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SULPHUR, Oklahoma – A day of sharing the vision of artists, musicians, scholars, and others is planned for the 2016 Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Women’s Conference. The conference will take place Thursday, April 14-15, at the Artesian Hotel and Spa.

A slate of presenters are scheduled for the two-day event including Janie Simms Hipp, J.D., LL.M., a Chickasaw citizen who is the Founding Director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University Of Arkansas School Of Law.  Ms. Hipp served in the Obama administration, the Bush administration and within the USDA Risk Management Agency as national risk management education director.

Registration deadline is March 25.

This annual event, which is open to the public, salutes the valuable contributions, skills and talents of dynamic Chickasaw women, through panel discussions, sessions and lessons on topics related to the Chickasaw experience and the panelist’s personal endeavors.

Mary Ruth Barnes, Ada, was named the 2015 Dynamic Woman of the Year by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. She will serve as keynote speaker for the conference.

A visual artist, Mrs. Barnes has received several awards for her art, as well as her work with the American Cancer Society.

She has a bachelor’s in English from North Carolina State and a master’s degree in education from Montana State. Mrs. Barnes is extremely active in her community and she is member of several service organizations.

Conference registration begins at 8:30 a.m., Thursday, April 14, in the Artesian Hotel lobby.

Opening remarks are set for 9 a.m. The first session features C.J. Aducci, Ph.D., Chickasaw Nation Department of Strong Family Development executive officer, who will present “But I Could Draw: Chickasaw Women in the Face of Adversity.”

The presentation stems from Dr. Aducci’s research about Chickasaw historical trauma and resilience.

Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m., followed Mrs. Barnes’ keynote address.

Afternoon breakout sessions and “Art of the Chickasaw Woman” exhibit reception at 3:45 p.m. at the ARTesian Gallery and Studios conclude the day.

Friday, April 15 events include a “Next Generation Panel” at 9:15 a.m.

Dr. Tina Cooper will present “Beautiful Mind,” at 1:15 p.m., April 15.

A Chickasaw physician, Dr. Cooper’s message will focus on ways to stay mentally healthy, with a lesson on the workings of the mind, diagnosis of the mind, including depression and anxiety, migraine headaches and ways to promote mental health.

The event will close with a Dynamic Women Panel including Chickasaw elder Jeraldine Brown, actress Christie Volkmer, educator Merry Monroe and journalist Lisanne Anderson.

Established in 2006, the Dynamic Woman of the Year Award honors Chickasaw women who have made significant contributions to the Chickasaw Nation, serve as role-models to other Chickasaw women and have made a difference in the lives of Chickasaws and other citizens, enriching their communities and society at large.

Registration forms are available here.

For more information, please contact Chickasaw Nation Arts & Humanities at (580) 272-5520 or by email to  or