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Indian Times: Governor Appoints Native American Liaison (Jul 13, 2012)

In 2011, the Legislature eliminated the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission and established the executive branch position of Native American Liaison.  More than a year after that action Governor Mary Fallin announced last week the appointment of Jacque Secondine Hensley of Tulsa as Native American Liaison.  The Native American Liaison serves as an advisor to the governor on Native American affairs with areas of responsibility as designated by the governor including monitoring compacts between Oklahoma and tribal governments, monitoring consultations and interactions between state agencies and tribal governments, as well as continuing the outreach between the governor’s office and tribal governments.  Fallin said that “Oklahoma’s tribes have a valuable and unique impact on Oklahoma’s economy and culture” and that her “administration has always worked closely with Oklahoma’s tribes and will continue to do so in the future.”  Fallin said that Hensley is “hardworking, knowledgeable and her experience working with tribal governments as a special agent for the BIA will serve her well in her new role as Native American liaison.”  Hensley, a member of the Kaw Nation, is currently a special agent for the Department of Defense where she investigates suspected cases of fraud of military contracts and health care.  She previously worked as a special agent for Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), where she focused primarily on investigating cases of child abuse.  She also served as an adjunct professor at the Indian Police Academy in Artesia, New Mexico, where instructed law enforcement officers on investigating cases of child abuse.  She served as the president of the State child Protection Team in Oklahoma and is an active member of the National Native American Law Enforcement Association.

The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic or OKCIC recently announced the addition of four new board members to its board of directors.  OKCIC board members guide and govern the clinic, advocating for the clinic and its mission to provide quality and affordable health care to urban Indian in central Oklahoma.  The thirteen member board of directors consists of local Native American leaders from several fields with industry and health care expertise.  Oklahoma City Indian Clinic CEO Robyn Sunday-Allen said that they are so “grateful for the leadership and counsel provided” by their board of directors and that their “combined insight, professional expertise and valuable knowledge are key assets” to their organization’s continuing growth.  OKCIC officers include Dr Everett Rhoades, chairman, and he is a professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center; Mary Ann Brittan, vice-chairman, and she is a community volunteer for the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum; Carolyn Maxwell, secretary, she is the retired chief of procurement for the Indain Health Service and Brian Gabbard is treasurer, he is chairman and CEO at Gabbard & Company.   The new board members are Chris Anoatubby who is chief medical solutions officer for the Chickasaw Nation; Cherokee Ballard, communications manager at Oklahoma Natural Gas Company; John Daugherty Jr, health management consultant for the Osage Nation of Oklahoma and Heather Shotton,  visiting professor in Native American Studies at the University of Oklahoma.  The Oklahoma City Indian Clinic employs more than 130 health care professionals that provide a wide variety of medical and wellness services to more than 16,000 patients from over 220 recognized tribes.

And according to Indian Country Today,  last week at the San Diego Comic con, Disney apparently gave around 6000 attendees a surprise early peek at one of their much anticipated film projects, The Lone Ranger.  As anyone knows who has been witness to radio and television pop culture for the last 60 years, you can’t have The Lone Ranger without having his native sidekick, Tonto. In this version he is played by cinema heartthrob Johnny Depp.  Depp, who was “adopted” in the Indian way into the Comanche Nation a few months ago,  has unwittingly become a controversial figure, as he is not Native American. The film clip that was shown had Depp uttering one line of dialogue,  using the stereotypical broken English we have been hearing since talkies began.  America’s fascination with its own idea of what Native Americans are has long been a sore spot, but if you’d like to read about the pros and cons of Johnny Depp as Tonto, go to Indian Country Today’s website, ,they're running a special series called The Tonto Files,  which features different writers from across Native America.

Upcoming native events:
Tulsa Powwow will take place July 27-29th at the Spirit Bank Event Center located at 105th and Memorial. For more information go to
The 81st American Indian Exposition will take place August 8-12th at the Caddo Country Fairgrounds in Anadarko. For more information go to

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