Founded by a 20 plus year mainstream music industry professional, N.A.M.A. celebrates the rich cultural heritage of our nation’s first people and promotes cultural preservation and renewal on a national level. Our organization is committed to preserving Native American culture and continuing the traditions through music initiatives. We aim to raise the awareness level and appreciation for the history and culture of all Native American people to the public at large, both nationally and internationally.
The Native American Music Awards was created as a method to provide Native Music its proper respect on a national level and prove that there is a viable and professional industry. It was created not as a competition, but to give Native Youth on reservations the needed inspiration and opportunities to pursue a professional career in music and to garner greater exposure.
The Native American Music Awards ceremony honors Indigenous people north and south of the US and Canadian borders. Our logo is a satellite picture of all of North America and the tip of South America, therefore we honor Indigenous artists from those territories.
NAMA began in 1998 as a grass roots initiative among industry professionals and record labels such as; Canyon, SOAR, Silverwave, Machoche', Turtle Island, Sweetgrass, Sunshine and others to prove that there was a viable music industry. We launched our Awards show with 56 annual recordings. Today we receive over 200 each year. Members from various communities and tribal radio stations served as our first Advisory Board membership.
As the first of its kind, our awards ceremony was styled from other national music awards shows. In fact we created the first written proposal for the Native category in the Grammys and were invited to do so by its Vice President. Unlike the Grammys, we do open our voting to the general public. All artists are treated with respect and fairness.
We are a music industry organization first and foremost. We are all volunteers. Our membership fees pay for the administration of our submissions, digitizing the music for the website, hosting our website, printing and mailing voting ballots and having them tabulated. Our national membership and media coverage allows us to maintain a high level of credibility as a professional music industry organization.
Without NAMA there would be no recognition of Indian music initiatives on a national and professional level. The artists and their record companies enter their music recordings to receive greater exposure and awareness. After an entire decade, we are turning a new corner to continue the growth and our ever expanding international audience.
This show was inspried by the Black Elk prophecy and a band from the Rosebud Reservation called 7th Generation. Its founder was a mainstream music industry executive with over 20 years of experience and one who was previously involved with the MTV Music Video Awards, New York Music Awards, Hands Across America and more. Before NAMA was launched, it was sparked as an inside joke, became a vision, and then a realized dream. It embraced and required the support of music industry peers and Native community members who all gave it its blessings and approval and remain involved to date.
· Each year the annual Awards show program features over one dozen mesmerizing and dynamic performances by some of today’s leading Native American artists along with awards presentations in over 30 categories including; Lifetime Achievement and Hall of Fame.
· The Awards show is an extraordinary and unprecedented celebration of today’s best contemporary and traditional musical performances and recordings by Native American artists.
· The Awards program is an innovative, visually advanced production using prerecorded music of the nominees, voice over, live presentations and performances, and IMAG and large screen imaging. This critically acclaimed Music Awards show and its high production values have been featured in Billboard Magazine, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, NY Times, Boston Globe, and CNN.
· The highly anticipated annual awards show program debuted in 1998 at Foxwoods in Conneticut and drew its first audience of 1500 people in the Northeast. It has since been held throughout the country in cities such as; Albuquerque, Milwaukee, Ft Lauderdale and has drawn its largest audiences in the Southwest and most recently in the Northeast
· Based on ticket sales, an estimated 43 % of our audience travel from all across the country to attend our shows.
- The Native American Music Awards logo features an emblemed music note with an Eagle Feather as the cleff and Mother Earth's Turtle
Island as the base of the note.