CHC honors 3 individuals, CNB at SevenStar Gala
From left to right are Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr., Secretary of Veterans Affairs S. Joe Crittenden, Tribal Councilor Victoria Vazquez, Cherokee National Treasure Dorothy Dreadfulwater Ice, Cherokee Nation Businesses Executive Chairman Bill John Baker and Cherokee Nation first lady January Hoskin. Crittenden, Vazquez, Ice and Baker were presented with the Cherokee Heritage Center’s SevenStar Awards on Nov. 2 in Tahlequah. Baker accepted the award on behalf of Cherokee Nation Businesses. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Heritage Center on Nov. 2 honored four people for furthering the Cherokee National Historical Society’s mission to preserve, promote and teach Cherokee history and culture during its SevenStar Gala at the Cherokee Casino Tahlequah’s Chota Conference Center.
“We are the premier cultural center for Cherokee history, culture and the arts,” CHC Executive Director Charles Gourd, Ph.D., said. “The award recipients recognized this evening each play a vital role in not only the success of our organization, but also serve as exemplary representatives for the Cherokee people.”
Four awards were given throughout the event: the Contemporary Achievement Award, Tradition Bearer Award, Warrior Award and Stalwart Award.
Victoria Vazquez received this year’s Contemporary Achievement Award. The award recognizes a Cherokee who is accomplished in a chosen field, has brought honor to the Cherokee people and serves as an inspiration.
Vazquez is the Tribal Council’s deputy speaker and has served as the tribal councilor for Dist. 11 since 2013. As an apprentice under her late mother, Anna Sixkiller Mitchell, Vazquez learned the art of traditional handmade Southeastern pottery. The two became the first mother-daughter duo to be named Cherokee National Treasures for pottery making.
Another Cherokee National Treasure, Dorothy Dreadfulwater Ice, was honored with the Tradition Bearer Award for achievements in preserving Cherokee traditions through crafts, history and/or storytelling.
Ice was named a Cherokee National Treasure in 1991 for her talents in loom weaving, though she also is known for her efforts teaching the Cherokee language. Her work can be found locally at the CHC and on the national scene at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
The Warrior Award recognizes a Cherokee who has served in one of the United States’ uniformed services. This year’s honor went to former Deputy Chief and U.S. Navy veteran S. Joe Crittenden.
During his eight years as deputy chief, he played a role in the opening of the Cherokee Nation Veterans Center, oversaw Cherokee Warrior Flights and worked with federal agencies to ensure Cherokee veterans were getting quality health care, housing and services. Crittenden’s advocacy for Cherokee veterans continues in his new role as the CN’s first secretary of Veterans Affairs.
Cherokee Nation Businesses was recognized with the Stalwart Award for significant contributions to the CHC’s success. CNB Executive Chairman and former Principal Chief Bill John Baker accepted the award on behalf of the company.
As the tribally owned holding company of the CN, CNB blends its heritage of ingenuity with modern business experience to solve complex challenges, serve clients nationwide and remain one of the drivers of the CN’s prosperity and stability. As such, it provides a direct dividend of 37 percent of its profits to the tribe for services such as housing, health care, education and social services. The remaining 63 percent is reinvested into growing jobs, wages, business development and special projects, such as the construction of new health care facilities.
CNB serves an important role in preserving, promoting and supporting Cherokee culture and art, and has been a longtime CHC supporter.