Thoz Womenz Drum
On November 2, 2019, 19th annual Native American Music Awards (NAMA) was held at the Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, New York. The awards recognize Native American authored music in a diversity of genres, such as rock, blues, folk, hip hop and traditional Native music. Over 200 artists had submitted recordings for the nomination process. Six members of Thoz Womenz, a Northern California women’s drum, attended as honored nominees in two musical categories of Best Linguistic and Best Powwow/Drum recordings. The Powwow/Drum nomination received by Thoz Womenz marked a first for a women’s drum nomination in that category.
The Native American Music Awards also debuted a public service announcement video by Thoz Womenz. An edited version of Stand Strong revealed the silent crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous woman, girls and two spirits to the sold-out event. The public service announcement segment featured Congresswoman Debra Anne Haaland, an American Indian lawyer serving as the U.S. Representative from New Mexico. Haaland described the need to pass new legislation in Congress to rectify the tragedies facing Native American females in the United States.
Thoz Womenz’ drum keeper, Dr. April Lea Go Forth, Aniyvwiya, was executive director of the public service announcement. The video was produced and edited by Jack Kohler, a member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe and the executive producer of the non-profit media organization 'On Native Ground.’ The video is offered digitally to everyone and may be viewed online at Vimeo and below. It is hoped that everyone who sees the public service announcement will encourage others to view it to increase awareness, prayers and justice for all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
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