State honors advocates for
By Kristen Moulton
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 11/24/2008 09:43:13 PM MST
From a Boy Scout responsible for reburial of the Timpanogos Chief Black Hawk to a Navajo Santa Claus, 13 individuals and a business were honored Monday for their contributions to American Indians in Utah.
The day, declared Indigenous Day by Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. as part of the 10th annual American Indian Heritage Month, was capped off by a reception and awards ceremony at the Sheraton in Salt Lake City.
Forrest Cuch, executive director of the state's Division of Indian Affairs, said the state recognizes people who make a contribution regardless of race.
"These are a complete mixture of Indian and non-Indian people," Cuch said.
Joining the 75 individuals and 22 organizations that were honored since 1999, are these new recipients of certificates of appreciation: Forrest Crawford of Weber State University; Michael Devine of the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone's economic development company; Ron Rood, assistant Utah state archaeologist; Curleen Pfeiffer, an Indian youth advocate; Ken Verdoia and Mary Dickson for their PBS Series "We Shall Remain; Trisha Wrigley, a youth advocate in entrepreneur and business development; and Phillip Gottfredson, a film documentarian who produced "Black Hawk, Utah War Chief."
Cliff Tohsonie, Aneth Community Development Corp., was awarded the outstanding Indian business award and Charles Denny was given the outstanding youth services award.
Kenneth Maryboy, who dresses as Santa and delivers goodies by airplane to Navajo children, was awarded the Unsung Hero award.
Rupert Steele, chairman of the Confederated Tribes of the Goshutes, was given a special recognition award and professional golfer Johnny Miller was honored for fundraising events that collect money for Indian scholarships.
*Shane Armstrong, the Boy Scout who arranged the reburial of Black Hawk, was given a special recognition award and American Express was honored for continued support of business opportunity development for Utah's Indians.
The awards, Cuch said, are a goodwill gesture. "We hope it creates more awareness."
The federal Native American Heritage Day is Friday.
*When Shane Armstrong was a Boy Scout he elected to have the late Chief Black Hawk registered with the NAGPRA as a humanitarian project to earn his Eagle Scout badge. Shane contacted Chamain Thompson archeologist for the National Forest Service in Utah. After nearly a year the once missing remains of Black Hawk were found in a storage room on the campus of Brigham Young University. Black Hawk was reburied at Spring Lake, Utah near the place he was born.
Phillip Gottfredson for the past decade has been an advocate for the First People and was asked by the Division of Indian Affairs Executive Director Forrest Cuch to make a documentary film about the story of Chief Black Hawk, and a history of the American Indians of Utah. Mr. Gottfredson said, "It has always been my experience that the Native people are a generous and good people. And I feel it a great honor that they would award me this gift. While I had been invited to the ceremony, I had no idea they were going to give me this award.
I am deeply appreciative to the Division of Indian Affairs, Forrest Cuch and Palmer DePaulis, and the First Peoples of Utah for the tremendous support they have given me in this film documentary project. I hope I will always be worthy of this prestigious award. From my heart to yours--Thank you!"