RAPID CITY, SD – First Peoples Fund, a national organization supporting Native American artists, has named Luther G. (Butch) and Lydia Louise Goings, EBCI tribal members, as recipients of the 2016 Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award. A nationwide committee selected seven 2016 Community Spirit Award honorees and the prestigious award includes a $7,500 grant.
“This honor is given to a small number of artists each year to recognize their exceptional passion, wisdom and dedication to passing on ancestral knowledge in their communities,” said Lori Pourier, First Peoples Fund president.
The Goings practice and pass on the knowledge and traditions of their people, including wood carving and white oak basketry.
“In our culture, we believe that all things are connected,” Louise Going said. “Therefore, we try to use all the skills and knowledge we have to strengthen our community. Even though we are known for basket making and carving, we also use other skills and knowledge we have to help our community.”
Tonya E. Carroll, EBCI Destination Marketing manager, nominated the Goings for the award. “It is difficult to only mention Butch and Louise for their talent as artists because they do and are so much more. Butch and Louise have been pillars of our community since I can remember, and probably since before my time.”
Additional award recipients include Jennie Wheeler, Tlingit, a traditional seal skin and fur regalia and spruce root basket maker of Yakutat, Alaska; Duncan Ka’ohu Seto, a Native Hawai’ian traditional lauhala weaver and teacher from Hilo, Hawai’i; Jack Wallace Gladstone, a Montana Blackfeet performance artist from East Glacier, Mont.; and Phillip Whiteman, Jr., Northern Cheyenne, and Lynette Two Bulls, Oglala Lakota, traditional storytellers, performing artists, and cultural practitioners from based in Lame Deer, Mont.
“The Community Spirit Awards honor artists not for their individual achievements but for how their work benefits the collective good. These are people who have in many cases spent their lives working with humility and selflessness to sustain the cultural fabric of a community,” said Sherry Salway Black, formerly of the National Congress of American Indians and president of First Peoples Fund’s board of directors.
First Peoples Fund has been honoring culture bearers with the award for 17 years and nearly 100 artists from Maine to Alaska have received it. The award is named for First Peoples Fund’s founder, Jennifer Easton. The honorees will gather for a special celebration gala in Rapid City, SD on Sat., Oct. 8.
– First Peoples Fund