twitter icon youtube icon instagram icon

Nominations are Being Accepted for Dream Keepers Awards

This article was archived on 10/10/2021

The Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission is accepting nominations through Sept. 1 for its annual Dream Keepers Awards. Winners will be announced in November.

The Dream Keepers Awards honor citizens of federally recognized tribes who have had historical or economic impact in the greater Tulsa area. Preference is given to nominees age 50 and older. While the Commission considers age, longevity of career and personal experiences in its final decisions of awardees, posthumous and youth nominees will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Nominations for Dream Keepers Awards need to be submitted to Commission Vice-Chair Vanessa Adams Harris at Each nomination needs to include a bio and photo of the nominee, along with a description of the award that the person is being nominated for.

Awards will be given in the following categories:

Kenneth Anquoe Lifetime Achievement Award – honors personal achievements in dedicating one’s life to the people of Oklahoma, Native Americans and Non-Native Americans; also promoting and preserving Native American culture.

Lewis B. Ketchum Excellence in Business Award – recognizes that “if Native peoples are to succeed in a modern world they must not only be gainfully employed, develop or possess special talents, but they must also be able to organize their talents and skills.” Leadership in business is vital for the community and for the survival of future generations.

Charles Chibitty Family Community Contributor Award – recognizes community participation, involvement and caring, to foster multi-generational learning, sharing and giving.

Will Anquoe Humanitarian Award – recognizes humanitarianism – “Serving our fellow citizens is universally recognized.” The category awards contributions to the Native community but also recognizes those who bridge communication and understanding among diverse groups.

Rennard Strickland Education Leadership Award – recognizes dedication to the vocation and love of teaching and learning. “Education is truly the key to the future and the cornerstone of every dream.”

Perry Aunko Indigenous Language Preservation Award – acknowledges American Indian community members who are committed to the continuation of the living languages of American Indian peoples. The award also reflects the perspective of its namesake’s commitment to not only the preservation of indigenous languages but to the indigenous way of life. By ensuring the continuation of an indigenous language, the original instructions given to a people by the Creator is honored, and their culture, heritage and tradition are maintained by such efforts.

Moscelyne Larkin Cultural Achievement Award – Learning, sharing, fostering and perpetuating Native cultures are very important to the future of Native people. Culture makes Native people uniquely distinct from all others.

Dr. Ralph Dru Career and Professional Award – recognizes personal achievements in an individual’s chosen career or profession

Jim Thorpe Sports Excellence Award – recognizes the sports attributes of Native people; motivational for people of different ages, genders and race.

Red Eagle Sacred Circle of Spirituality Award – honors the individual who helps promote the importance of spirituality in our lives (how spirituality can help promote longevity and improve our health).

Roberta Pratt Gardipe American Indian Veterans Award – recognizes a noted Native American military veteran who has served with honor and dignity. This veteran is noted for patriotism and dedication to the military and is held highly by his family and-or the Native community. This award is to honor and thank the veteran and/or the veteran’s family for their sacrifices for our country and to demonstrate the high regard in which all veterans are held by Native people.