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Season 1

Season 4, Episode 8: "Chief Gary Batton on Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s Latest News"

I’m incredibly proud to be a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. But I’m even prouder when I reach out to our Chief and he’s willing to share with us about the latest goals and the future of our tribe!

Chief Gary Batton and I met in Hugo, Oklahoma to talk about:

  • This year’s election
  • Future plans for the tribe
  • Upcoming capital projects
  • Choctaw Nation’s Cultural goals
  • Conversations with Governor Stitt
  • The LEAP program (lease to purchase)
  • The latest on the aftermath of McGirt vs Oklahoma
  • The excitement & info around the upcoming new Choctaw Landing gaming resort in Hochatown
  • I asked how he does it all, being constantly on the go (you’ll be interested to hear his answer when I asked how many hours of sleep he actually gets!)

Yakoke, Chief for being transparent and forthright with us. We appreciate your many hard hours and care and concern for the Choctaw people. God bless!

Link to the LEAP program: https://www.choctawnation.com/services/?_sft_category=housing

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Season 4, Episode 7: “Another Fascinating New Look at Our Choctaw History by the Decade: Megan Baker (Choctaw), Historic Preservation Dept., Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma”

In season 2, episode 18, I got together with Megan Baker from the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Historic Preservation Department. We talked through her extensive work in tracing the history of our Choctaw people, decade by decade, in monthly articles of the Iti Fabvssa in our Choctaw paper called Biskinik.

Back by popular demand, and here to share more insights about our Choctaw history - welcome back Megan!

We left off last time in the 1900s at a time when President Theodore Roosevelt made it known that Oklahoma and Indian Territories would enter the Union as a single state (rather than two), as had been proposed. With this, Indian Territory faced a future in which they would be enjoined with Oklahoma Territory.

The next few decades were crucial. You’ve got statehood and life for the Choctaw after land allotments, a fight against termination of sovereignty and more.

You’ll also hear more about:

  • Megan playing stickball in front of the Eifel Tower. What? Yep!
  • What homestead vs. surplus meant, land restrictions, per capita payments, guardians, land allotments, the Indian New Deal, the Indian Welfare Act, taxation and more
  • The Oklahoma Land Run
  • Sonic Drive-In, and how their headquarters being in Oklahoma is significant to us Okies
  • Chief Belvin (bless his heart)
  • Why Carl Albert was underestimated (and why Megan is a nerd and is his #1 fan)
  • The newsletter called “Hello Choctaw” and how it helped to maintain Choctaw sovereignty
  • The Bingo Palace (and should Megan and Rachael start their own bingo hall?)
  • The history of gaming in Choctaw nation

Yakoke, Megan for your expertise, and I’ll be gathering some materials in case you’d like to open that bingo hall with me!

Check out Choctaw Nation’s Biskinik paper online where you can find the Iti Fabvssa articles that feature Megan and other wonderful Choctaw Nation Writers at: https://www.choctawnation.com/biskinik-archives/

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Season 4, Episode 6: “Lance Ware (Kiowa), Wild Land Firefighter on the Ware Legacy”

I grew up in Hog Creek, which is approximately 5 mile west of Anadarko, Oklahoma. This is a virtually unknown historical place to the general public, but to the locals, it’s filled with Kiowa history. Among many of those in the area whose ancestors roamed these lands is a well-known, tight-knit and beloved family - the Wares.

In this episode, I had a casual visit with our family friend, Lance Ware (Kiowa) and we enjoyed discussing:

  • His work as a wild land firefighter, working amongst several tribes
  • Ware’s Chapel and cemetery
  • How Lance is one of 11 children
  • His experience with fancy dancing
  • The singing and drumming of the Oh ho ma
  • The Ware family today, and those we’ve lost
  • Natives in Hollywood, including Leonard Nimoy who played a Chief (true story!)
  • His dad, Lehman Ware’s archery skills and how he may or may not have practiced in the house

We also talked about the American Indian Expo, Anadarko, Oklahoma:

This time that Lance and I had together is an example of the preservation that can be done in any family - talking about growing up, the things that went on in the town, interesting and entertaining family stories, and so on. I encourage you to turn on your recorder sometime and capture these casual conversations with your family too!

In memory of Lehman Keith Ware, February 1941-2017 and Carol Jean Ware, March 1941-2023

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Season 4, Episode 5: “From Foster Care to Incarceration to Healing: Weylin Thompson (Choctaw)”

Scalding hot rocks were placed in the center of the dirt floor. Water was poured onto the rocks, inviting a heavy steam that permeated throughout, increasing our heart rates, and causing a profuse sweat.

We came for a cleansing of our bodies, minds and souls, the rejuvenation of our spirits, and a deeper connection with our Creator. This was a Christian-based sweat, and we prayed about each other’s needs and requests throughout the evening. These were just of few of my experiences during the sweat lodge I joined at my guest, Weylin Thompson’s house a couple years back.

According to choctawschool.com, “…the sweat lodge has been known by several different Choctaw names including ‘anuka,’ meaning ‘the inside,’ and ‘alaksha,’ meaning ‘a place of sweating’. The process of using heat on the body itself is sometimes referred to as ‘shila,’ ‘to bake.’”

To know Weylin today, you’d never sense the pain he faced in the past, his eventual turn to substance abuse and his time in jail. I was grateful that Weylin shared how he turned his life around and is now helping others through sweat lodges and drum circle meetings. In this episode, you’ll hear his story, and about the history, spiritual significance, and healing of sweat lodges, and more.

If you’re ever near Madill, Oklahoma, Weylin and his wonderful wife, Sharon invite you to join them at their healing sweat lodge. You don’t have to be native to join them in Madill, which is near Fort Washita (near where our Choctaw ancestors came during the removal on the Trail of Tears). All are welcome!

Weylin shared some encouraging words of wisdom for us: “You can’t change the past, but you can change the path you’re on.”

If you’re struggling with addiction or are just looking for some encouragement, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Weylin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Yakoke, Weylin and Sharon and may God bless you both.

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Season 4, Episode 4, Pt3: “Mary Little Doe: The Story of Dodie Rogers (Choctaw), Daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans”

In this 3rd and final part of this episode with my guest, Dodie Rogers (Choctaw), adopted daughter of the legendary “King of the Cowboys”, Roy Rogers (also Choctaw) and his talented wife, Dale Evans, you’ll hear about:

  • Roy Rogers’ horse, Trigger who knew 150 tricks and starred in over 100 movies!
  • What it was like to grow up with a large family and lots of animals on the Evans farm
  • Those last precious moments with Roy and Dale before they passed away
  • What’s next for the Rogers kids

Although Roy and Dale Rogers have passed on, Dodie and her siblings continue to share their memories and to create their own stories, carrying with them the joy, faith, and strength they were taught in their loving upbringing.

Yakoke, Dodie for inspiring us - blessings to you and your family!

Special thanks to Anadarko Heritage Museum for pulling some photos of Roy, Dale and Dodie Rogers and their visit to Anadarko!

Check Out:

Cheryl Rogers: https://www.cherylrogers.com/

Sons of the Pioneers: https://sonsofthepioneers.org/

Anadarko Indian Expo: https://www.facebook.com/AmericianIndianExposition

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Native ChocTalk
Native ChocTalk is an informative and educational podcast and resource center.


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