Charles Chief Boyd, majority owner, principal and managing member of Thalden Boyd Emery Architects, a Native American firm, was honored with the Cherokee National Historical Society’s 2012 Contemporary Achievement Award. The Contemporary Achievement Award recognizes a Cherokee who is accomplished in a chosen field, has brought honor to the Cherokee Nation and serves as an inspiration for others.

The Cherokee National Historical Society (CNHS) was formed in 1963 by a group of visionary Cherokee citizens who shared a desire to establish a permanent culture-keeping institution for the Cherokee people. The CNHS creates programs in keeping with its mission of preserving, promoting and teaching about Cherokee history and culture.

Charles Chief Boyd, known to many as “Chief,” has extensive experience in a variety of Native American projects since 1963 with the Cherokee Cultural Center in Tahlequah, Okla. He has worked with almost 100 tribes across North America and is one of the most well-known Native American architects in the country. Boyd has extensive experience in casinos, hotels and tribal facilities throughout the United States and Canada. The firm has over 40 years of architecture and design experience, and has worked on over 400 hotels and 200 casino projects for distinguished companies in the hospitality industry.

Boyd is the official architect to the Cherokee National Historical Society and has held that position since 1964. Chief has been actively involved with the Cherokee National Historical Society for 50 years and is presently on the Board of the Cherokee National Historical Society. He is a Cherokee architect whose thesis was the design of the Tsa La Gi theatre, the Cherokee Heritage Center building and grounds, and the Ancient Village.

As a way of “giving back” Boyd has been instrumental in establishing the Thalden Boyd Emery Scholarship fund for Native American Children. This program has allowed hundreds of young Indians to achieve their dreams of higher education. “To bless the world and help a world in need, we have to start with a strong Cherokee Nation by preserving our heritage, teaching our history and living our culture,” Boyd said.