Lee Hester Professor of American Indian Studies

Lee Hester

Professor of American Indian Studies
Room 229 | Davis Hall


Dr. Lee Hester has been a member of the USAO faculty since 2000. He teaches Tribal Government and Law, History of Federal Indian Law, Contemporary American Indian Issues, American Indian Identity, Native American Philosophy, American Indian Art, American Indians in Film, American Indian Economics, Casino Management, Plains Indian Warfare, Removal, Native American Literature, and American Indian Education.

Hester is the director of American Indian Studies and director of the Meredith Indigenous Humanities Center. He is the advisor to all American Indian Studies majors and is a faculty advisor to American Indian student organization on campus.

Hester has been published in numerous academic journals, as well as American Indian newspapers and newsletters.  His many academic works include the book, Political Principles and Indian Sovereignty, and such articles as, American Indian Wars on the Silver Screen, Ceremonial Worlds and Environmental Sanity, Truth and Native American Epistemology, and Choctaw Notions of Sovereignty.  

He was awarded the Presidential Award of Excellence for Environmental Protection Services in 1973 by President Richard Nixon.

In addition to his classroom activities, Hester has served as President, Chairman of the Board and Cultural Committee Chair for the OK Choctaw Tribal Alliance Inc., is a founding board member for the Oklahoma Association for Healthcare Ethics, a founding Board Member of the Choctaw Code Talkers Association  and is a member of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers, the American Philosophical Association and the American Indian Philosophical Association.

Before coming to USAO, Hester taught at Oklahoma City University, Lakehead University in Canada and at the University of Oklahoma.


  • Ph.D, Philosophy, University of Oklahoma, 1999
  • Master of Philosophy, University of Oklahoma, 1991
  • BS, History, University of Oklahoma, 1987

Favorite Quotes

"Deer, I am sorry to hurt you, but the people are hungry."
Choctaw Hunter's Prayer

"They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept one; they promised to take our land, and they did."
Mahpiua Luta "Red Cloud" Oglala Lakota

"I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized." J.S. Mill

"Actions are right in proportion as they tend to promote happiness; wrong as they tend to produce the reverse of happiness. By happiness is intended pleasure and the absence of pain." J.S. Mill

"A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury." J.S. Mill

"Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." J.S. Mill

"I will call no being good who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet to my fellow creatures, and if such a being can sentence me to hell for not so calling him, then to hell I will go." J.S. Mill

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." Plato

"He was a wise man who invented beer." Plato

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." Plato

"Democracy... is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder; and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike." Plato

"For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories." Plato

"Mankind is poised midway between the gods and the beasts.” Plotinus

"When I die there may be a paragraph or two in the newspapers. My name will linger in the British Museum Reading Room catalogue for a space at the head of a long list of books for which no one will ever ask." C.S. Forrester

"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors... and miss." R.A. Heinlein

"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity." R.A. Heinlein

"For me, politeness is a sine qua non of civilization. " R.A. Heinlein

"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh. " R.A. Heinlein

"It's amazing how much 'mature wisdom' resembles being too tired." R.A. Heinlein

"A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain" R.A. Heinlein

"Democrats are the Party that says government can make you richer, smarter, taller, and get the chickweed out of your lawn. Republicans are the only party that says government doesn't work--and then they get elected to prove it." P.J. O'Rourke

"The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes." A.C. Doyle