Tribal Council Attends Haskell Convocation for New President Venida Chenault

MAYETTA:  Tribal Council traveled to Lawrence, Kan. yesterday to attend the 2014 Spring Convocation at Haskell Indian Nations Univeristy (HINU) in support of the school’s new president Venida Chenault who is a tribal member.

Chenault is the first Haskell graduate to ever become president of the school in its 130-year history.  She attended Haskell in 1975 and 1984 and has also worked at the school for 21 years.  Prior to her new position, she was vice president of academic affairs and before that held various positions on the faculty and as an advisor.

Academically, Chenault holds degrees in social work and earned a doctorate in philosophy all from the University of Kansas in 2004.

She has also been active with the tribe through serving on the Education, Social Services and Constitutional Committees.

A large crowd attended the convocation.  During her speech, Chenault said that it was hard work and determination that has placed her where she is today.  She also said that she comes from a family that values education and she urged the students in the audience to not get sidetracked by outside influences that may keep them from achieving their educational goals.

Below are some photos taken yesterday at the convocation:


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Special guests who were invited to the convocation were photographed with Chenault. (Left to right) Carrie O’Toole (PBPN), Joyce Guerrero (PBPN), Dr. Michael Zogry (KU Indigenous Studies), Steve Ortiz (PBPN), Steve Cadue (Kickapoo), Chenault (HINU), Joshua Arce (HINU), Hattie Mitchell (PBPN), Tom Wabnum (PBPN), Chris Howell (State of Kansas) and Russell Bradley (Kickapoo).

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Chenault during her speech and the PBPN Tribal Council listening on the front row.  The convocation was held in Haskell’s auditorium.

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Jerry (left) and Terry Tuckwin were in the audience.  Jerry is a PBPN and teaches at Haskell and also heads the Haskell Foundation.


Carrie O’Toole (PBPN) waves to the crowd after being recognized for being on the Haskell Board of Regents.

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Chenault (center) poses with PBPN Vice-Chairperson Joyce Guerrero and PBPN Tribal Council Member Tom Wabnum.

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The convocation closed with the audience singing the school song Onward Haskell.