Meet the Project Staff:
Dorothy Whitehorse DeLaune
Kiowa elder Dorothy Whitehorse DeLaune brings a long personal history and rich cultural knowledge to the project. Ms. DeLaune was born in 1933 to “Charley” Whitehorse, who was then nearly 65 years of age. Charley Whitehorse is credited with preserving hundreds of Kiowa songs through the early 1900s, during which time the federal government prohibited these songs and the dances that accompanied them as part of U.S. assimilation policy. Charley, who was not literate in Kiowa or English, preserved them through memory and practiced them with other Kiowa in secret. Ms. DeLaune grew up in a family where Kiowa was spoken as the first language, and she learned these songs as well as Kiowa military history from her father. She also had the benefit of her mother’s deep familiarity with Kiowa stories. At 85 years of age, Dorothy Whitehorse DeLaune is an invaluable resource for her people. She is motivated by a sense of urgency around sustaining the language and knowledge she has inherited. She brings this commitment to the project. Her signature line, which she repeats often, is “We have to hurry up.”
Ms. DeLaune is a widely acknowledged and highly honored elder in the Kiowa community. She works as a cultural advisor, storyteller, and language teacher with many programs and offices in the Anadarko area. She is Co-Instructor for the Kiowa Clemente Course in the Humanities (University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma). She is an active member of the Kiowa War Mothers Society and the TOHN KOHN GAHT (Kiowa Black Leggings) Society.
Dr. Rachel C. Jackson
Dr. Rachel C. Jackson (Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) serves as Lead Scholar for the Kiowatalk.org project. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Oklahoma with a dual focus in Rhetoric and Writing Studies and Native Studies. Her research focuses on Oklahoma, where she studies the continuance of cultural knowledge in suppressive climates and the literacy practices historically marginalized communities, particularly Native American communities, utilize to sustain their languages and cultures. To her, the work to sustain culture occurring throughout these communities offer critical local models for community activism and cultural resistance to the pressures of assimilation.
Dr. Jackson has worked with the Kiowa community for over a decade as the Instructor for the Kiowa Clemente Course in the Humanities. This course, originally funded in 2000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Oklahoma Humanities Council, continues in large part due to Dr. Jackson’s ongoing commitment. Dr. Jackson is a Fellow with the Ford Foundation of the National Academies and a Research Fellow with the Newberry Library’s Consortium on American Indian Studies. She currently holds a College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Department of English at Oklahoma State University.
Mr. Goombi is an elder and leader in the Kiowa community, former Kiowa Tribal Chairman, and former Vice-President of the National Congress of American Indians. He regularly writes editorial columns for the Anadarko Daily News on issues within the Kiowa community. He works with tribal leaders all over the state and nation, consulting on tribal business and economic development. Most recently, he has been serving as tribal liaison for a statewide litigation case fighting against opioid addiction. He has helped facilitate the Kiowa Clemente Course in the Humanities (University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma) since its inception in 2001.
Gregory Lynn (Sonny) Klinekole
Mr. Klinekole serves the Kiowatalk project as videographer and multimedia editor. He holds a number of certifications in multimedia technologies. He holds double Associates degrees in both Science and the Arts. He is currently completing a Bachelors degree in Computer Science. He is a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and is active in both the Anadarko community and the culture of the Kiowa tribe. He dances “southern straight style” and has performed in such venues as the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. He is also a devoted blues musician who played with the local group Blues Nation, including performances with such artists as Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Edgar Winter, Santana, and Johnny Lane. The biggest stage he has performed on to date was a live international performance at the 2007 Live Earth concert for the former Vice-President Al Gore’s campaign against climate change.
Paulette Henderson serves as the web developer for the KiowaTalk digital archive. She has developed electronic commerce systems for The Boeing Company, reverse engineered the accounting system documentation for Alderwood Water District in Lynnwood, Washington, and produced the Community Forum for KACO Radio in Anadarko, Oklahoma. She has written and published a number of works related to Oklahoma people, Oklahoma history, and the Kiowa Tribe.