Cleveland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City has the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Nashville has the Country Music Hall of Fame — and now Native Americans will have a hall of fame of their own.
The idea was the brainchild of James Parker Shield, a member of the Little Shell Chippewa and Cree Tribes. Retired at the time, Shield was inspired to get the ball rolling on creating a National Native American Hall of Fame 10 years ago. Now after a decade of hard work, his project is on the verge of becoming a reality.
A physical location has yet to be selected for the future location, but a ceremony announcing the official creation and launch of the Native American Hall of fame project will take place at the Phoenix Indian School Memorial Hall in Arizona next October. It is expected that the first 20 inductees into the Hall — both living and deceased — will be announced at this inaugural event.
Native Americans can be nominated to the Hall under 14 categories which includes arts, entertainment, science, advocacy, athletics and more.
Liz Hill of Minnesota’s Red Lake Ojibwe is the chairman of the Native American Hall of Fame Board of Directors. She said one of the purposes of the facility will be to “honor the inspirational achievements” of contemporary Native American people as well as recognize great figures from the past.
Plans also call for a traveling exhibit that will bring an educational curriculum to young people across the nation. It will tout the many achievements and contributions Native Americans have made to the world in modern times.