20th Annual Native American Music Awards to be Held at Seneca Casino

The 20th annual Native American Music awards will be held on November 19 at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls. The event is back after the pandemic’s devastating impact on Indigenous communities across America.

native american music awards
Robert Mesa

The Native American Music Awards will be commemorating National Native American Heritage month. The host this year will be actor Robert Mesa (Navajo/ Soboba) who most recently played the character James Chee, the first Indigenous doctor on Grey’s Anatomy.

Rodney Grant will be the host emcee, for the fourth time in his career. He has had an outstanding career in film, motion pictures, and television. He is best known for his memorable role as ”Wind In His Hair” in the 1990 film Dances With Wolves. Rodney Grant will also be inducting artist Micki Free into the Native American Music Awards Hall of Fame.

The awards were originally formed in 1998 as a national organization committed to traditional and contemporary Native American music. 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.

The awards will proudly recognize and honor Oren Lyons as a Living Legend. 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 is the Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, Onondaga Nation.

Native American music awards
Oren Lyons

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. He 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.. 

The Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are Paul LaRoche and Robert Tree Cody. LaRoche is the founding member of Brulé, the epic Native American rock show. Brule’ has won eight Native American Music Awards, released 20 CDs, and sold over one million CDs worldwide. Robert Tree Cody is a five-time award winner, and a multi-talented flutist, singer, dancer, actor, and educator.

Featured performers this year include Antoine Edwards Jr, Cody Blackbird, Earl Slick and the Fabulous Ripcords, Fawn Wood, Gunner Jules, Spur Pourier, Sten Joddi, and The Halluci Nation.

The Native American Music Awards has teamed up with SiriusXM for a special curated music mix celebrating the musical contributions of Native American artists. “Native American Voices,” an exclusive mix highlighting artists from the awards Hall of Fame, is hosted by the organization’s president, Ellen Bello. The content will be available on SiriusXM beginning Oct. 31, on the SXM App for the month of Nov.

Tickets for the awards show are on sale now here, and voting for the award ceremony remains open until Nov. 18.

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