One Dozen Who Care, Inc. presented the Community Treasure Award to Onita Bush, an elder of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) from the Snowbird Community, at their annual Elder Diner celebration held on Saturday, Nov. 9. This award was presented in grateful appreciation for her outstanding service and devotion to the communities in far western North Carolina.
The Elder Dinner is an event that brings together racially diverse elders in the community for good food, fellowship, and fun. The goal of the project is to recognize people in the far western North Carolina area who exemplify outstanding community service. These awards are given each year to “tear down walls that divide and build bridges within our far western counties,” says ODWC Founder, Ann Miller Woodford.
A complete lunch, catered by Ellerna and Thomas Forney from A-Party-In-A-Box of Sylva, fed a diverse group of about 80 people from Cherokee, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, and Macon counties. Ellerna and Thomas also provided the décor. They were assisted by Brandi Hinnant-Crawford, Cammie Johnson, and Marge Herbert.
ODWC is very pleased to recognize Mrs. Bush for her outstanding community service by awarding her the Community Treasure Award. We say, “Thank you, Onita, for your continued commitment to serving all of the citizens in the Snowbird community of Robbinsville, Cherokee, and the surrounding region.”
Bush has three children and eight grandchildren. She speaks fluent Cherokee and recently retired in April 2019 after serving 16 years as a home health Certified Nurse Assistant for the EBCI. Before that, she worked for Angel Home Health and Hospice. She is a member of the Spirit Aligned Leadership Organization, in which she also won an award. The organization promotes the Cherokee cultural heritage by keeping the native language alive, sharing knowledge of medicines found in nature, sharing knowledge on how animals can be used as messengers, and sharing knowledge on native foods found in the woods.
Bush has spoken at Western Carolina University to help promote the Cherokee cultural heritage. She is an active member of her community club and has donated to several local organizations such as: Snowbird Cherokee Language Program, and the local Boys & Girls Club. Onita also does cooking demos of native foods and conducts medicine walks where she takes people out and educate them on the different plants and what they can be used for.
– One Dozen Who Care, Inc. release