Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Green's service to citizens, tribe lauded by Governor and colleagues


Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby presents retiring Pontotoc Seat 5 legislator Mary Jo Green with a vase commemorating 18 years' service on the Chickasaw Nation Legislature. Ms. Green served a total of 39 years in service to the Chickasaw people.

ADA, Okla. – A reception and emotional well wishes greeted retiring Chickasaw Nation legislator Mary Jo Green, Friday, Sept. 16, who has served the tribe in varying capacities for 39 years.

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby presented Ms. Green with a crystal vase commemorating her service to the Chickasaw people.

Gov. Anoatubby recalled Ms. Green joined a small staff in spring 1977 assisting Chickasaw citizens seeking employment through a program called the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA).

"She is a real people-person," Gov. Anoatubby said. "Mary Jo performed wonderfully in helping citizens" saying her efforts were from a genuine desire to see Chickasaws advance and move forward.

It was a time before the Nation could hire human resource experts to assist in finding the best candidates to join the Chickasaw Nation, Gov. Anoatubby stated. Then Governor Overton James tapped Ms. Green to take over the task of helping all departments fill critically needed positions with the best qualified candidates.

"She did an excellent job. It was new to her and she had to learn how to do it and she did a good job," Gov. Anoatubby noted.

In the 1980s, the Chickasaw Nation received a grant from the federal government to begin senior citizen sites.

"(The first senior site) was located on the headquarters campus; very underfunded but it did provide us funding to get started. Mary Jo stepped up and she was selected to be the senior citizen site manager," Gov. Anoatubby recalled.

She stayed with the program until retiring from the executive branch of government after 21 years of service.

In 1998, she was elected to the Chickasaw Nation Legislature representing Seat 5 in the Pontotoc District. She is currently serving her sixth consecutive term. Her term in office continued until Oct. 1, 2016, but her last official meeting with legislators and colleagues was Sept. 16.

"I really believe (Mary Jo's) service is not over," Gov. Anoatubby said. "Mary Jo will have difficulty not serving," he proclaimed.

Ms. Green credited God with allowing her to serve. "It was never me it was always through God," she said.

She also thanked Gov. Anoatubby for the opportunity to serve and his faith in her endeavors on behalf of Chickasaw people. She then turned her attention to legislative colleagues, graciously thanking them for their support, foresight and counsel.

Her colleagues presented her with a plaque commemorating 18 years of service as an elected representative of Chickasaw people.

In an emotional moment, Ms. Green thanked Chickasaw elders as "being such a blessing to me." Working with elders was "the most uplifting experience that could have happened to me" she said of her work managing senior sites. "Because I had lost my mother, I saw my mother in all my elders. She was proud to be a Chickasaw, just as I am."


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