TULSA, OKLAHOMA – American Indian actor Wes Studi, Cherokee, has been selected as the 2013 Tulsa Awards for Theatre Excellence, TATE, Distinguished Artist Award. Mr. Studi will be honored with the award on Sunday, June 23 in Tulsa.
The Tulsa Awards for Theatre Excellence or TATE Awards are given out annually by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.
Studi was born in 1947 in the small rural town in northwestern Oklahoma of Nofire Hollow. Studi spoke only Cherokee until he was five years old. Educated at the Chilocco Indian Boarding School, where he graduated high school, Studi learned English, but never forgot how to speak the Cherokee language.
After high school, Studi joined the US Army. He served one tour in Vietnam with the 9th Infantry Division in the Mekong Delta. After an honorable military discharge, he came back to this country at the time the American Indian Movement was on the rise. He joined AIM and took part in the occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington in late 1972. During the takeover of Wounded Knee, Studi was there and ended up being arrested.