Faces and places

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The American Indian Community House hosted a special evening to celebrate its 40th anniversary and to honor outstanding individuals for their commitment of enhancing and enriching the lives of indigenous peoples at the 2nd Annual Honoring the Spirit Awards Dinner at the historic National Arts Club Grand Ball Room Nov. 6.

Frances Grumbly, executive director for the Ingrid Washinawatok El Issa Flying Eagle Woman Fund for Peace, Justice and Sovereignty, emceed the event. Hattie Kauffman, CBS Early Show correspondent, received the 2009 Trailblazer Award for being the first national Native American news correspondent for a major TV network. Louis Mofsie of the Thunderbird Dance Company received the 2009 Rosemary Richmond Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the Native community.

Here is a list of this year’s honorees:

  • Outstanding Community Service – John Haworth, National Museum New York City director
  • International Service – Oren Lyons

  • Arts and Entertainment – Elvira and Hortensia Colorado, Coatlicu Theatre Company

  • Cultural Promotion and Preservation – Elizabeth Haile, of the Shinnecock Nation

AICH serves the health, social service, and cultural needs of Native Americans residing in New York City, which is home to the largest population of urban Native Americans living in any U.S. city. AICH was founded in 1969 by Native American volunteers as a community-based organization mandated to improve the status of Native Americans and to foster inter-cultural understanding. Since its inception, AICH has grown into a multi-faceted social support agency and cultural center with a staff of 35. AICH currently serves an estimated 87,241 Native Americans that call New York City home.