Author James Jennings
James’s ancestors came to what is now called the Sooner State on the Trail of Tears in 1837. He is descended from tribal chiefs, warriors, horse breeders, scholars, judges, and men of the cloth. A great uncle was a Rough Rider and an aide to Theodore Roosevelt.
Founder of the law firm Jennings Teague, James is admitted to practice in Oklahoma and before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a fellow of numerous professional organizations including the illustrious American College of Trial Lawyers, and is a director of Chickasaw Community Bank, a $300 million community bank owned by the Chickasaw Nation.
During his undergraduate years, James studied Latin American history and politics at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. While studying abroad, he fell in love with Mexico; its people; and their history. He has traveled extensively throughout the country and has seen poverty in the state of Chiapas, the site of the Zapatista uprising in 1994 and the setting for his newest novel, MIRADOR. He has felt the tension between los indígenas and the army, and knows that, for the locals, the Zapatista slogan still applies: La lucha continua! — The struggle goes on!
MIRADOR is his second novel. His first, The Light Most Favorable, was published in 2012. His third, Blue Wild Indigo, is nearing completion. Stay tuned for news on his fourth and work-in-progress, Travertine Rim.
Chokma. Chickasha saya. In English: Hello. I am Chickasaw. Chickasaw citizenship is my birthright as a lineal descendant of my grandfather, whose name appears on the final roll of Chickasaw Indians by blood created in 1906. Enrollment was an important step in the government’s plan to break up tribal governments and communal lands in Indian Territory and prepare Oklahoma for admission to the Union as a state. My grandfather was born in the Chickasaw Nation in 1891 but did not become a citizen of the United States until the roll was approved by Congress.
Presidential Peace Medal
For nearly 300 years Indian Peace Medals were given by US Presidents to chiefs and other prominent Indians in North America for the purpose of promoting peace and friendship. Often, this occurred on the occasion of signing treaties or holding important conferences. This 1825 medal, bearing the image of President John Quincy Adams, was presented to my 4th great grandfather, Levi Colbert, principal chief of the Chickasaws. He was known among his people as Itawamba Mingo.
Visit https://www.chickasaw.tv/videos/levi-colbert-hall-of-fame to learn more about Levi Colbert and see his portrait in which he is shown wearing his peace medal.