Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
July 29, 2000 - Issue 15

Outstanding Indian of the Year
By Liz Pollard Oklahoma Indian Times

Ft. Sill Apache Cloyde Gooday, Sr. chosen as
Outstanding Indian of the Year by the American Indian Exposition

ANADARKO, OK - The 69th Annual American Indian Exposition has announced its choice of Inman Cloyde Gooday, Sr. as the Outstanding Indian of the Year 2,000. Gooday is a member and a leader in the Ft. Sill Apache tribe, whose headquarters are located in Apache, Oklahoma. The award will be made during the expo on the evening of August 8.

Inman was born on February 21, 1924 to the late Robert and Mary Dorcas Powhoneat Gooday at their home place near Boone, Oklahoma. His paternal grandparents were the late Talbot and Charlotte (LoShanne) Gooday, and his maternal grandparents were the late Pow-how-neat (Henry Wallace) and Maun-a-bofe-pa. Gooday is the great great grandson of Magnus Colorados, last chief of the Mimbreno Apaches and Loco, Chief of the Warm Spring Apaches. Inman is directly descended from the Apache group that was held prisoners of war for 27 years after Geronimo surrendered in 1886. He is the third of nine children. They are Inez Motah, Henry Gooday, Sr., Robert (Bob) Gooday, Jr., Flora (Gussie) Weryackwe, Lupe Gooday, Sr., Talbert Gooday, Heodora Martinez, and Wendell Gooday.

Gooday’s early education was achieved in Boone and Apache schools, but in 1940, he was transferred to Ft. Sill Indian School in Lawton and graduated from there in 1943. After graduation, Mr. Gooday joined the Army Air Force on June 30, 1943. He was a member of the 381st Bomb Group in the 8th Air Force in England during World War II. Duties he performed in European, African, and Middle Eastern theaters of the war for 9 months included that of the ball turret gunner position on a B-17 airplane and firing a machine gun to protect the plane from the enemy. He also repaired and maintained the machine guns and turrets and loaded the bombs. Mr. Gooday participated in the Normandy Campaign, the Northern France Campaign, and the Shineland Campaign.

Gooday completed eight missions over Germany and was shot down and held prisoner of war by the German Army. He received the following medals: The American Theater Service Medal; the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with four Bronze Battle Stars, Air Medal GO#311 NQ1 Bomb Division; Sep. 44 Victory Medal; and the Prisoner of War Medal for his courage shown in defending the United States of America. S/Sergeant Gooday was liberated on April 26, 1945 and was given an honorable discharge on November 4, 1945.

After returning from the military, Mr. Gooday continued his education at Haskell Institute from 1945 to 1947. He married Joyce Connahvichnah on July 4, 1945, and has resided in the Richard Spur community for the past 45 years. The couple was blessed with six children, Byron Gooday, Claudia Salazar, Thomasine Boyd, Inman Gooday, Jr., Keith Gooday, and Adrian Gooday. Mr. Gooday is a devoted family man with sixteen grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. He has many nieces and nephews whom he has encouraged to keep the family tradition and to carry it on to future generations to come. Mr. Gooday is a devoted father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and respected elder of the Tribe. The late Talbot Gooday, Inman’s grandfather, was a hereditary leader of the Dance of the Mountain Spirits, also known as the Crown Dance or the Fire Dance, having inherited it from his father. The late Robert Gooday, Talbot’s son, was the Ft. Sill Apache’s Tribal Director for the American Indian Exposition for 30 years before giving his position up to his son Inman due to illness. At the same time, he gave Inman the Dance of the Mountain Spirits. Inman has carried on the tradition of his father by performing the Dance of the Mountain Spirits at the American Indian Exposition every year since then. It has become one of the most popular features of this annual event.

Mr. Gooday retired in April 1999 from the Lawton PHS/IHS Hospital after 43 years of service. He is an active member of the Ft. Sill Apache Tribe and has served as Vice-Chairman of the Business Committee. He is currently serving as Chairman of the Ft. Sill Apache Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, and also serves on the Ft. Sill Apache Industrial Development Commission. He has taken an active interest in preserving his rich Apache heritage and has served on the Annual Dance Committee along with his siblings Gussie and Lupe for the past 20 years.

More information about the 69th American Indian Exposition and about the awards to be made, as well as other special events, may be found at its Web site at



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