Over a hundred years ago, Chief Charlo and the Salish people were asked by the United States government to move out of their traditional territory. White settlers were westward bound, and Charlo’s tribe lived on prime land, but Chief Charlo refused to move. For twenty years, his band remained on their traditional homeland against immense odds. Eventually, the United States army forced Charlo’s band to move at gunpoint, but not before their courage was recognized and documented.
Although Chief Charlo never wrote down his thoughts, his speeches have been recorded in newspaper articles and the notes of others. It is clear from these speeches that Charlo was a man of exceptional courage who did everything within his power to protect his people. Charlo was a brilliant politician and an eloquent speaker as well as a courageous leader.
Aerie International is proud to introduce the Chief Charlo Celebration of Culture Award. This award will go to the piece, whether writing or art, which shares one’s own culture with other readers. We hope, through the art and literature in Aerie International, to give young people an opportunity to share their artistic work as well as their writing and culture. We are delighted to present this award and honor to both young writers and artists as well as Chief Charlo and his family.