Oklahoma Hall of Fame seeks Indian nominations… KEYWORDS: oklahoma hall of fame modern day heroes Indian hero Wilma Mankiller Alice Brown Davis Robert L. Owen Fred Lookout
Here is your chance to nominate a fellow Native American to join what is
already a prestigious list. Officials with the Oklahoma Hall of Fame are seeking
nominations. The rules limit the number of living inductees to eight, in
addition to one posthumous induction. The 2005 class of honorees will be
inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 17 during a televised
ceremony in Oklahoma City.
Living nominees must be a resident or former resident of Oklahoma. Nominees
will have performed exemplary service to humanity, to the State of Oklahoma
and the United States, and be known for their contributions to society.
The deadline is Friday, March 11, 2005. Nominations can be mailed or
delivered to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Selection Committee, Oklahoma Heritage
Association, 201 Northwest 14th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73103.
The following are a few of the Oklahoma Indians that have been inducted into
the Hall of Fame.
1930- Alice Brown Davis
According to a biography by Paula Waldowski, Davis
was born September 10, 1852, and became leader of the Seminole Nation in
1922, the first woman ever to head the tribe.
“Throughout her life, Alice believed that the Indians should adapt the white
man’s lifestyle to their own, retaining their Seminole heritage while taking
advantage of the benefits offered by another culture,” Waldowski wrote. “
She attempted to protect those who needed her help, to counsel and educate her
tribe to better equip them to deal with their problems, and to guard the
institutions of her people against the domination of the powerful whites.”
Brown died in 1935.
1941- Robert L. Owen
Owen was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, on February 2,
1856. His mother was a member of a prominent Cherokee family, and following
his graduation from college, Owen returned to his mother’s hometown of
Tahlequah. According to historian Ann Maloney of Bartlesville, “Owen took an active
part in all of the discussions and agitation which preceded statehood,
actively supporting the proposition of separate statehood for the Indian Territory.
When the state was admitted into the Union, in 1907, he was one of the
nominees of the Democratic Party for the United States Senate and as such was
elected. He was reelected in 1912 and again in 1918.” Owen retired from the Senate
in 1925 and died in 1947.
1948- Fred Lookout
Lookout was born near present-day Independence, Kansas,
in November 1865. His father was Eagle-That-Dreams, an Osage of the Eagle
clan. Lookout was elected to the Osage Tribal Council in 1908 as assistant
principal chief and became Principal Chief in 1914 after Secretary of the Interior
W. L. Fisher appointed him.
“Lookout’s reputation for honesty and reliability, which led to his entry
into tribal politics, was earned by a life that combined respect for tradition
with recognition of the need for change and accommodation,” wrote historian
Terry P. Wilson. “Upon resettling on his farm, Lookout led a more public life,
becoming a spiritual and political leader. He joined the peyote religion, a
syncretic compromise between traditional beliefs and the white man’s
Christianity that had recently been introduced among the Osages. Lookout presided
over ceremonies as a roadman, symbolically abandoning traditional beliefs for
the peyote road by allowing his roached hair to grow long, separating it into
two braids. In later years photographs always show him in dress shoes,
trousers, and shirt, a kerchief knotted around his neck, his hair in braids, a
blanket around his shoulders or waist, and sometimes a black hat atop his head.”
Lookout served a total of 26 years as Osage Chief. He died in 1949 in
1994- Wilma Mankiller
Born in 1945, the former Principal Chief of the
Cherokee Nation likely needs little introduction. Mankiller was the first woman in
modern history to lead a major Native American tribe.
“Prior to my election,” Mankiller has said, “young Cherokee girls would
never have thought that they might grow up and become chief.”
Although appointed a couple of years earlier, Mankiller was elected as
Cherokee leader in 1987. Mankiller won reelection in 1991, but resigned her in
1995 due to health reasons. To this day she remains active in social issues.
This article first appeared in the Native American Times