Tomaquag Museum honors Indigenous Community Leaders at Annual Honoring Gathering.

EXETER, RI - On October 21, 2017, Abenaki Educator Dale Carson, Wampanoag Linguist Jessie Little Doe Baird, Mohegan Medicine Woman Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel, Mashantucket Pequot Award Winning Musician Laughing Woman, and Narragansett entrepreneur Robert Shumate were honored by Tomaquag Museum for their work in the Native American/Indigenous community.

Tomaquag Museum, an Institute of Museum & Library Services National Medal winner, hosted its annual Honoring Dinner at Quidnessett Country Club on Saturday, October 21, 2017 with over 180 guests in attendance. Guests enjoyed a delicious four course meal, silent and live auctions and cultural performances by Narragansett artists Thawn and Eleanor Harris and the Hawaiian entertainer Guy Kahokulani Imoto. Along with presentations regarding Tomaquag Museum’s successful year in review, each honoree shared their story and received congratulatory citations from Senator Whitehouse, a 2016 honoree, Senator Jack Reed, and Congressman Ciciline of The State of Rhode Island.

The Life Time Achievement Award celebrates outstanding achievement on behalf of Indigenous people and communities across “Indian Country” and the impact. Dale Carson was honored for her lifetime of work sharing Indigenous life ways as an educator, author and artist.   Having been raised in a family of artists, she continued this tradition throughout her life impacting generations of young people through the sharing of cultural knowledge.

Princess Red Wing Arts & Culture Award celebrates her legacy as a Narragansett/Wampanoag artist, storyteller, activist, writer, knowledge keeper and original voice of Tomaquag Museum and the contributions of today’s culture bearers. Laughing Woman Patrick was honored as a culture bearer through her gifts as an award winning musician and composer, and as a spiritual leader of the Mashantucket Western Pequot Tribal Nation.

Eva Butler Scholar Award celebrates her legacy of inquiry through anthropology, archeology, partnering with Indigenous community for the forming of Tomaquag Museum and the contributions of researchers today. Melissa Tantaquidgeon Zobel was honored for her commitment to sharing the history, traditions, traditional lifeways, and spiritual beliefs of the Mohegan people through her work as an educator, historian, author, and medicine woman of her tribe.

Ellison “Tarzan” Brown Champion Award celebrates his legacy as a marathon runner, olympian, and hero for his people bringing the Narragansett into the public eye on a regional, national and international stage. The award honors contributions of people of today who champion Tomaquag Museum, Indigenous causes or are champions in their own right. Jessie Little Doe Baird was honored for championing language reclamation amongst the Wampanoag people.  As a dedicated educator, she works to restore fluency among the Wampanoag nation as well as to use the language to assist with community wellness initiatives.

Eleanor Dove Entrepreneur Award celebrates her legacy as an entrepreneur in the founding of Dovecrest Indian Restaurant and other businesses sharing the Narragansett culture through cuisine and the contributions of business leaders today that share Indigenous culture through their businesses. Robert Shumate was honored for his generosity and entrepreneurial spirit.  He has dedicated his life to growing a small family business, the Pier Ice Plant Inc. which reached its 50th year of operation in 2016 and continues to serve Rhode Island as one of the top ice manufacturers in the area. 

About Guy Kahokulani Imoto

Guy Kahokulani Imoto performs a variety of genres including Hawaiian, Classic Rock, Reggae, R&B, Blues, country and Light Jazz.  As a native Hawaiian, his feel for Hawaiian love songs continually makes him a crowd favorite.  In a music career of 45 years, has led bands in the San Francisco Bay Area and, of course, Hawaii.  As a solo act, he has performed coast to coast in a variety of venues including the corporate market. Over the past 10 years, Guy turned his musical talents to the cruise industry.  He has performed with several cruise lines, traveled the world from Australia to Alaska; the South Pacific to South America; as well as the Caribbean, Mexico and back to Hawaii.  He is a regular with the Hawaiian Duo on Norwegian Cruise Lines Pride of America. His recent “Music with Aloha” Tour in Australia was very well received and he continues to perform across the USA meeting with success as a versatile singer and accomplished songwriter.  Guy loves to play music for people all over the world and takes pride in including something for everyone. For more details & bookings contact Guy Kahokulani Imoto (808) 371-4236

Awardees receiving an honor song by community members Thawn & Eleanor Harris

Awardees receiving an honor song by community members Thawn & Eleanor Harris