Chickasaw elder Towana Spivey next guest of Speakers And Issues

Fort Sill historian speaking at MSU Texas

Chickasaw elder Towana Spivey next guest of Speakers And Issues

Native Americans of the Southern Plains consider Medicine Bluffs at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, a sacred site. When the Army decided to build a $7.3 million warehouse near the rock cliffs, Towana Spivey, then the director/curator of the Fort Sill National Historic Landmark and Museum, tried to warn officials of the site’s sensitivity. He was ignored.

Spivey will speak about “The Battle for Medicine Bluffs” for Midwestern State University’s Speakers & Issues Series at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas.

Spivey is a descendent of Chickasaws who came to Indian Territory in 1837 from northern Mississippi. He was born in Madill, Oklahoma, and still owns the original 140-acre Chickasaw allotment of his grandparents.

Spivey has authored several books and articles about frontier history and has served as a primary consultant or been featured in at least 35 television documentaries. He has also worked as a historical consultant to movie productions, playing a role in the development of characters and historical accuracy in the making of the movies Windtalkers and Dances with Wolves.

He works to preserve the history, language, and material culture of many Oklahoma tribes including the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Comanche, Kiowa, Chiricahua, Apache, and the Warm Springs Apache. He was inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2012 and into the Comanche Nation’s Hall of Patriots in 2013.

Spivey graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in history and natural science. He was named a Southeastern Distinguished Alumni in 2012. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma in anthropology/archeology and museum studies. He is retired and lives in Duncan, Oklahoma.

The Speakers and Issues Series began in 2001 with the idea of bringing informed and creative speakers to the academic and municipal communities. Since then, speakers have come to MSU from all corners of the country. It is supported by the Libra Foundation, MSU’s Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Wichita Falls Times Record News, KCCU-FM NPR Radio, and KFDX-TV3.

Admission is free; donations are welcome. Email Associate Professor of History Whitney Snow for more information.

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