Gregory E. Pyle, Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, will be recognized as the 2010 Red Earth Ambassador of the Year during a noon luncheon scheduled Thursday, June 3 in the Venetian Room of the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in downtown Oklahoma City.
Red Earth, Inc presents the Ambassador of the Year award annually to individuals, not necessarily of Native American descent, who have made significant contributions in presenting a positive image of Native Americans.
Pyle became Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in 1997 after serving more than 12 years as the Assistant Chief of the tribe. Under the leadership of Chief Pyle, the Choctaw Nation has put families first, with priorities on education, health and jobs.
During his administration, Pyle has initiated a Choctaw language program and promotion of interest in the history and culture of the Choctaw people that has stimulated a more positive image of Native Americans to the public. Pyle has negotiated millions of dollars in new contracts for the tribe, expanded existing programs and has initiated many innovative services for tribal members.
The Red Earth Ambassador award is represented by a bronze sculpture created by award-winning Native American artist Troy Anderson entitled “The Red Earth Delegate.” Previous Ambassadors have included Ted Turner, founder of CNN (1996); Wes Studi, actor (1998); N. Scott Momaday, author (1999); John Herrington, NASA astronaut (2003); and Betty Price, Oklahoma Arts Council (2004).
With his guidance, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma was named recipient of the 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve. Chief Pyle is a 2007 inductee into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, acknowledged as a Distinguished Alumni and Benefactor for Oklahoma State University, and recognized as the Small Business Administration Region VI Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year.
In recent years U.S. Congressional hearings have featured the testimony of Chief Pyle on various subjects including the Choctaw Code Talkers, Sovereignty, the Arkansas River Bed and health care.
Tickets to the Red Earth Ambassador of the Year Luncheon are $50 per person. Corporate tables are available. For reservations call (405) 427-5228 or visit www.redearth.org.