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The term “sagamore” was used by the American Indian Tribes of the northeastern United States to describe a lesser chief or a great man among the tribe to whom the true chief would look for wisdom and advice.
Each governor since Gates has presented the certificates in their own way. It has been said that one governor even resorted to wearing full Indian headdress as he read the scrolls. The award is highest honor, which the Governor of Indiana bestows. It is a personal tribute usually given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor. Among these who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians, and ordinary citizens who have contributed greatly to our Hoosier heritage.
It should be noted that the Sagamores have been conferred upon both men and women. There is no record of the total number which have been presented, as each governor has kept his own roll; just as each has reserved the right to personally select the recipients. ”