Marybelle Chase was recently given the Gadugi Award in recognition of her academic contributions to the Cherokee Nation.
According to the Cherokee Heritage Center website, Chase has been doing research on Cherokee historical and family history records for 30 years, has published 18 books of Cherokee claims and rolls, and was editor of the Cherokee Tracer for 15 years.
Currently, Chase is the vice president of the Oklahoma chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, a researcher for the National Trail of Tears Association and the National Park Service, a member of the Cherokee Nation Registration Committee and a member of both the Tulsa Cherokee Community Organization and the Goingsnake District Heritage Association.
“As principal chief, I’m pleased to have the honor to occasionally formally recognize citizens for their good work. The Gadugi Award recognizes citizens who work for the benefit of all,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith said in a release.
“Receiving an award for things I love to do is very gratifying,” Chase said after accepting the award medal from Smith. “Thank you so much for this honor and this award.”
According to the press release, the Cherokee Nation established the award to honor those who contribute to the well-being and legacy of the Cherokee Nation, and is given to a citizen who exemplify the Cherokee way of life.