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
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 "The Black Hawk War; Utah's Forgotten Tragedy."
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
*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
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 author of "My Journey To Understand...Black Hawk's Mission of Peace" 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!"