Cherokee Paper Honors Seven in Inaugural Awards

Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

The Cherokee Phoenix newspaper is recognizing seven outstanding individuals, including an Omaha-based Legal Aid of Nebraska employee, with its inaugural Seven Feathers Awards.

The awards honor Cherokees who work to make the world a better place, according to promotional materials from the paper.

This year’s winners are:

• Community – Kirby Williams of Omaha is the outreach coordinator of the Legal Aid of Nebraska’s Native American Program. 

• Language – Howard Paden, of Leach, Oklahoma, is the Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Language Master-Apprentice Program manager. 

• Culture – Janelle Adair of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, is a former Miss Cherokee who works for Cherokee Nation Businesses as a storyteller, at which she shares her knowledge of the Cherokee culture and history.

• Service – Richard Tyler of Vian, Oklahoma, owns Native Oklahoma Aquaponic Harvest and donates produce to his own Vian Peace Center and the Northeast Oklahoma Food Bank.

• Education – Zachary Self of Stilwell, Oklahoma, is a prevention specialist with Chain Breakers Coalition of Adair County. He works to educate young people on the dangers of opioid abuse. 

• Health – Kaitlyn Pinkerton of Claremore, Oklahoma, is a former Junior Miss Cherokee who advocates for mental health issues in Indian Country

• Business – Cindy Irwin of Gore, Oklahoma, owns Gambinos Pizza and coordinates an annual Easter egg hunt hosted by Gore.

The awards were presented Nov. 23 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

For more information, including a Nov. 15 issue featuring the award recipients, visit the paper’s website,

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