“I feel a strong relationship with Delaware elders. Their wisdom, teachings, and humor have enabled me to deal with life.'”

Although her father, Horace Poolaw, is Kiowa, Linda was raised with Delaware people. Linda’s mother, Winnie Chisholm Poolaw, was active in Delaware tribal affairs and influenced Linda’s life.

Linda Sue Poolaw is a remarkable woman that has held many positions, from being a guide at Indian City USA to Chief of the Grand Council.  

Linda was the first female President of the American Indian Exposition and has held many positions at Delaware Nation, including, ICW Specialist, NAGPRA Specialist, Committee Person, Treasurer, Secretary, and Vice-President.

Linda stated the only position she has not held on the EC was President. “I am not that STUPID.”

Linda is well-traveled and her stories span the globe! Linda has met presidents of elite universities, directors of Smithsonian museums, and faith leaders from the remotest parts of Canada, but she said her greatest achievement is the work she did in her home state of Oklahoma, helping researchers understand heart health among what she regularly calls “my people,” before she corrects herself, “They’re not ‘mine.’ They’re ‘people.'”

Linda taught a photography class at Stanford. She has also lived in Maine at the Penobscot Reservation and has been to Germany.  

“I don’t care where you are – if you’re in a group or a church, or in Walmart, or wherever you are at a powwow or dance or whatever you want. You could hear us laughing and we don’t go ‘hee-hee-hee-hee.’ We laugh.”

Linda has sat on many boards at Anadarko Library, StrongHeart, and Indian City to name a few.

Along with being the Delaware Nation historian, Linda performs the Women’s Ceremony and Naming Ceremonies.

Linda is a strong advocate for NAGPRA. She has worked endless hours with National Parks Department to secure sites for repatriation, as well as, performed many repatriations. 

If it wasn’t for Linda partnering with Duane Hale, we would not have the Peacemakers of the Frontier, or as we affectionately refer to it the “Green Book.”

Linda is memorialized at the New York Native American Museum with her famous quote, “During World War II when my dad and other Indian men went off to war, the women worked miracles feeding their families on their meager allotments of food. We always had gardens, and we grated, dried, pounded, and roasted corn for days.”

In 2022, Linda was honored for her contributions to the Nation and the wealth of knowledge and wisdom she has shared throughout the years. Linda stated,” this is the biggest honor I have ever had.”

Delaware Nation honors Linda Poolaw and her incredible contributions to Delaware Nation for Women’s History Month!

Story & Photos by Delaware Nation Public Relations | Source: President Deborah Dotson


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Linda Poolaw shares stories of life, laughter and American Indian health. Click/Tap to read full article.