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Osage youth nominated for two Native American Music Awards

Photo caption: Osage citizen Ava Rose Johnson sings in her video “Heaven’s Window.” Ava has been nominated for two Native American Music Awards for Best Music Video Narrative and Best Independent Recording by a New Artist.

Osage singing powerhouse and Red Oak grade school student, Ava Rose Johnson, has been nominated for two Native American Music Awards for her video “Heaven’s Window.”

Nominated for Best Music Video Narrative and Best Independent Recording by a New Artist, she will travel to Niagara Falls, NY, with her family for the 19th Annual Native American Music Awards to be held on Nov. 2. Actor Wes Studi and singer/songwriter Mickie James will co-host the event at the Seneca Niagara Hotel & Casino. Winners will be announced live at the awards.

Johnson, the youngest NAMA nominee at the age of 12, co-wrote “Heaven’s Window” with Sean Fuller, Florida Georgia Line drummer. The video was produced by Lainey Edwards (Choctaw) and Billy Dawson over the course of three days and premiered on April 9 at the First Baptist Church Life Impact Center in Red Oak, Okla.  

“Heaven’s Window” is a song in memory of a friend who died in an ATV accident two years ago, said her father Nathan Johnson.

“It was a very emotional experience, songwriting about my friend,” Ava said. “I miss him so much and I cried a lot during the process.”

The Native American Music Awards & Association consists of more than 40,000 registered voting members and professionals in the field of Native American music and entertainment, according to the NAMA website. They hold the largest Native American Music archive featuring a collection of over 10,000 audio and video recordings in all formats housed since 1990.


There are 34 categories for this year’s NAMA’s and more than 150 new artists to choose from. A panel of professionals in the music industry select the nominees from hundreds of submissions. Then, it is up to the public to vote for their favorite Native American artists.

To vote online for Ava Rose Johnson, Osage citizen, visit the NAMA website at


Shannon Shaw Duty

Original Publish Date: 2019-09-26 00:00:00


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Shannon Shaw Duty
Shannon Shaw Duty

Title: Editor


Twitter: @dutyshaw

Topic Expertise: Columnist, Culture, Community

Languages spoken: English, Osage (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)

Shannon Shaw Duty, Osage from the Grayhorse District, is the editor of the award-winning Osage News, the official independent media of the Osage Nation. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Peoples Law. She currently sits on the Freedom of Information Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists. She has served as a board member for LION Publishers, as Vice President for the Pawhuska Public Schools Board of Education, on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (now Indigenous Journalists Association) and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive NAJA's Elias Boudinot Free Press Award. The Osage News won Best Newspaper from the SPJ-Oklahoma Chapter in their division 2018-2022. Her award-winning work has been published in Indian Country Today, The Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity, NPR, the Associated Press, Tulsa World and others. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and together they share six children, two dogs and two cats.

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