To honor the inspirational achievements of Native Americans, the National Native American Hall of Fame will hold its Inaugural Induction Ceremony in October, with the first inductees to be named by an all-Native board of directors. However, the public is first invited to participate in a survey of the nominees – including our national spokesperson and Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills!
Billy (Oglala Lakota) was born and raised on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, a place that is recognized as one of the poorest communities in the country. He was orphaned at the age of 12, but he did not let adversity deter him from realizing his dream to one day become an Olympic Gold medalist. At the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, he placed first in an historic come-from-behind victory in the last legs of the 10,000-meter race. He remains today the only American to ever win the gold in the event.
But the finish of that race was simply the start of his giving back to the community, on Pine Ridge and throughout Indian Country.
Thirty potential 2018 inductees have been identified, including of course “our own” Billy Mills. While no doubt they are all worthy candidates, we are asking you to cast your ballot for Billy today.
Important: the deadline for the public to vote is Wednesday, May 30.
To learn more about the Native American Hall of Fame and to cast your “Ballot for Billy,” click here!