Oneida Indian Nation Homelands (February 14, 2018) – Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Turning Stone Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter has been awarded the Native Voice Award, recognizing him as one of the nation’s most distinguished leaders in Indian Country. The honor was bestowed upon Halbritter on Tuesday, February 13 in Washington, D.C. at the 20th Annual Leadership Awards Ceremony of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the nation’s oldest, largest and most representative American Indian organization.
The Native Voice Award is given in appreciation of an individual’s tireless commitment and leadership to create equality, fair representation and increased opportunity for Native Americans and our future generations. Halbritter was recognized as a leader who uplifted Native voices through Indian Country Today Media Network and also championed accurate and respectful portrayals of Native peoples through the Change the Mascot movement.
“I thank the National Congress of American Indians, both for this wonderful recognition today and for their ongoing dedication to the issues facing Indian Country,” said Halbritter. “It is critically important that we work as hard as possible now to make sure that our children and their children and their children’s children are fairly represented and treated as equals in this society – and to accomplish that, we must always stand in solidarity with all of Indian Country.”
Congratulating Halbritter on this achievement were a number of prominent Native American and political leaders:
“This award recognizes a lifetime of hard work by Ray Halbritter, who is one of the most respected Native American leaders not just in New York, but all across the United States. I offer my sincere congratulations to him on this momentous achievement and thank him for his invaluable service to the Oneida people and all of Indian Country.”
– Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senator and Senate Minority Leader, New York
“Ray Halbritter has dedicated endless time and energy to raise awareness and create solutions for the biggest issues faced by Native Americans in New York and across the country. We are proud of the honor Mr. Halbritter has brought to Central New York through his distinguished accomplishments, and I congratulate him on this well-deserved award.”
– John Katko, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives, New York
“Ray realized long ago the importance of engaging and influencing national cultural and educational institutions that have for too long ignored the place of Native Americans in national life. This passion for teaching the truth about Native history and culture is longstanding and persistent, and Ray and the Oneida Indian Nation have shown that we can lead national conversations and attack the myths about Native Americans that have long held us back.”
– Kevin Gover, Director, National Museum of the American Indian
“Ray Halbritter is a true advocate and inspiration for Native American people. He utilizes his voice and platform to push forward key issues that impact the social, economic, and political welfare of our people.”
– Notah Begay III, Former Professional Golfer and Founder, Notah Begay III Foundation
“Ray is a true leader. He can turn his visions into reality and inspire those around him to do the same. I am truly grateful for the time I spent with Ray. In his presence, I couldn’t help but be inspired to try and make a difference.
– Dave Archambault II, Former Chairman, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
“Our voices were the first heard on this continent, yet as the Native people of North America, we have been silent too long, and a people without a voice are soon deemed irrelevant, and Ray Halbritter was not going to allow that. Just as communicating has evolved from petroglyphs to smoke signals and now smart phones, Ray Halbritter has been at the pinnacle of innovation and change, utilizing all platforms of communication to inspire that voice and catalyze our image throughout all domestic and international communities to let everyone know we are still here and a viable people. He is a respected visionary and a champion for the rights of our Native people. I am proud to call him my friend and to see him receive this prestigious Native Voice Award from NCAI. Congratulations!”
– Sonny Skyhawk (Sicangu Lakota), Founder of American Indians in Film and Television
About the Oneida Indian Nation
The Oneida Indian Nation is a federally recognized Indian nation in Central New York. A founding member of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Six Nations or Iroquois Confederacy), the Oneida Indian Nation sided with the Americans in the Revolutionary War and was thanked by Congress and President George Washington for its loyalty and assistance. Today, the Oneida Indian Nation employs more than 4,600 people, include Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, the SāvOn convenience stores, Maple Leaf Markets, RV Park, three marinas, and Four Directions Productions, a 3D animation HD cinematography studio. Proceeds from these enterprises are used to rebuild the Nation’s economic base and fund essential services, including housing, health care, and education incentives and programs, for the Oneida people.
For more information, visit www.OneidaIndianNation.com.
About the National Congress of American Indians
Founded in 1944, the National Congress of American Indians is the oldest, largest and most representative American Indian and Alaska Native organization in the country. NCAI advocates on behalf of tribal governments and communities, promoting strong tribal-federal government-to-government policies, and promoting a better understanding among the general public regarding American Indian and Alaska Native governments, people and rights.
For more information, visit www.ncai.org.