February 20, 2020

The Kiowa Tribe agreed to charter Oklahoma’s oldest operating institution of higher learning on Thursday when Kiowa Tribal Chairman Matthew Komalty and Bacone College President Dr. Ferlin Clark signed an agreement at the tribe’s headquarters in Carnegie, Oklahoma.

“We are honored to have the Kiowa Tribe join our consortium of Oklahoma tribes as we transform Bacone College into a tribal college to provide educational opportunities to tribal members,” Clark said. “We continue to seek formal designation as a tribal college, and we’re grateful to the Kiowa Tribe for their unanimous support.”

Komalty said he is honored to be a part of chartering Bacone College, where his father and brother had both been students.

“I’m honored because of what Bacone College has stood for all these years, the students they have served. They’ve had some trials, but it appears Bacone is on its way back up,” Komalty said. “They should be recognized especially for their efforts to bring back culture. Those efforts make all tribes stronger.”

District 7 Legislator Modina Waters sponsored the resolution for the tribe to charter Bacone College, which will offer reduced tuition to all Kiowa Tribal citizens.

“I met Dr. Clark almost two years ago at our Fourth of July Kiowa Gourd Clan celebration,” Waters said. “We developed a friendship that led us to chartering Bacone College, and we look forward to having that relationship with Bacone.”

In addition to the Kiowa Tribal charter, the United Keetoowah Band of Oklahoma Indians, Osage Nation, Otoe-Missouria Tribe, and Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma have also chartered Bacone College.


Kiowa Tribe is a federally recognized with its headquarters located in Carnegie, Okla., in the southwest portion of the state. The Kiowa Tribe has an enrollment of approximately 14-thousand members with a quarter blood quantum required for tribal membership. The Kiowa Tribe oversees 22 tribal and federal programs such as; transportation, social services, higher education, Administration on Aging (AOA), community health, tax commission, child care, and food distribution to name a few. www.kiowatribe.org

Photo cutline: Kiowa Tribal Chairman Matthew Komalty, left, and Bacone College President Dr. Ferlin Clark shake hands after signing a resolution for the Kiowa Tribe to charter Bacone College.

More photos available upon request.

Wendy R. Burton

Public Relations Coordinator

Bacone College

2299 Old Bacone Rd

Muskogee, OK 74401