Statement for the Record on Chickasaw Warrior Statue Dedication

July 12, 2011

Congressman Boren submitted the following statement regarding the dedication at Bacone College of the Chickasaw Warrior statue:

Mr. Speaker:
I rise today to honor an important milestone for a prestigious institution of higher learning in eastern Oklahoma. Bacone College, the oldest college or university in Oklahoma, recently dedicated the statue “Chickasaw Warrior” at its Founders’ Day ceremony.  This statue is a gift from its artist, Enoch Kelly Haney, and the Chickasaw Nation. Its dedication is a very special moment for this institution.  Standing proudly at the center of campus, this tall, imposing statue depicts a battle-ready Native American man clenching arrows gazing into the distance.

In the six months this statue has been on campus, it has become symbolic of the common spirit found everywhere at Bacone.  Founded in 1880 by Professor Almon C. Bacone in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Bacone College has been educating students of all backgrounds for the past 131 years. With more than two dozen Native American tribes represented in Bacone College’s diverse student body, Bacone is known for preparing its students for success and preserving their cultural heritage. This statue aptly represents Bacone’s long-standing relationship with the Native American community.

This impressive statue was sculpted by Enoch Kelly Haney. A 1962 graduate of Bacone College, Haney has become an internationally renowned artist and sculptor. His work spans four decades and his statue, The Guardian, stands proudly atop the Oklahoma State Capitol. In addition to his contributions to the field of art, Haney served in the Oklahoma legislature and in 2005 was elected Principal Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.  I would like to honor him for his time and effort in creating this generous gift to Bacone College and for his continuing service to the citizens of the state of Oklahoma.

Finally, I want to commend the Chickasaw Nation for donating this impressive statue to the college.  Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby described this occasion perfectly when he said this statue reflects the “unconquerable” nature of the Chickasaw people and their unwavering determination to persevere.  Now this statue will stand as a testament to their spirit, and there is no doubt this extraordinary gift will serve as an icon for Bacone College’s future.

In these times of limited federal funding for higher education, it is important for the United States Congress to remember the local and regional universities that educate so many of our citizens, thereby empowering them to improve the future of their families and communities.  Bacone College is a tremendous asset to eastern Oklahoma, and I recognize the Chickasaw Nation for their contribution to this important institution of higher learning.

Hon. Dan Boren
Of Oklahoma
In the U.S. House of Representatives