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November 8, 2017

MCN Citizens receive Dream Keepers Awards

by: Amanda Rutland/MCNPR

TULSA, Okla. — The Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission held the 20th Annual Dream Keepers Awards Banquet on Nov. 7 at the University of Oklahoma–Tulsa Schusterman Center in Tulsa. This year GTAIAC recognized Muscogee (Creek) Nation Mvskoke Language Program and MCN citizen Don G. Tiger with awards.

“This is one of our main events to reach out to the community and acknowledge Native citizens for the work they do in the greater Tulsa area,” GTAIAC Chair Sammy Haynes said.

The Mvskoke Language Program was awarded the Perry Aunko Indigenous Language Preservation Award, which recognizes Native American community members who are dedicated to keeping Native American languages alive.

Haynes said it is not often that a group or organization is chosen for an award. The Mvskoke Language Program was chosen because of the amount of work and dedication to teaching the language along with the development of the Mvskoke Language app.

The free app has 500 entries in 27 categories, ten Mvskoke hymns, seven videos along with games and quizzes. The app is available through the Apple App Store and on Android in the Google Play Store.

“The reason why we choose the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Language Dept. is that they have done an excellent job in promoting and preserving the Mvskoke Creek language,” Haynes said. “Those type of programs and people are who we want to make people aware of, and that’s what we are hoping we promote.”

Mvskoke Language Program Manager Judy Montiel said receiving the award was a humbling experience for the program.

“We have been stretched pretty thin and that all of this long effort we put into the program and different activities. It’s being to take notice in the community’s eyes,” Montiel said. “That is something that is very gratifying to each of us, kind of like a spark of energy for us to continue on this endeavor.”

MCN citizen Don G. Tiger received the Roberta Pratt Gardipe American Indian Veterans Award, which awarded to a Native veteran who has served with honor and dignity and is known for their patriotism.

Tiger served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam.

“It is a privilege to receive and be honored by this type of veterans award,” Tiger said.