After a two day delay due to a massive lake effort snow storm in western New York, the Native American Music Awards celebrated 20 years of honouring the best in Native American music and musicians with their awards presentation on November 21 at the Bear’s Den Showroom in the Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino in Niagara Falls, New York.

November is much more than eating turkey and watching football, it is Native American Heritage month and the perfect time to honour the best of Native American music and musicians.

Along with the awards for the best in music, Oren Lyons will be presented with the Living Legend Award and Micki Free of Shalamar will be inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame.  Oren Lyons is the Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan in the Onondaga Nation.  The 92 year old Wisdom Kepper is an artist, speaker, author, and environmental activist.  A member of the All-American Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Lyons is the Honorary Chairman of the Haudenosaunee Nationals Lacrosse program.

Micki Free is a Grammy and Native American Music Award winner whose music has been heard soundtracks of “Footloose” and “Beverly Hills Cop”.

Native American Music Award winners Paul LaRoche and Robert Tree Cody will be presented with Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Actor Robert Mesa is set to host the gala events.  Mesa recently appeared on “Grey’s Anatomy” as Dr. James Chee – the show’s first Indigenous doctor.

Antoine Edwards Jr, Cody Blackbird, Earl Slick and the Fabulous Ripcord, Fawn Wood, Gunner Jules, Spur Pourier, Sten Joddi, and The Halluci Nation are all set to perform; western New York’s Ed Koban and his band return to serve as the house band and to provide artist accompaniment.

The 2022 Native American Music Awards winners:
Male Artist of the Year: Sten Joddi

Female Artist of the Year: Ava Rose

Best Debut Artist: Charles Wood III

Best Debut Duo or Group: he Buffalo Weavers

Best Group of the Year: The Ripcords for “Unmasked”

Best Blues Recording: “The Roof is Leaking” by Earl Slick and the West Side Social Club

Best Christian or Inspirational Performance: “Sorrow Road” by Yvonne St. Germaine
Best Country Recording: “Music is Medicine” by Elexa Dawson

Best Flute Recording: “Moonlight Love Songs” by Aaron White

Best Folk or Americana Recording: “I Am” by Kelly Derrickson
Best Instrumental Recording: “Under Open Sky” by Ancient Voices

Best Native American Church Recording: “Remembering Our Elders” by Jarvis Hunter

Best Pop Recording: “Rising Waters” by Melody McArthur

Best R&B Recording: “The Rez Hummingbird” by Ramonda Holiday

Best Rap or Hip-Hop Recording: “It’s a Native Thang” by Sten Joddi

Best Rock Recording: “Who We Are” by (Cody and Caleb) Blackbird

Best Pow Wow or Drum Songs Recording: “Cree Round Dance Songs” by Young Spirit

Best Traditional Recording: “Shining So Bright” by Spur Pourier

Best Waila Recording: “Tribal Harmony” by Intertribal

Native Heart: “Distant Lands” by Gera & T.M

Single of the Year: “Bloomsday” by Samantha Crain

Best Song: “G Precious” by Unforgettable with Macy Gray

Best Artist of the Year Album: “Kakike” by Fawn Wood

Best Honor or Tribute Song: “I’m Missing You” by Hannah Bonez and Leah Shenandoah

BMI Rising Star: Bryant Waupoose III

Best Animation in a Video: “Stay” by The Halluci Nation

Best Blues Video: “Pray for Our Planet” by Blue Mountain Tribe

Best Country Video: “The Ridge” by Julian Taylor

Best Collaboration in a Video: “Patience” by Antoine Edwards with Gunner Jules, Spur Pourier, and Miracle

Best Folk or Americana Video: “Toward the Rising Sun – Te Ata” by Tabitha Fair

Best Instrumental Video: “Frybread” by Connor Chee

Best Narrative in a Video: “Protect Your People” by Foreshadow

Best Pop Video: “Indian Girl Driving Me Crazy” by Joey Stylez

Best Rap or Hip-Hop Video: “Real Deadly” by Snotty Nose Rez Kids

Best Rock Video: “No Way Out” by The Bloodshots

Best Contemporary Vocal Video: “I Will Survive” by Shawn Michael Perry

Best Traditional Vocal Video: “Picadilly Billy” by the Martin Sisters

Best Live Performance Video: “The Storm” by the DOC Native with Spencer Battiest

Lifetime Achievement: Rodney A. Grant, Paul LaRoche, and Robert Tree Cody

Living Legend: Oren Lyons

Hall of Fame: Micki Free