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Tom Cole Honored as 2016 Red Earth Ambassador of the Year

September 14, 2016
Press Release
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – U.S. Congressman Tom Cole will be recognized as the Red Earth Ambassador of the Year during an 11:30 am luncheon scheduled Wednesday, October 12 in the Eclipse Room at Oklahoma City’s Remington Park.. The Red Earth Ambassador of the Year award recognizes individuals, not necessarily of Native American descent, who have made significant contributions in presenting a positive image of American Indians.
Cole, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, has represented the Fourth District of Oklahoma since 2002 and is currently serving his seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Time Magazine has identified him as “one of the sharpest minds in the House.” He is currently one of two Native Americans serving in the U.S. Congress.
Red Earth Ambassador of the Year recipients have come from all areas of accomplishments – including artists and sports stars, actors and journalists, community and government leaders. Previous recipients have included NASA Astronaut John Herrington Commander, USN (retired), Olympian Billy Mills, poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winning author N. Scott Momaday, Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger, and Comanche Code Talker Charles Chibitty.
Cole has a long background of service to Oklahoma. Before Congress, he served as a member of the Oklahoma State Senate and as Oklahoma’s Secretary of State where he was former Governor Frank Keating’s chief legislative strategist and liaison to the states federal delegation. Congressman Cole also led Oklahoma’s successful effort to secure federal funds to assist in the rebuilding of Oklahoma City in the wake of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.
“As an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, I am very proud of my heritage and the tremendous accomplishments of tribes in Oklahoma and across our country,” said Cole in a prepared statement. “The U.S. Constitution and the federal government recognize that Native American tribes are sovereign entities with separate governments and rights that should be honored and respected.
“Native Americans are aggressively working toward building Native economies and governments, and I am committed to making sure they have the tools and resources to continue these efforts,” he said. “Through numerous treaties, as well as legislation, the United States has promised to provide this care, and I will work to make sure these promises are kept.”
Tickets to attend the 2016 Red Earth Ambassador of the Year Luncheon may be purchased online at and are $75 per person and $750 for a Patron Table of eight. Proceeds from the luncheon benefit the year-round programming of Red Earth its exhibits, events and educational programs.
For more than 30 years, the 501 (c) 3 non-profit Red Earth, Inc has been recognized as the region’s premier organization for advancing the understanding and continuation of Native American traditional and contemporary culture and arts. The Red Earth Art Center, at 6 Santa Fe Plaza in downtown Oklahoma City, hosts a diverse and changing schedule of art exhibitions and is custodian of a permanent collection of over 1,400 items of fine art, pottery, basketry, textiles and beadwork.