Native American Music Awards

  • Wednesday, 04 September 2013 00:00
  • Published in Native American
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The Native American Music Awards (N.A.M.A.) began in 1998 as a grass roots initiative among music industry professionals and record labels to not only prove that there was a viable and professional mainstream  industry, but also to give Native Youth on reservations the needed inspiration and opportunities to pursue a professional career and garner greater exposure.

Members from those record labels (Canyon, SOAR, Silverwave, Machoche', Turtle Island, Sweetgrass, Sunshine and others); their artists, various communities and tribal radio stations and media personnel served as N.A.M.A's first Advisory Board membership.

The first Awards show, which launched with 56 annual recordings, was held at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut and drew an audience of 1500 people.  Today, N.A.M.A. receives over 200 national recordings each year and has since been held throughout the country in cities such as: Albuquerque, Milwaukee, Ft Lauderdale and has drawn its largest audiences in the Southwest and most recently in the Northeast.

Each year the annual Awards program features over one dozen mesmerizing and dynamic performances by some of today’s leading Native American artists along with 30 awards presentations including: Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame.

Winners are selected by a combined vote by N.A.M.A.'s national Advisory membership and the general public who can listen and vote on the tracks of nominees on the Native American Music Awards Inc. website.

"Our recordings span from historical initiatives featuring the prison writings of Leonard Peltier, present day questions for the great Ogalala leader, Crazy Horse, to Native youth speaking louder than ever with their powerful raps about their poignant plights armed with a spirit of undaunted perserverence.

Music productions throughout our 35 categories reflect an impressive and diverse array of talent and soundscapes from all ages and tribal nations throughout the Americas and Europe.

These are the many voices of the original roots music of the Americas and they arrive at their strongest and in record-breaking numbers for all to hear." Ellen Bello, Founder/President, NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC AWARDS

This year, the 14th Annual Native American Music Awards was held on Friday, May 10th, 2013 at 8 p.m. at Seneca Niagara Events Center.

The show organizers tragically lost their home due to Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 and had initially tried to keep the original date of November 30th, 2012 before deciding to postpone the show. “I am most grateful for Seneca Niagara Casino’s understanding and support, and their efforts to ensure the awards show continuation by providing a postponement date,” said Ellen Bello, president and founder, Native American Music Association (NAMA). “I am also deeply touched by the outpouring of support and love from our artist community. Mother Earth has presented us with an extremely challenging time for me and my family as well as many other coastal communities throughout New York and New Jersey, but we will rebuild and prevail.”

Tickets purchased at any Seneca Casino must be returned to their original point-of-purchase location for a refund. Those who purchased tickets through Ticketmaster may seek a refund at any Ticketmaster location, online at or by phone at 800-745-3000. Tickets for the May 10, 2013, show are now on sale. Guests may retain their tickets for this new date of Friday, May 10th, 2013.

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  • Last modified on Thursday, 05 September 2013 04:13
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