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Native American Music Awards: Show to commemorate National Native American Heritage Month


Mon, Oct 31st 2022 10:40 am


Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino announced the Native American Music Awards show, originally scheduled for this evening, has been postponed due to severe weather conditions. The show will now take place in The Bear’s Den Showroom at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21.


Saturday, Nov. 19, Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls

√ Oren Lyons to be honored with a Living Legend Award

√ Shalamar’s Micki Free to be inducted into Hall of Fame 

√ First ceremony since pandemic

Logo courtesy of Native American Music Awards


The Native American Music Awards are back and ready to celebrate and honor their most powerful voices, while also commemorating National Native American Heritage Month, on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls. This will be the organization’s 20th awards event, and the first since the pandemic.

Hosting the ceremony will be actor Robert Mesa (Navajo/ Soboba), who most recently played the character James Chee, the first Indigenous doctor on “Grey's Anatomy.”

A press release explained, “The awards will proudly recognize and honor Oren Lyons as a Living Legend. Oren, who is 92, is the Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation. He is an artist, speaker, author and environmental activist for Indigenous peoples worldwide, and holds the title of Wisdom Keeper. He has advocated at the United Nations to recognize Indigenous rights and has addressed the United Nations General Assembly. He is also an All-American Lacrosse Hall of Famer and honorary chairman of the Haudenosaunee Nationals Lacrosse program.

“This year’s Hall of Fame inductee is Micki Free, a Grammy Award-winner and multiple Native American Music Award-winner of Comanche and Cherokee descent. Originally discovered and managed by Gene Simmons of KISS, Micki was the guitarist in the R&B sensation Shalamar, who boasted mega Platinum hit songs like ‘Dancing In The Sheets’ from the movie soundtrack ‘Footloose,’ and won a Grammy for ‘Don't Get Stopped In Beverly Hills’ from the ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ soundtrack. Micki is currently on tour supporting his latest album, ‘Turquoise Blue,’ which features members of The Santana Band, Steve Stevens of Billy Idol and Gary Clark Jr.

“Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are Paul LaRoche of Brule/AIRO and Robert Tree Cody. Paul LaRoche is the founding member of Brulé, the epic Native American rock show. Brulé has won eight Native American Music awards, released 20 CDs and sold over 1 million CDs worldwide. Robert Tree Cody is a five-time Native American Music Award winner, and a multitalented flutist, singer, dancer, actor and educator. He has released 13 albums and is an adopted son of Hollywood actor Iron Eyes Cody.

This year’s awards program celebrates and features an overwhelming amount of talent and full-length albums, single recordings and music video releases.”

Featured performers include multiple nominees Antoine Edwards Jr., Cody Blackbird, Earl Slick and the Fabulous Ripcords, Fawn Wood, Gunner Jules, Spur Pourier, Sten Joddi, and The Halluci Nation. Guest nominees include Ava Rose, Blanca Iris Acuna, Blue Flamez, Blue Mountain Tribe, Crazy Flute, Darren Thompson, Dr. April Lea Go Forth, Faran Sohappy, Gera & T.M. Clark, JUQ, Julian Taylor, Kelly Derrickson, Kelly Montijo Fink, Irv Lyons Jr., Melody McArthur, Raven Flyinghorse, Sandra Sutter, Savelle The Native, The Johnnys, Shibastik, Shiloh Ashley, Tess Remy-Schumacher, Twice As Good, Two Shields, and Yvonne St. Germaine.”

Organizers also announced a new partnership with the BMI Foundation to create a career grant for a Native American songwriter or composer. To be known as the BMI Foundation Rising Star Award, this new program will honor a music creator in the Rising Star category for emerging and promising artists. The recipient of this award will receive a $2,500 career grant.

The Native American Music Awards was originally formed in 1998 as a national organization committed to traditional and contemporary Native American music. Nominations for the Annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) reflect the highest quality of recordings by music makers throughout North America and were selected by the combined votes of a national advisory board membership committee.

The press release said, “From sorrows and celebrations to protectors and protesters, this year’s nominees have embraced many issues facing tribal communities today, including missing and murdered Indigenous women, land back, climate crisis, and the devastating pandemic.”

Tickets for the awards ceremony are available on Ticketmaster.com.

Voting for the Native American Music Awards remains open to the general public until midnight on Friday, Nov. 18, at www.NAMALIVE.com. All winners will be announced live at the event.

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