Visit our COVID-19 Information pages for details regarding the coronavirus as it relates to the Chickasaw Nation.
News > Press Releases > Press Release

Press Release

Release Date: August 13, 2007
by Tony Choate

Pulitzer Prize finalist Linda Hogan, former BIA official Zane Browning, former tribal legislator Robert Stephens and tribal elder Pauline Carpenter-Brown were inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame Friday night at Riverwind Casino in Norman.

Retired astronaut and Chickasaw Hall of Fame member John Herrington served as master of ceremonies at the event.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby presented Chickasaw Hall of Fame medallions to Ms. Hogan, Mr. Browning and Ms. Brown.

Angie Stephens-Wallace, daughter of Mr. Stephens, accepted the medallion from Gov. Anoatubby on behalf of her father, who was inducted posthumously.

“It is a great privilege to represent the Chickasaw people as we honor each of these outstanding Chickasaw citizens,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “We have all reaped the benefits of the contributions these men and women have made in the fields of literature, culture and government.

“It is one of the most gratifying duties of my job to recognize individuals such as these who embody all the best qualities of Chickasaw people.”

Each of the inductees expressed their pride in being Chickasaw and gratitude for the award.

Ms. Hogan is a poet, short story writer, novelist, playwright, and essayist. She has played a prominent role in the development of contemporary Native American poetry and prose.

Her novel Mean Spirit was a finalist for a Pulitzer in 1990 and won an Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction in 1991. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas in 1998. Other awards are too numerous to list.

Ms. Hogan gave much of the credit for her success to her ancestors, her family and friends who shared their experiences and their spiritual connection to the land.

“This award is for our line of ancestors and us as a part of our ongoing Chickasaw history.” she said

Mr. Browning began his career with the BIA at age 19. In 1991, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the Department of the Interior in recognition of his dedicated service and outstanding contributions on behalf of Indian people.

  • Browning served as superintendent of the local BIA Agency from 1979 to 1993.
  • He assisted in establishing Chickasaw Nation compacts for control of many BIA programs.
  • He also helped establish the Chickasaw Nation health clinic in Ardmore.

Mr. Browning said he had dealt with many tribes in his long career, and feels “very fortunate” to have been involved in the progress the Chickasaw Nation has made in recent decades.

“It’s my opinion that the Chickasaws are the most adaptable, practical, aggressive of all the Indian tribal groups I have ever encountered. And I am proud to be Chickasaw.” he said.

Mrs. Brown is a fluent speaker of the Chickasaw language and has considerable knowledge of Chickasaw history and culture.

  • She serves on the Chickasaw Language Committee, the Chickasaw Nation Historical society and the tribal election board.
  • She also makes use of her knowledge in her work as a consultant to Wickliffe Mounds Archeological Site in Kentucky, the Union County Historical and Genealogical Museum in Mississippi, and The Old Post Office Museum also in Mississippi.
    Mrs. Brown began her remarks in Chickasaw, then translated them into English.

“By having intelligent leadership to direct our nation on the right trail, we Chickasaws have come a long way,” she said.

She added that the Chickasaw way of sharing and caring for one another had sustained the tribe through many generations.

“When faced with difficult times, they shared all they had. This was more than an act of kindness, rather it was a way of life,” she said. “These acts have sustained us and allowed us to survive.”

  • Mr. Stephens served on the original steering committee which wrote the by-laws of the Chickasaw Nation in 1978.
  • He served two terms as a Chickasaw tribal legislator and was the first chairperson of that legislative body.
  • He was director of cultural resources and served as chairman of the cultural committee for the Chickasaw Nation.
  • Mr. Stephens was the first gaming commissioner for the Chickasaw Nation. He also served as Chairman and vice-Chairman of the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association.
  • Mrs. Stephens-WallaceWallace said she and her family were “very touched” by the honor.

She said that her father would be very pleased to see the progress the tribe has made in recent years.

“While he would never take credit for any of this, we can’t help but believe that his vision and hard work so many years ago somehow built a portion of the foundation of what we see here tonight,” she said.

Mr. Herrington said when he was chosen as a Hall of Fame inductee, his wondered why he was being honored for doing his job, which was something he enjoyed doing.

“I think it’s really indicative of who we are as Native people and as Chickasaw people that we take pride not in what we do, but in where we come from - in our families and in our tribe,” he said.

“It’s up to the tribe to recognize the accomplishments of those within the tribe who bring great credit to the tribe, and we’ve done just that this evening. And I’m deeply humbled an honored to participate in that and be part of this.”