Press Release

Release Date: May 03, 2017

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office



  • Holmes Tuttle

  • Kevin Washburn

  • Lt. Colonel Raymond Harvey

  • Mary Jo Thomas Green

  • M. Franklin Keel

NORMAN, Okla. – A dedicated servant-leader, an international tribal attaché, a renowned tribal legal scholar, a respected statesmen, and a Medal of Honor recipient make up the 2017 class of the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame.

Induction ceremonies will be 6 p.m., Thursday, June 1, at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Norman, Oklahoma.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame ceremony.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby will induct the new class of honorees.

Mary Jo Thomas Green, Ada, Oklahoma; M. Franklin Keel, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Kevin Washburn, Albuquerque, New Mexico; the late Holmes Tuttle and the late Lt. Colonel Raymond Harvey will be inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame during the ceremony.

“As we induct these worthy individuals into the hall of fame, we recognize the resolute spirit and dedication each person has demonstrated throughout their lives,” Gov. Anoatubby said.

“It is our privilege to honor these individuals for the significant contributions and positive impact they have made to the Chickasaw Nation and throughout the world.”

Mary Jo Thomas Green

In the past four decades, Mrs. Mary Jo (Thomas) Green has helped fulfill the tribal mission to enhance Chickasaw lives in a wide-range of roles—from helping establish the first Chickasaw Senior Citizens program to serving six consecutive terms on the Chickasaw Nation Legislature.

Mrs. Green began her service to the Chickasaw Nation 40 years ago assisting Chickasaw citizens seeking employment through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA).

In 1980, Mrs. Green was instrumental in launching the first Chickasaw Senior Citizens’ Nutrition Program. Her work with elders was recognized in 1986 when she was awarded the Outstanding Employee in the State of Aging Network, and again in 1993 when she was awarded Professional of the Year in the Field of Aging.

She was honored with the Indian Health Service Director’s Award in 1994. A year later, she received the Betsy D. Smith Award for her work as the Chickasaw Nation Senior Citizen Program Coordinator.

After serving more than 21 years as a Chickasaw Nation employee, Mrs. Green was elected as a Chickasaw Tribal Legislator in 1998. She ultimately served six consecutive terms in the legislature.

Mrs. Green served as the chairperson for the Chickasaw Legislature Health Care Committee during the planning, financing and construction of the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center.

After dedicating more than 39 years of service to the Chickasaw Nation and the Chickasaw people, Mrs. Green retired in 2016.

She was born April 18, 1934, to John Thomas and Julia Elizabeth Kennedy-Thomas, in the Fitzhugh, Oklahoma area on her mother’s Indian allotment.

Mrs. Green graduated from Fitzhugh High School, and attended East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma.

She and her husband, the late J.L. Green reared two children, the late Jess Green and Melissa Green-Wilkerson, and have three grandchildren.

M. Franklin Keel

During his distinguished career, Mr. Franklin Keel has honorably represented Native Americans with integrity and distinction at the highest levels of government.

In 1971, Mr. Keel became the first Native American commissioned as a Foreign Service Officer by the U.S. Diplomatic Corps. He performed with distinction while representing U.S. interests overseas.

Mr. Keel’s international influence is unparalleled. He personally carried greetings from the Chickasaw Nation to foreign political leaders, including Prime Minister (now President) Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Gűl of Turkey, Deputy Minister Volgin of Russia, Lord Alderdice of England and Deputy Minister Nazimov of Azerbaijan, among others. He also acted as the sole U.S. representative at international meetings concerning indigenous peoples in Russia, Turkey, Canada and Mexico.

Sparked by a desire to serve Native Americans, Mr. Keel graduated from Oklahoma City University Law School in 1978 and assisted Native Americans through his work with Legal Aid in Lawton.

In 1997, Mr. Keel was appointed as Director of the Eastern Region, Bureau of Indian Affairs. He served the 28 tribes of the largest and most diverse region until his retirement in 2014.

In 37 years with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Mr. Keel earned the highest ratings for superior performance in his roles promoting Native American interests. He was appointed to the Federal Senior Executive Service, the highest rank of the career U.S. Civil Service.

He also coauthored The Ethics of Anthropology and Amerindian Research – Reporting on Environmental Degradation and Warfare with professor David Dye of the University of Memphis.

M. Franklin Keel was born Oct. 20, 1946, in Lawton, Oklahoma, to Douglas Keel, a Chickasaw career army sergeant and Christine Jefferson.

Kevin Washburn

Kevin Washburn’s contributions as a legal scholar in Indian Law have positively impacted the Chickasaw Nation, and indigenous peoples across the country.

His prolific writings and congressional testimony has influenced public policy in both criminal law and gaming in Indian Country.

Mr. Washburn earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Oklahoma in 1989. In 1993, he earned his juris doctorate from Yale Law School.

From August 1993 through July 1994, he served as law clerk for Judge William C. Canby Jr.

Mr. Washburn was a trial attorney in the Indian Resources Section of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1994 to 1997.

He served as Assistant United States Attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 1997 to 2000, and as General Counsel for the National Indian Gaming Commission from 2000 to 2002.

He was Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School from 2002 to 2008.

Mr. Washburn served as the Rosenstiel Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law from 2008 to 2009 and Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law from June 2009 - October 2012.

In 2012, Mr. Washburn was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He was confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate.
He served in that position until Jan. 1, 2016, when he returned to the University of New Mexico as a faculty member.

Mr. Washburn was born Aug. 9, 1967, to Chickasaw citizen Shirley Stark.

He is married to Elizabeth “Libby” Rodke Washburn, who currently serves as the Chief compliance officer at the University of New Mexico, and they have three sons, Cole, Ford and Burke.

Lt. Colonel Raymond Harvey

The late Raymond Harvey, the first and only Chickasaw citizen to receive the Medal of Honor, spent a life of selfless and heroic service in the United States Army.

In July 1950, as the captain of the 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Division, Harvey was part of the amphibious landing at Inchon, Korea. After his company was pinned down by the enemy, Captain Harvey moved forward to wipe out multiple enemy machine gun crews, displaying supreme bravery. During this time, he was wounded by a bullet close to his chest, but never stopped. He sighted another enemy “pill box” and took out the crew with a single grenade. He refused any medical attention until he was certain his company had complete control of the hill.

In 1951, Captain Harvey was awarded the military’s highest and most prestigious award, the Medal of Honor. President Harry S. Truman presented the award. Captain Harvey was one of the 146 recipients of the Medal of Honor, and one of three Native Americans to receive the award, during the Korean War.

Captain Harvey served as technical adviser for the 20th Century Fox feature film Fixed Bayonets, which depicted his exploits in Korea. He also served as technical adviser for two more war films, Cease Fire in 1953 and Verboten in 1959.

He retired from the military in 1962, having attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He later served as Director of Indian Affairs for the Arizona State Emergency Services before retiring in 1981.

Lt. Colonel Raymond Harvey died in 1996 and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery with complete honors. In 2010, Lt. Colonel Harvey was posthumously inducted into the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame.

Holmes Tuttle

Holmes Tuttle became an enigmatic figure of Oklahoma history as a successful businessman and political figure.

Though Mr. Tuttle never held public office, he had great influence with several notable political figures including Presidents Ronald Reagan, Gerald R. Ford and Richard M. Nixon.

Mr. Tuttle opened his first car dealership, Holmes Tuttle, Inc., in 1945. This business evolved into 14 dealerships in California and Arizona, helping him become one of the most successful auto dealers and businessmen in the nation.

In 1952, he helped campaign for President Dwight Eisenhower.

He also worked on the presidential campaigns of Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater.

A close friend and a longtime adviser to President Ronald Reagan, Mr. Tuttle is credited with convincing Ronald Reagan to give the speech that launched his political career.

Mr. Tuttle later persuaded Ronald Reagan to run for California Governor in 1966. A member of Reagan’s so-called kitchen cabinet, Mr. Tuttle was an influential voice on important policy issues well into President Reagan’s second term.

Mr. Tuttle, who never attended college, received an honorary doctorate from Pepperdine University.

In 1955, he helped found Harvey Mudd College, in Claremont, California.

Mr. Tuttle served as director of Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles.

He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1975.

Mr. Tuttle died in Montecito, California, in 1989 at the age of 83. He left a legacy in both business and family. His son, Robert Tuttle, served as ambassador to England under President Bush.

Mr. Tuttle, an entrepreneur and a businessman, was a fine example of how hard work and dedication can lead to success in any field. He is a role model for all Chickasaws.

About the Chickasaw Hall of Fame and Aaholittobli’ Honor Garden

In 1987 the Chickasaw Nation began honoring Chickasaws who made significant contributions to Chickasaw people or the Native American community by induction into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame.

Since then, 82 Chickasaw men and women have been nominated and inducted into this prestigious circle of honor.

Plaques of Hall of Fame inductees adorn the Aaholittobli’ Honor Garden.

Located on the Chickasaw Cultural Center campus in Sulphur, Oklahoma, the Aaholittobli’ Honor Garden is crafted from natural elements including rock, granite and copper. The architecture is an original design inspired by the four directions and incorporating spiral symbols indicative of traditional Chickasaw culture. At the center of the garden is a granite fountain adorned with copper feathers and natural stone.

‘Save the Date’ for Chickasaw Hall of Fame June 1

The 2017 Chickasaw Hall of Fame ceremony will take place Thursday, June 1, at the Embassy Suites Hotel, Norman, Oklahoma.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Chickasaw Hall of Fame.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the banquet will begin at 6 p.m.

There is no charge to attend, but reservations are required for the event, which is expected to accommodate approximately 700 guests.

Reservations will be accepted until May 25.

To make reservations contact the Chickasaw Nation Office of Special Events at 580-332-1165 or email Randi.payne@chickasaw.net.

Induction to the Chickasaw Hall of Fame is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a Chickasaw citizen by the Chickasaw Nation.

A live video stream of the ceremony will be available on the Chickasaw Nation website. The live webcast will be accessible using any computer or mobile device online at www.chickasaw.net/hof.

Last Updated: 09/16/2016