Rennard Strickland Education Leadership Award
Jackie Caseboldt is a career educator who is proud of his Cherokee heritage. Some of his favorite childhood memories include attending the stomp dances with his family in Vian.
As a student, Caseboldt excelled in the classroom and on the football field. He graduated from Gore High School in 1981. Following graduation, Caseboldt attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. During his time at NSU, Caseboldt was a chemistry major and was active in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES). For two years, he served as the NSU AISES chapter president.
Caseboldt also served as a Bureau of Indian Affairs tutor. It was at this time that he was encouraged to apply for an exchange program in New Jersey. Caseboldt was selected for the program hosted at Rutgers University. He worked with AT&T and Bell laboratories researching the gold plating on the torch of the Statue of Liberty. The title of his team’s research was “Recycling (gold) resins.” As a result of the research, Caseboldt and his team own two patents.
When Caseboldt returned to Oklahoma, he finished his education at NSU, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry in 1986. His first teaching job was at Metro Christian Academy in Tulsa. He taught several science classes, including chemistry and physics, and he also coached tennis. The following year, Caseboldt began working for Sapulpa High School. He would spend 18 years there teaching, coaching and serving as the science department chair. At SHS, Caseboldt began teaching Advanced Placement Chemistry classes – college level courses. Many of his students excelled on their AP exams and earned college credit.
In 2002, Caseboldt earned his Master of Science degree in educational administration from Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow. He was in the first NSU/BA graduating class.
For the past 12 years, Caseboldt has taught AP and other science classes at Owasso High School. His “lab demonstration day” has become legendary, as middle school students from across the district come to OHS to watch him and his students perform a variety of entertaining science experiments.
With more than 30 years of teaching experience, Caseboldt has educated thousands of students, preparing them for life after high school.
He and his wife Shannon have been married for 31 years. They have two sons and two grandsons.
Roberta Pratt Gardipe American Indian Veterans Award
Jaime Clark is proud of her Cherokee and Osage heritage. She was reared in Bartlesville, Okla., before moving to Oregon at the age of seven.
Following high school graduation, Clark enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. In 1980, she was sent to Paris Island, S.C., for boot camp. After completing basic training, Clark was sent to Meridian, Miss., for four months. There she attended Naval Aviation Administration School, studying to become a flight line maintenance administrator.
After completing her military occupation specialty training, Clark was sent to Iwakuni, Japan. During the year she was stationed in Japan, Clark worked on a flight line where she inspected the records and maintenance logs of the F-4 Phantom jets. Clark also taught conversational English to a group of Japanese citizens during her spare time. Before leaving the service with an honorable discharge, Clark achieved the rank of Lance Corporal.
When Clark returned to the states, she married her husband, Carl, a career Marine. She has worked for both the Cherokee Nation and the Osage Nation. However, her service to her Native nations and country continues.
Since 2010, Clark has served in the Cherokee Nation Color Guard. The group participates in multiple ceremonies and parades across northeast Oklahoma each year. Clark also is a member of the Osage County Marine Corps League, where she serves as a Pay Master Adjunct. Finally, Clark is an active member in American Legion Post 198.
Clark and her husband Carl have been married for 36 years. They have two sons: Travis and Brian.
James Pepper Henry
Lewis B. Ketchum Excellence In Business Award
James Pepper Henry is the Director and CEO of the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum, a new cultural institution located in Oklahoma City. Its mission is to educate the broader public about the unique cultures, diversity, history, and contributions of the 39 federally recognized tribes that were removed to Indian Territory, now the state of Oklahoma. The facility is scheduled to open in spring 2021.
Most recently, Henry was the Executive Director of Oklahoma’s premier art, history, and culture museum, the Gilcrease Museum. He co-led the successful $65 million campaign to update and expand the facility. Henry also served as a commissioner on the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission and was a key proponent and facilitator to establish “Native American Day” as an official City of Tulsa day of recognition.
Prior to Gilcrease Museum, Henry was the Director and CEO of the Heard Museum in Phoenix. He developed programming and exhibitions that significantly increased attendance and membership. He was the first enrolled Native American to be at the helm of the 83-year-old institution.
From 2007 to 2013, Henry was Director and CEO of the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Alaska’s art, history and science institution. He oversaw the completion of the museum’s $110 million, 80,000-square-foot expansion, including the debut of the new Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center exhibition hall and the new Imaginarium Discovery Center.
Henry is a former Associate Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian where, for nearly 10 years, he managed a wide variety of Native American community-oriented programs, services, and traveling exhibitions. Henry also played a pivotal role in the establishment and launch of the American Indian Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. that opened to the public in 2004.
Henry is a member of the Kaw Nation of Oklahoma and of Muscogee Creek heritage. He is the inaugural Director of the Kaw Nation’s Kanza Museum.
A graduate of the University of Oregon and a recipient of the university’s prestigious Council for Minority Education Leadership Award, Henry also is a graduate of the Museum Leadership Institute at the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
Henry has contributed essays to various publications including Stewards of the Sacred, co-published by the American Association of Museums and Harvard University, and Native Universe: Voices of Indian America, co-published by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society.
Dr. Ralph Dru Career & Professional Award
Janice Edmiston, a native Tulsan, is the daughter of Lavona Carnes (Sac & Fox/Choctaw) and John Edmiston.
Janice Edmiston’s mother was the third generation in her immediate family to attend Native boarding schools. The multi-generation disconnect of Native children from their families prompted Edmiston to dedicate her career to advancing the health and well-being of underserved populations, especially Native peoples.
After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in American studies and master’s degrees in social anthropology, Edmiston embarked on a career mixed with education and social research that transitioned into professional fundraising.
Her first professional job was a research analyst with the Dallas Intertribal Center (now the Urban Inter-Tribal Center of Texas). Later, she served as an adjunct professor for the then Haskell Indian Junior College, preparing Oklahoma alcoholism counselors for their associates degrees. Next she held a multi-year contract to be a national trainer for Indian Health Service (IHS), Office of Alcoholism Programs. She led an alcoholism needs assessment covering the five civilized tribes’ jurisdictions.
For nearly 10 years, Edmiston was the grants and contracts officer at Indian Health Care Resource Center (IHCRC) in Tulsa. She secured several millions of dollars that enhanced IHCRC’s client transportation; added optometry, behavioral health and chemical dependency services, and helped create Tulsa’s American Indian Chamber of Commerce. The chamber evolved to an independent organization and continues to foster Native businesses. She also volunteered as a co-sponsor for the Alateen group.
After leaving IHCRC, Edmiston raised an additional $23 million to improve the lives of the marginal and disenfranchised that were assisted by several, nonprofit organizations: University of Tulsa, Children’s Medical Center, Child Abuse Network and OSU Medical Center.
Edmiston retired from the OSU Medical Center in April 2016 after completing a $2 million campaign to renovate the Department of Maternal Child Health, the unit where infants are delivered.
Retirement has not deterred her commitment made early in her life. This year, she will celebrate her 11th year as a member of IHCRC’s Board of Trustees, 19th year as a volunteer for Children’s Medical Charities Association, an organization that awards grants to local children’s charities from proceeds earned at an all-volunteer thrift shop; third year as a member of the Tulsa Indian Club and third year as a volunteer proposal reviewer for the Community Service Council.
In addition to her community work, Edmiston enjoys various hobbies and attending Native American Church services. She is married to Ceasar Williams and has four adult stepchildren who have 15 children.
Jim Thorpe Sports Excellence Award
Jim Quetone is proud of his Cherokee and Kiowa heritage. He has fond memories of attending powwows at Tulsa’s Mohawk Park with his older brother and traveling with his father to Anadarko to attend the Indian Expo. Quetone’s passion and talent in the sport of basketball led to lifelong service in education.
Quetone was a standout basketball player at Tulsa Central High School. He was named a team captain his senior year. Playing the guard position, he led Central to a Conference Championship. For his efforts, Quetone was named to the All-Conference team. Following graduation in 1949, Quetone impressed Northeastern State University (NSU) basketball coach Tom Rousey during a try-out. He was awarded a scholarship and his college basketball career began.
During his stint at Tahlequah, Quetone was a four-year starter on the basketball squad. During the 1952-53 season, he was named team captain and captured All-Oklahoma Intercollegiate Conference honors. Quetone graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education with a focus in business education.
In 1954, Quetone went to work at Tulsa East Central High School as a business teacher and basketball coach. In sixteen years, his teams won numerous championships and advanced to the state tournament multiple times. During this time, Quetone continued his education, earning a master’s degree in educational administration from NSU. In 1972, Quetone moved to the college level, accepting a counseling and coaching job at Connors State College in Warner. After three years at Connors, Quetone was named Superintendent of Schools at Warner Public Schools. He held the top post for thirteen years.
After a one year stop as Superintendent of Schools at Braggs, Quetone went to work for the Cherokee Nation in 1986. For years, he served as the Superintendent at Tahlequah Sequoyah Schools and was eventually named the Director of Education. After serving the Cherokee Nation’s Education Department for 14 years, Quetone retired in 2000.
Quetone was inducted into the Northeastern State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. His wife of 62 years, Reba, passed away in 2015. Quetone has three children, 13 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Charles Chibitty Family Community Contributor Award
Marcia Taylor is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of Oklahoma and is also a descendant of the Euchee tribe of Oklahoma.
Taylor has worked for the past 10 years as the Executive Assistant to the President of Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla. She also serves as the Assistant Secretary to the Bacone College Board of Trustees, sponsor for the Bacone College N.A.S.A. (Native American Student Association) and coordinator for the Miss Indian Bacone College Pageant.
Taylor has served with the Oklahoma Federation of Indian Women (OFIW), Tulsa Indian Club (TIC), Muskogee Public Schools Miss N.A.S.A. program, the Bacone College Powwow committee, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Scholarship Foundation as well as being in ministry for over 30 years, ministering throughout Oklahoma and the U.S. to many tribal communities and Native churches.
Taylor graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Multidisciplinary Studies from the University of Oklahoma, Master of Science in Management from Southwestern College and received an Executive Leadership certificate from Southwestern College.
She is married to Kyle Taylor, currently pastor of Bacone College Baptist Church, Muskogee; and All Tribes Community Church, Tulsa. Both churches are members of the Oklahoma Indian Baptist Association of the American Baptist Churches-USA, Central Region.
She and her husband have four sons, Kyle Jr., Stephen, Christopher and John; one daughter-in-law, Jana, and two grandsons, Kyle III and Alexander.
Moscelyn Larkin Cultural Achievement Award
Tonia Weavel has been researching and making Cherokee clothing for the past 30 years.
Weavel designed and created the historically accurate Cherokee clothing worn in Diligwa, a living history Cherokee village circa 1710, which is located at the Cherokee Heritage Center Museum in Tahlequah.
Weavel has been honored for her creations and costumes for a variety of Cherokee plays to include - Under the Cherokee Moon and Legends at Dusk.
She has been the official costumer of the award winning Cherokee Youth Choir and has created more than 300 Cherokee tear dresses and ribbon shirts for its members. Two of her embroidered caped deerskin jackets are on exhibit in Cherokee Nation facilities.
Weavel has acted as sole costumer for the musical production "Nanyehi,” based on the legendary Cherokee historical figure, Nancy Ward. The musical is presented annually at the Hard Rock Casino Theater.
After a lifetime of work in the Indian Education field, which included teaching and Indian Education Director positions, Weavel has served as Education Director at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah for the past nineteen years.
"My goal is to create garments that reflect the dignity and respect of Cherokee people and to be as historically accurate as is possible,” she said. “My joy is blending the present with the past to create contemporary designs."
Named a Cherokee National Treasure in 2012, Weavel has been featured in an Osiyo television segment which highlighted her many accomplishments.
Specializing in textiles and historical clothing has resulted in Weavel receiving many awards and accolades. These include many first-place awards, judges’ choice awards, sculpture awards, Cherokee Homecoming Art Show - Grand Award, First Place in Weaving and Textiles - Cherokee Holiday Art Show, Deputy Chief's Award - Cherokee Homecoming Art Show, and the Betty Scraper-Garner Elder Award in Textiles - Cherokee Homecoming Art Show.
Weavel is the proud parent of two young men, Parker Star and Wrighter Redbird. Both are college students.