Native Americans Giving Back: Jana Mashonee
Across the globe families will gather and gifts will be exchanged in celebration of the Christmas holiday. Resolutions are quickly being made while there is still time. With the end of one year and the beginning of another soon upon us, there is no better way to conclude our Native Americans Giving Back Series than by featuring a one-of-a-kind artist: Jana Mashonee (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina).
In my mind, Jana is synonymous for this time of year. If you watched our holiday video above, you know what I’m talking about. The song featured in the video is a rendition of “O Holy Night” sung in Navajo, from Jana’s album “American Indian Christmas.”
This NAMMY award-winning album gives listeners ten classic Christmas songs beautifully sung in different Native American languages. Jana generously allowed us to use her work in support of our holiday video and giving projects.
In further support of Indian country, Jana established the Jana’s Kids Foundation to support Native American and Aboriginal students through academic, athletic and art scholarships, awarding her first scholarship in 2006. In addition, Jana’s Kids Foundation strives to improve literacy among Native American children through a “Reading for Life Program.” This program provides culturally relevant books and motivational seminars to encourage reading among Native American children.
At only 30-something, Jana Mashonee has achieved a lot as a performer and philanthropist. She’s been nominated for two GRAMMY awards, received nine NAMMY awards, performed at the American Indian Inaugural Ball for President Obama and sang for Laura Bush at the First Lady’s Luncheon, to name just a few of her contributions. Her humanitarian efforts align with much of what we do through our AIEF program.
Our organization would like to recognize Jana Mashonee for her support of Native Americans everywhere and to thank her again for supporting our holiday services. Like all the artists and performers featured in this series, Jana is truly a Native American giving back.