SULPHUR, Okla. - A day of sharing the imaginative and empowering vision of artists, musicians, scholars, athletes and others is planned for the 2014 Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Women’s Conference and Forum. The conference and forum will take place Thursday, April 17, at the Artesian Hotel and Chickasaw Cultural Center, both in Sulphur. Advance registration is not required for the event which is open to the public at no charge.
This annual event salutes the valuable contributions, skills and talents of dynamic Chickasaw women, through panel discussions, sessions and lessons on topics related to the Chickasaw experience and the panelist’s personal endeavors.
“The Chickasaw Dynamic Women’s Conference and Forum is a celebration of the accomplishments of vibrant Chickasaw women where we honor these dynamic individuals who continue to strengthen and fortify the Chickasaw Nation and their community through good works and visionary leadership,” Gov. Bill Anoatubby said.
Conference registration begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Artesian Hotel lobby. Opening remarks are set for 9 a.m. followed by breakout sessions. “Lessons Through the Lens,” “Beautiful Life, Beautiful Art,” “Financial and Retirement Planning,” “Physically Active and Healthy Lifestyle” and “Professional and Career Development.
Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. and followed by Dr. Shannon Speed’s keynote address.
A dedicated Chickasaw anthropologist, Dr. Speed was named 2013 Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Woman of the Year. Dr. Speed is a committed advocate of collaborative research, working in Mexico and in Texas. She is currently an associate professor of Anthropology and Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Texas.
A Los Angeles native, Dr. Speed is the granddaughter of Dawes enrollees Samuel Joseph Speed (Chickasaw) and Ottilie Josephine “Jo” Reichert (Choctaw).
Afternoon conference sessions begin at 1 p.m., with a forum entitled “The Creative View” followed by “The Next Generation” forum.
Session five, “Express Yourself,” begins at 4 p.m. and will feature Chickasaw designers Margaret Roach Wheeler, Kristin Dorsey and Maya Stewart. The session will be followed by a fashion show.
“Art of the Chickasaw Woman” exhibit opens at 5 p.m. at the ARTesian Gallery and Studios.
The Dynamic Women’s Forum begins at 6 p.m. at the Chickasaw Cultural Center’s Anoli Theatre.
Featured speakers and panelists for the evening forum include Dr. Speed; Mary Ruth Barnes, American Cancer Society state director of planned giving; Deanna Hartley, former Chickasaw Nation Attorney General; Patricia Hays, former education administrator; and Nikki Lowe, mixed martial arts professional.
The forum will include a question and answer session with audience members.