The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Heartland Chapter has honored “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People” with a Heartland Regional Emmy Award. The show’s special “Remember the Removal Ride” episode won for Best Cultural Documentary. The show was also nominated in four other categories.
“The Cherokee Nation has a rich, complex and powerful narrative, and the television program allows us to share our inspiring stories with the world. It is an excellent means of preserving our past and creating a historical record for future generations,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “I am proud to see our episode on the bike ride being recognized for its efforts toward preserving our history and culture. This honor is well deserved.”
The episode documents the 2015 Remember the Removal Bike Ride, where 19 Cherokees retraced their ancestors’ forced trek more than 175 years ago on the Trail of Tears. Participants cycled more than 950 miles through seven states, testing their physical and mental endurance. “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People” followed their journey from Georgia to Oklahoma, capturing the riders’ emotions and physical struggles.
The 30-minute series was conceptualized and created by CNB Vice President of Communications Amanda Clinton and is hosted and produced by Emmy-winning journalist Jennifer Loren. It features the people, places, history and culture of the Cherokee Nation. New episodes are produced monthly.
“It’s surreal to think how far we’ve come in just two years,” Clinton said. “It seems like yesterday I was asked to create a program that Cherokees would enjoy, while instilling pride in our people. As the team and the pieces came together, it was magical. At that time, I never dreamed we’d bring an Emmy home to the Cherokee Nation. On a personal note, as a Cherokee from Mayes County, I feel very blessed to have such creative freedom to communicate to fellow Cherokees and am grateful to Chief Baker and CNB for all the support.”
“As a Cherokee Nation citizen, I am honored to have this platform, to finally show the world who we are, telling authentic stories about Cherokee people,” Loren said. “While awards like the Emmys are thrilling, I believe they are simply a reflection of the great people of the Cherokee Nation and a validation that we have unique and inspiring stories to tell.”
Show host and executive producer Loren is joined by renowned Native filmmaker Sterlin Harjo and decorated visual artist and producer Jeremy Charles in creating powerful, thought-provoking stories about the traditions, triumphs and accomplishments of the Cherokee people. Harjo and Charles both serve as directors for the show. It’s an honor for our team who works on this show every day. We spent countless hours on the winning episode and poured our hearts into telling this story, a journey that will always hold a special place in our hearts and minds.”
FireThief Productions, co-owned by Native filmmakers Jeremy Charles (Cherokee) and Sterlin Harjo (Seminole), is the production studio behind “Osiyo, Voices of the Cherokee People.” Charles, Harjo and lead editor Charles Elmore shared in the honor for their outstanding documentary work on the series.
To watch the Emmy-winning documentary on the Remember the Removal Ride or other episodes, visit www.osiyo.tv.