Poolaw, Linda 1995

The university’s Hall of Fame honorees have a long list of accomplishments, but Linda Poolaw is the only one who lists being a grand chief of the Delaware Indian Grand Council among her achievements. The Anadarko native graduated from Oklahoma College of Liberal Arts in 1974. After graduating from Anadarko High School in 1960, she worked at the Oklahoma State Capitol. After four years, she accepted employment with the Indian Health Service and worked at the Talihina Health facility for three years. Health problems brought her back to the Oklahoma City area and she worked for Areo Commander. After extensive surgery, she moved to Maine and managed a curio shop for three years. Returning to Oklahoma in 1971, she entered OCLA and began her academic career. Linda signed on with an experimental project that assisted adult Indian students entering higher education. Poolaw was elected as committee person for the Delaware Tribe of Western Oklahoma and has served in every office except president for the last 20 years. In 1991, The Smithsonian contacted Poolaw and selected her to be one of 25 Native Americans to choose artifacts in the Heye Collection in New York City. The exhibit opened October 1994 at the New Customs House, for the National Museum of American Indians. As grand chief, Poolaw directed the building of a Delaware Indian Monument erected on Ellis Island, New York City. She was involved in the movement to return Santanta’s Shield to Oklahoma and wrote a book on her father and his photographs. Poolaw was also a chairperson for Red Earth. In addition to her other activities, Poolaw was the tribal liaison for the Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Strongheart Project. She conducted heart, lung and diabetic research for the National Institute of Health on the seven tribes of the Anadarko Agency in Anadarko.

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