Chickasaw Nation Ambassador to the United States Charles W. Blackwell.

Chickasaw Nation Ambassador Charles Blackwell Walks On

ICTMN Staff
1/5/13

Chickasaw Nation Ambassador to the United States, Charles W. Blackwell walked on January 2 in Washington, D.C. He was 70.

Referred to as a “man of vision” by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby, according to KXII News 12, Blackwell was appointed by Anoatubby to serve as a delegate to the U.S. in 1990. He was then named as ambassador in 1995, the first American Indian ambassador at the time. Blackwell was Chickasaw and Choctaw and was an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation.

“Charles Blackwell embodied all the best qualities of a diplomat and statesman as the Chickasaw Nation Ambassador to the United States. He brought a tremendous level of wisdom, integrity, knowledge and passion to his duties as our emissary in Washington,” Anoatubby told KXII. “As one who was fortunate enough to call Charles my friend, it is with great sadness that my condolences go out to his family and other close friends. This is a sad day for the entire Chickasaw Nation, as we have lost an irreplaceable friend and unrivaled advocate.”

Blackwell was also an advocate of tribal economic development and Native education. He was the founder and executive director of First American Business Center in Washington, D.C. and was moderately fluent in Lakota, Choctaw, Omaha and Chickasaw.

He was born in El Reno, Oklahoma in 1942. In 1964, he graduated from East Central State College in Ada, Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in education. He taught secondary English at Window Rock High School in Ft. Defiance, Arizona until 1968 when he started law school at the University of New Mexico. After graduating from law school in 1972, he worked at the American Indian Law Center until 1974 and was associate director of the Special Scholarship Program in Law for American Indians until 1977. According to Sam Deloria, the president of the board of directors of the American Indian Law Center, Blackwell placed an estimated 50 Indian students in law school.

Blackwell will certainly be missed. Fellow Chickasaw Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn issued the following statement on his passing: “Indian Country lost a distinguished leader whose eloquence and diplomacy in promoting self-determination for the Chickasaw Nation and all tribes was legendary. As the Chickasaw Nation’s ambassador to the United States, Charles Blackwell personified the nation-to-nation relationship, giving his people a voice at the highest levels of government. Ambassador Blackwell was an accomplished advocate for the Chickasaw people. His forceful personality, generous spirit and guidance on the workings of federal government will be sorely missed by all who had the good fortune to know him. Our prayers go out to his family, the Chickasaw Nation leadership, and the Chickasaw people.”

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page

POST A COMMENT

Comments

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
omg! he was my english teacher in 1967 at Ft Defiance HS, window rock, az. he always took the time to help and encourage all students. He told us never to quit because of limitations. God bless his family. Sharon Blackwell Provost, was also my teacher.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
The Chickasaws, Indian country, and the United States lost a true person. Charles had wisdom, love, and compassion, all the assets that God loves. He will be greatly missed. Our hearts are with his family whom he truly loved. Sleep well my friend, your earthly work is finished. Your friends, Guy & Gloria

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
I had many personal chats with Charles. I found him to be a breath of fresh air so stoic and scholarly with southern charm. I will always remember him as a visionary man who shared many ideas for Native People. Thank you Charles for your inspiration and making my time in Washington D.C. a delight with your charm. You were and will always be a great friend to the Navajo Nation.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Chales was always a vocal advocate for tribal sovereignty and development. May he walk on in beauty.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous
Submitted by Anonymous on
Charles had three qualities of a true lover of life: A big laugh, a big appetite, and a big heart. Bruce Thompson, 2 Quail Restaurant, Wash DC.

Velma Garcia Mason, Ph.D.'s picture
Velma Garcia Ma...
Submitted by Velma Garcia Ma... on
I regarded Charles as a brother and dear friend of mine who touched my life in a positive way and I shall miss him. At a time when I needed a confidant in Washington, DC, he provided me emotional strength. I was honored that he too shared certain private issues with me and I was happy I could share helfpul thoughts in return. I was unaware of his passing as I only read about it today as I was surfing the internet. I am sadden and full of tears. My deepest condolescences to Geoffery and Jonathan and their families.. as well as to Sharon. I believe I met one of the daughter-in-laws at a NM Christmas event at Charles's house in SilverSpring sometime ago .....For many of us from New Mexico, he kept NM alive for us in DC and we appreciated it. Years later, upon my return to Acoma, and from his hospital bed, he offered me much advice on the development of the Acoma Haaku Museum. He indeed proved to be an "all rounded" and surpassingly talented individual with a huge heart. "My brother Charles, I shall miss you. I wish you a 'Happy Journey' - I am sure you have a special seat awaiting you at your final destination! "

Sharon McCully's picture
Sharon McCully
Submitted by Sharon McCully on
I am saddened to know that Charles has gone, but know that he is still with us in our hearts. I called him my friend and enjoyed his invaluable advice as a colleague. I will always cherish many laughs with him. He was a man that gave generously of his heart, his mind and his time. He had great knowledge, spirit and optimism. He will be dearly missed and my thoughts are with his family.

Tina's picture
Tina
Submitted by Tina on
YAHOO!!! I love great news like this! Iam sure it was a bit hard to leave a company after 15 years but, in the long run chgane - as hard as it is - is what makes the world go round! I hope this continues to be a wonderful thing for TIm and that he learns and grows and develops the same types of relationships he had at the last company! Congrats Tim! I am more than certain you deserve this!
8