ST. GEORGE — The Daughters of the American Revolution honored Karma Grayman, a member of the Shivwits Band of Paiutes, for her role in educational and revitalization efforts in Native American culture and her tribe.
On Tuesday, during a Daughters of the American Revolution Color Country Chapter chapter meeting at the American Legion Post 90 Building, Grayman received the Women in History Award.
According to the Daughters of the American Revolution website, this award is presented to “women who have contributed or made a difference in their communities. She could be a historical entity or currently alive and worthy of recognition.” The award honors “women who are, or have been, intellectual, educational, social, religious, political, scientific, or cultural innovators.”
Grayman was invited as a guest speaker but after her presentation, she was awarded the recognition.
“I was surprised a little bit,” she said.
After attending college at Utah Tech University (then Dixie Junior College) and Southern Utah University, Grayman had a career as a teacher in Las Vegas, Nevada, for over 10 years and with the Washington County School District for 14 years.
Currently, she is a Title VI American Indian Education instructor for the afterschool program as a teacher on special assignment for Washington County School District, focusing on the preservation of the Paiute language and culture.
Considered an elder and historian for the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, she advocates for her culture and history to live on by providing educational opportunities such as seminars, workshops, speeches and demonstrations throughout the state.
Currently, she works with her people, local organizations, local schools and historical groups to provide such opportunities.
“It is one of my goals,” she said about the revitalization of her culture and language. “I never thought about it when I was younger, but as I get older, my time gets shorter on this earth. I need to teach my children and grandchildren where they came from, their language and who they are because without that they are lost.”
The award entailed receiving a framed certificate with embossed lettering and a bronze medal with a red, white and blue ribbon and pin to attach.
In addition to the award, Grayman was presented with over 100 new books for the native youth. The books ranged in reading levels from Kindergarten through high school. The books all carry a Native American theme, representing the history and culture. The books were part of a donation drive by the women’s organization.
On Veteran’s Day, Grayman with the Daughters of the American Revolution leaders and members helped to replace weathered American flags with new flags on veterans’ gravesites at the Shivwits Tribal Cemetery, 2.3 miles from Ivins.
She will be helping out as the representative of the tribe with the upcoming Wreaths Across America event next month, replacing Glenn Rogers who recently died.
“I am very honored and appreciate each and every one of these ladies here,” Grayman said with a smile.
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