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March 21, 2011
Tulsa Woman Honored With Cherokee Nation Gadugi Award
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation presented Marybelle Chase of Tulsa with the Gadugi Award at March’s Tribal Council meeting in Tahlequah, Okla. Chase was given the award in recognition of her academic contributions to the Nation. She was nominated by a group of Cherokee Nation citizens from her community.
“As principal chief, I’m pleased to have the honor to occasionally formally recognize citizens for their good work. The Gadugi Award recognizes citizens who work for the benefit of all,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith, who presented the Gadugi Award medal to Chase. She was then asked to address those in attendance.
“Receiving an award for things I love to do is very gratifying,” said Chase. “Thank you so much for this honor and this award.”
Chase taught Native American genealogy in Tulsa Public Schools for a number of years and has been a Cherokee genealogy and historical researcher since 1978, publishing 17 books. She is the current vice president of the Oklahoma chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, a researcher for the National Trail of Tears Association and the National Park Service, a member of the Cherokee Nation Registration Committee and a member of both the Tulsa Cherokee Community Organization and the Goingsnake District Heritage Association. She has been a popular speaker on the topic of genealogy at events held throughout Oklahoma.
The Cherokee Nation established the Gadugi Award to honor those who contribute to the well- being and legacy of the Cherokee Nation. The award recognizes citizens who exemplify the Cherokee way of life.