POLACCA—Administrators and president of the school board at Hopi Jr./Sr. High School were recently honored with leadership awards by retired stuntman Eli Bojack Blackfeather. Blackfeather included Dr. Paul Reynolds, last year’s National Superintendent of the Year award, in his praise of the school.
With the assistance of Bojack Committee Members Vanessa Brown and Loren Yellowhair, Blackfeather presented awards to Reynolds, principals Glenn Gilman and David Herbert, and Hopi Governing Board President Ivan Sidney.
Reynolds said the Bojack Award is an outstanding recognition which he accepted with a great deal of pride. “It has special significance because it is an award that is presented by a Native American recognizing the efforts of and for Native American youngsters and students,” Reynolds explained.
Vanessa Brown also commended Hopi Jr./Sr. High School staff, especially the security guards, and students for their courteous behavior.
During Stars in the Desert, held the previous week, Blackfeather handed out more than 85 awards.
Despite health problems which include a stroke three years ago and an aneurysm earlier in the year, Blackfeather wants his fans and friends to know that he is on the comeback trail. “I thank everybody who has been helpful,” he said.
This year’s recipients include Tuba City area residents, celebrities and organizations. Leona Canyon, Wanda MacDonald, Carol Dupuy, Loren Yellowhair, Buck and Marsha Griffin, Urulu Yazzie, Bennie Klain, and Buddy and Diana Big Mountain were only a few of the people honored. Organizations honored include Greyhills High School, Tuba City Police Department, Diné Association for Handicapped Citizens, Bashas and Modified Motorcycle Association.
Blackfeather, who was discovered at age 11 by actor Audey Murphy, has received Emmys for his non-violent stunts, as well as awards from the Oakland City Council for his work in that California community. He has appeared as a stuntman in more than 200 movies, appearing with John Wayne, Elvis Presley and a host of other stars.
Buddy Joe, another stuntman who helped Blackfeather, was known for his humanitarian efforts. After Joe passed on, Blackfeather created the Buddy Joe awards. Selections are made by the National Buddy Joe Bojack Committee, which has members throughout the U.S. The awards go to outstanding Native Americans as well as non-Indians who have helped Native Americans. Over the past 30 years, Blackfeather has given out more than 25,000 awards. Recipients have included international leaders, U.S. presidents and members of congress.