity by the Americans for Indian Opportunity, was named Cultural Ambassador by the International Treaty Council, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Richard Riordan, FAITA, and the Integrity Award from the Multi-Cultural Motion Picture Association.

    The Native American Music Awards has been honored by Floyd Red Crow Westerman's support and contributions over the years and will always be remembered with great fondness, admiration and respect.

    The Native American Music Awards & Association


    New York, NY - Two of the biggest names in the Native American music industry, Joanne Shenandoah and Bill Miller, will be presented with Lifetime Achievement Awards on Saturday, October 6, 2007, at the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel in Niagara Falls, New York.

    As the Native American Music Awards leading award recipient with nine awards, Joanne Shenandoah is also a GRAMMY Award-winning artist with 14 albums to her credit. A Wolf Clan member of the Iroquois Confederacy (Oneida Nation) who currently resides in Syracuse, New York, Joanne began her recording career in the late 1980’s. She has forged forward to become one of the top-selling and most widely recognized Native recording artists today. Her legacy has been highlighted by collaborations with Bruce Cockburn and Neil Young and performances with; Willie Nelson, Buffy Sainte-Marie (Cree), Kris Kristofferson, Floyd Westerman (Dakota), Robbie Robertson (Mohawk), R. Carlos Nakai (Navajo/Ute). Her repertoire has spanned the realms of country, rock, techno, gospel, children's songs and folk as well as her best-known traditional Iroquois social songs. Since emerging as an artist in 1989, she has performed at such high-profile shows at Carnegie Hall, the White House, Kennedy Center, Earth Day on the Mall, Woodstock '94, the Parliament of the Worlds Religions in South Africa and the famous Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona Spain. Her music has been used in many soundtracks to include HBO, PBS, Northern Exposure, Bose Systems, and The Discovery Channel. She has just been featured in the newly released film "The Last Winter" starring Ron Perlman and has a principal role in the Discovery Channel/Think Film release of “First Nations - Hiawatha's Story” (Ayenwentha).

    Bill Miller has long been one of the most admired figures in the Native American music arena and beyond. A GRAMMY award-winning recording artist, and six-time NAMA award winner, Bill hails from northern Wisconsin (his tribe is called Mahicanuk which means People From Where The Waters Are Never Still). His Indian name, Fush-Ya Heay Ka, means "bird song". He learned traditional songs at an early age and later began to play folk music and bluegrass as well as the Native American flute, which he came to master. He has written songs with the likes of Nancy Griffith, Peter Rowan and Kim Carnes, and shared the stage with national recording artists such as; Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, the BoDeans, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie and Tori Amos who he was the opening act for her “Under The Pink” U.S. and Canadian 200 date tour. His long recording career includes such landmark albums as; Loon Mountain and Moon, Red Road, Reservation Road, Raven In The Snow, Ghost Dance and The Art Of Survival. Over the past three years, Bill has produced two projects, Spirit Rain and Cedar Dream Songs that blend Native American and western folk/blues traditions in something wholly new. Spirit Rain and Cedar Dream Songs bought Bill great recognition and earned him a Grammy Award for Best Native American Recording. Bill has an equally active career as a painter and his work has been shown and sold in prestigious galleries around the country. He is currently working with John Carter Cash for his next recording.

    The Native American Music Awards’ (N.A.M.A.) Lifetime Achievement Award is a highly prestigious award presented to an individual whose life has been dedicated to music and who has made outstanding artistic contributions in the music recording field. Recipients of this award will be honored at the Awards ceremony on October 6th. Recipients were nominated and elected by the N.A.M.A. Advisory Board.

    Hosted by actor, Steve Reevis, this year’s Awards program will feature a night of musical excellence with over 30 awards presentations and a more than fifteen live music performances including; special performances by Bill Miller, Joanne Shenandoah, and Jan Michael Looking Wolf with George Noriega whose other collaborations include: Phil Ramone, Timbaland, Scott Storch, Robi “Draco” Rosa, Desmond Child, Ricky Martin, Emilio Estefan, Jennifer López, Shakira, Jon Secada, and many more.

    The Native American Music Awards has been acclaimed for having “all the professionalism and production values of much larger events like the Grammy Awards and the American Music Awards” (American Federation of Radio Television Artists). The Awards has received wide critical praise from both national and international media such as; USA Today, Associated Press, CNN, Wall Street Journal, Billboard Magazine, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, La Voce Italiana and France's International Herald Tribune.

    Nominees were selected by the Awards’ Advisory membership committee and winners are determined through a national voting campaign open to the general public. The Native American Music Awards’ Advisory Board is the country’s largest membership of music professionals directly involved in recording, manufacturing, distributing and promoting Native American music.

    A Special Nominee & Media Reception will be held on Friday, October 5th in the Bear's Den at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino at 6:ooPM.


    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    When the first whispers of the "NAMMYS" began, it ran from the Black graffitti walls of CBGB to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Those who know our true origins, know this. And Hilly was one of them. A man who for over 30 years, was entirely committed and deeply devoted to showcasing new and original talent.

    I'm shaken and deeply saddened by the passing of this incredible gentleman and friend. Hilly Kristal was like no other. He was a visionary, a kind, calm and humble man that loved beauty and originality. He paved his own way, founded his own club, created a home for thousands of musicians. and gave life to one of the world's biggest and most historic music scenes. He did so with a deep and unrelenting love and passion for it all, and for many of us, we felt part of something so much more just being around him and his club. When he died, a part of my own music career died, and I imagine so did a part in everyone in the business who knew him. It was a sad irony that I was the first to learn that the space CBGB's occupied was being put on the market for lease - My heart sank when I had to tell Hilly. I know his broke. Money was never his motive. But it was his landlords. I couldn't bear much more beyond that. And apparently neither could he as illness set in.

    In retrospect, I'm so glad I was able to help Hilly celebrate CBGBs 20th Anniversary. It was truly a special and happy time. I'm grateful for the many outings and talks we had. I'm also glad we campaigned together to have CBGB's designated as a Historic landmark in NYC. The only mistake was that we didn't own the premise. Maybe someone out there can buy the building from those greedy landlords and resurrect it as the historic landmark CBGBs should be. Regardless, this great man should never be forgotten, and I believe amongst all us fans and former patrons, that he will not. Goodbye Great One. May you ride forever in your Mini Cooper! I will miss you so dear Hilly.

    Ellen Bello
    NAMA Founder & CEO