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Press Release

Release Date: August 19, 2021
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

ADA, Okla. – The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and the Oklahoma Center for the Book (OCB) named Wiley Barnes, director of the Chickasaw Press, to boards within their organizations.

Mr. Barnes, a Chickasaw citizen, lends his expertise to the respective groups as they promote inclusivity in publishing, as well as the vital role of books and reading.

“I am very happy and excited to serve these amazing organizations,” Mr. Barnes said. “OCB and IBPA do so much for independent publishers. I hope to contribute and provide some perspective from the only known and active tribally-owned press in the United States. It is so important to share our Chickasaw story with others and hopefully inspire other First Americans to do the same.”

He draws insight from 21 years forging a career in the publishing industry – 15 of those years in service of the Chickasaw Nation and its mission to enhance the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people.

During his time with the Chickasaw Nation, he has worked on a number of projects promoting Chickasaw culture and celebrating Chickasaw people.

Mr. Barnes is the author of the non-fiction children’s book, “C is for Chickasaw,” which received a Gold Benjamin Franklin for Best New Voice: Children’s/Young Adult and a Bronze Moonbeam for Multicultural Nonfiction Picture Book. It was also an Oklahoma Book Award finalist and was adapted into an app in 2017, followed by a coloring book in 2018. “Funny Fani'” is Mr. Barnes’ second upcoming children’s title and is scheduled for a fall 2021 release.

Independent Book Publishers Association

The IBPA focuses on independent and small publishers, and advocates for inclusivity in publishing. It works to level the playing field for small and independent book publishers through educational opportunities, publications and advocacy.

Mr. Barnes serves on the IBPA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, a standing committee tasked with serving as a sounding board and advisory council on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion within IBPA and the independent book publishing community. The committee reports to the IBPA Board of Directors.

Their specific goals as a committee include recruiting and retaining a diverse membership base, developing ways to engage and support underrepresented groups, identifying opportunities for diversity, equity and inclusion as well as suggesting programs and services to serve diverse communities.

Mr. Barnes joins Alesha Brown, Maria Dismondy, Jennifer Flaig, Luda Gogolushko, Ashley Marie Mireles, Keith Newhouse, Karla Olson, Joylynn Ross, Victoria Sutherland, Brooke Warner, Kirk Whisler and Nataly Michelle Wright on the IBPA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Oklahoma Center for the Book

The OCB is a state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and was organized to focus attention on the vital role of books and reading.

According to the organization, it promotes past, current and future works of Oklahoma authors, as well as the literary heritage of the state. It also encourages reading for pleasure by Oklahomans of all ages.

Readers and writers meet together at libraries and bookstores across the state for special events hosted by the OCB.

Alongside the nonprofit Friends of the Oklahoma Center for the Book, OCB has sponsored the annual Oklahoma Book Awards for 30 years. With the Oklahoma Book Awards, a panel of judges recognize works written by an Oklahoman or about Oklahoma in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, children/young adult, poetry and design/illustration.

OCB also annually honors an Oklahoman who has contributed to the state's literary heritage by awarding the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award – named for Norman historian Arrell Gibson, the Center's first president.

Mr. Barnes joins Bob Burke, Margaret Carlile, Glenda Carlile, Karen Klinka, Lynn McIntosh, Troy Milligan, Richard Rouillard, Kristin Sorocco, Leah Taylor and Emily Hall as OCB board members.

Chickasaw Press

The Chickasaw Nation created the Chickasaw Press in response to the basic need of the Chickasaws to tell their own history. Established as an entity of the Chickasaw Nation in 2006, the Chickasaw Press is the first tribal publishing entity of its kind.

Chickasaw Press publications enable the tribe to share its rich history and culture with everyone and educate Chickasaw tribal citizens while enhancing relationships within the greater community.

White Dog Press is a secondary imprint under the Chickasaw Press. It allows the Chickasaw Press to build upon its vision of “preserving, perpetuating and providing an awareness of Chickasaw history and culture” by embracing popular genres and creative projects that do not fit under the umbrella of research and scholarship.

White Dog Press creates an opportunity for the Chickasaw Nation to share the history, culture and experiences of the Chickasaw people through literary categories such as historical fiction, children’s books, young adult literature, how-to books, travel writing and other categories.

For more information, visit or call (580) 436-7282.