Choctaw Culture Keepers book release Choctaw Nation Photo

Choctaw Cultural Center to Launch Book on Clara Sue Kidwell Dec. 16

Published December 5, 2023

DURANT, OKLA. – The Choctaw Cultural Center will celebrate the publication of the first book in the new series “Choctaw Culture Keepers” this month. “Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell, Teacher and Mentor” tells the story of a Choctaw tribal member from northeast Oklahoma who became recognized as a national leader in the field of American Indian studies.

The biography for 8–12-year-old readers is written by Choctaw tribal member Celia Stall-Meadows, illustrated by Choctaw tribal member Leslie Stall Widener, and published by the Choctaw Cultural Center. The author will read an excerpt from the book and will be joined by Kidwell and the illustrator in a book signing beginning at 11 a.m. on December 16 at the Choctaw Cultural Center, 1919 Hina Hanta Way, in Durant.

The book is about Kidwell, who authored many books and articles on American Indian history and culture. At a time when few Native women held doctoral degrees, Kidwell established studies programs for several universities, and served as assistant director in the Research and Cultural Resources department at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

“Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell, Teacher and Mentor” is the first of several planned biographies in the “Choctaw Culture Keepers” series. This collection of nonfiction stories for middle-grade students highlights the lives of influential tribal members, including educators, tribal leaders, social justice advocates, veterans, researchers, and missionaries.

About The Choctaw Nation

The Choctaw Nation is the third-largest Indian Nation in the United States with more than 225,000 tribal members and 12,000-plus associates. This ancient people has an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity.


Contact Kristina Humenesky for any media relations needs at [email protected].

About The Choctaw Cultural Center

The Choctaw Cultural Center is dedicated to exploring, preserving, and showcasing the culture and history of the Choctaw people. The exhibits are immersive and told from the Choctaw perspective – honoring the physical and spiritual journey of the Choctaw people, the “Chahta Nvwat Aya”. Located in Durant, Oklahoma, the Choctaw Cultural Center includes over 100,000 square feet of rich, living exhibitions, a vast Living Village, classrooms, a theater, café and retail that combined, bring the Chahta spirit of faith, family and culture to life! For more information, visit