Canku Ota Logo

Canku Ota

Canku Ota Logo

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 15, 2002 - Issue 63


pictograph divider


Chickasaws Honor Woman on Dawes Roll

by Bob Doucette The Oklahoman

TULSA -- Sallie Jones is used to being around important people.

Her husband was a prominent figure in Oklahoma politics, and her bloodlines can be traced to one of the Chickasaw tribe's most famous people.

But more recently, the Chickasaw Nation wanted to show Jones how important she was.

The tribe honored Jones by giving her a commemorative medal at an early birthday party Saturday. The sterling silver medal, an honor bestowed on tribal members who were original enrollees of the Dawes Commission rolls, was delivered by Chickasaw Gov. Bill Anoatubby.

"The governor of the Chickasaws coming was quite a surprise," said Jones, who will turn 100 today. "It was so exciting. I'm still in the clouds. It was hard settling back down to normal life."

Tony Choate, spokesman for the tribe, said that there may be "a couple of dozen" original enrollees alive today.

"We see Sallie Jones, and all our original enrollees, as a special treasure," Anoatubby said. "They occupy a unique position in Chickasaw history, and although it's a challenge to locate some of them, it is our desire to honor each and every one."

"Enrollees" are those whose names were listed on the Dawes rolls between 1898 and 1914. The rolls were created, in part, to disband tribal governments and reorganize Indian Territory.

Jones was enrolled shortly after her birth in 1902.

Tribal governments still exist today, and the rolls help tribes keep track of their members. In order to qualify for a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood, applicants must trace their ancestry to someone on the Dawes rolls.

Most of those who enrolled did so before statehood, meaning that most of them are age 95 or older, Choate said.

"I'm probably old enough for a wheelchair, but I'll walk for as long as I can," Jones said.

She found out about the tribe's plans to honor its original enrollees last year after reading a story in The Oklahoman, Choate said. She called tribal officials to find out when she could get her medal.

Tribal officials decided to bring the medal to her birthday celebration Saturday. About 50 of Jones' relatives from several states were there not only to wish her a happy birthday, but also to see the Chickasaws honor one of their elders. Anoatubby also gave Jones an Indian blanket.

Jones was born in Ninnekah to a Chickasaw woman and a pioneer rancher. Her ancestry includes blood ties to Cyrus Harris, a three-time governor of the tribe in the 1800s.

Her father, George Beeler, took part in the Oklahoma Land Run. She also was married to the late Ray C. Jones, a long-time Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner and state senator.

Jones, whose Indian name is Smiling Deer, said it's important for her descendants to embrace their Indian heritage.

"I'm proud of my Indian blood, and it will go on through them."

The Chickasaw Nation
Mission: To enhance the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people

Tulsa, OK Map
Maps by Travel

pictograph divider


Home PageFront PageArchivesOur AwardsAbout Us

Kid's PageColoring BookCool LinksGuest BookEmail Us


pictograph divider

  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


Canku Ota Logo


Canku Ota Logo

The "Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America" web site and its design is the

Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 of Paul C. Barry.

All Rights Reserved.

Thank You