Choctaw Nation Celebrates National Women’s History Month

DURANT, OK – During the month of March, which celebrates National Women’s History Month, the Choctaw Nation has paid tribute to the influential role of Choctaw women in shaping their communities and preserving cultural heritage.   

The Choctaw Nation has a long-standing tradition of being a matriarchal society, where women have held positions of respect and power. Through traditional storytelling and art, the importance of women in Choctaw history is portrayed, where they have been recognized as the givers and supporters of life, working alongside men.   

Even in modern times, Choctaw women continue to break barriers and contribute significantly to society, challenging gender norms and stereotypes. One such woman is Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell, a Native American academic scholar, historian, feminist, and author. Dr. Kidwell’s achievements have earned her a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society for Ethnohistory.   

Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell
Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell

At a time when few Native women held doctoral degrees, Dr. Kidwell established study 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. Kidwell was the first to be highlighted in the biography series Choctaw Culture Keepers. The book titled Dr. Clara Sue Kidwell, Teacher and Mentor tells the story of a resilient Choctaw tribal member from Northeast Oklahoma who became recognized as a national leader in the field of American Indian studies.  

“As we celebrate National Women’s History Month, let us honor the contributions of Choctaw women and recognize their invaluable role in shaping our society,” said Chief Gary Batton. “Their stories inspire future generations to break barriers and achieve greatness.”