New Hires, Promotions & Interns at the Shawnee Tribe!

Top left to right: Vanessa Boney, Kyle Miller-Shawnee & Lisa Gipson. Bottom left to right: Lila Roach, Chloe Tyner & BrookLynn Sorrell.


Vanessa Boney – Administrative Assistant

I am so happy to be here working with all of you. I am a former correctional officer and mental health tech. I have a degree in Criminal Justice. I have wanted to work with tribal citizens for a long time. This is the perfect opportunity to help my community and help this tribe grow! I look forward to meeting you if I haven’t already!

Kyle Miller-Shawnee – Community Resource Liaison

My name is Kyle Miller-Shawnee. I am a Cherokee Nation citizen honored to be married to a Shawnee tribal member – particularly as I now begin work as the Community Resource Liaison expanding access to resources for tribal citizens. I come to the Shawnee Tribe with previous work creating and directing services to a diverse group of graduate-level students at Phillips Theological Seminary and before that, to tribal youth at the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. With a Master of Arts in Social Justice degree, and as a current Master of Science in Clinical Counseling student, deep listening to empower native lives and voices is a both skill and a passion for me. I am honored to serve the citizens of the Shawnee Tribe as I work alongside many others toward our shared goal of creating, expanding, and coordinating services.

Erin Paden – Tribal Historic Preservation Officer

My name is Erin Paden, and I am the new Tribal Historic Preservation Specialist. I have a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Arizona State and a Bachelor’s from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. I grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle, 60 miles west of Guymon. I’m extremely excited to be working with the Shawnee Tribe.

Welcome to the Summer Interns at the Shawnee Tribe Language Immersion Program!

Lila Roach – Summer Intern

I just finished my first year at the University of Minnesota, studying Chemistry. I have been taking Shawnee language classes with the Shawnee Tribe for two years. I like reading, cooking, and taking care of plants in my spare time.

BrookLynn Sorrell – Summer Intern

Hato! I am BrookLynn. I am a mom to an energetic six year old boy. I am a senior at Northeastern State University studying History. I hope to work in a museum one day preserving cultural artifacts. I am thankful that I was chosen for this internship and the opportunity to represent my tribe!

Chloe Tyner-White – Summer Intern

Hato! My name is Chloe Tyner-White; I am Shawnee, Absentee Shawnee, and Seneca- Cayuga. I graduated from Quapaw High School in Spring 2020 and that fall I had my first semester at Northeastern State University. I plan to graduate with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in American Indian Studies in two years. I love to go to powwows, stomp dances, and ceremonies with my family! I also like going to my Native American Church meetings and help with cooking.


More News

Aug 31, 2023

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Project

The 2023 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be harvested from Monongahela National Forest, which is part of the Shawnee ancestral homeland. The tribe’s THPO is teaming up with National Forest staff to ensure the Capitol Tree includes representation of the Shawnee Tribe. On Friday, September 15 at our General Council dinner & stomp festivities in […]

Read More
Aug 28, 2023

Voted Absentee ballots due to Election Committee by September 14

Early voting by absentee ballot (vote-by-mail) is offered in 2023. All voted ballots must be received by the Election Committee by 5:00 PM (Central) on the Thursday before the election, September 14. Voters may return their ballots by mail or deliver the ballot in person to the Election Committee. Any citizen participating in early or […]

Read More
Aug 23, 2023


CHIEF BEN BARNES As the celebration of Independence Day fades into the background, this is the time of year that the Business Council begins to look toward the next fiscal year and plan programming for Shawnee families. We generally have two sorts of programs: those that come from federal funding sources and those that are […]

Read More
Aug 18, 2023

Elections Act Amendment & 2023 Election Information

In February of 2023, the Shawnee Tribe Business Council approved a revision to Title 6, The Shawnee Tribe Elections Act. This amendment of…

Read More
Aug 3, 2023


MORRIS BLUEJACKET HOMETOWN: BLUEJACKET, OK CURRENT CITY: BLUEJACKET, OK OCCUPATION: RETIRED Born in Vinita raised in BlueJacket. Graduate of BlueJacket High School. I am married to Pattie (McLain) BlueJacket for 46 years. We have One son Tab & wife Tiffany, 5 Grandchildren. I have worked in state & county government for the past 34 years, […]

Read More
Aug 3, 2023


HEIDI BIGKNIFE RANKIN HOMETOWN: DENVER, CO CURRENT CITY: TULSA, OK OCCUPATION: ARTIST Hatito or hello friends and fellow citizens, I am Heidi BigKnife. My Shawnee roots stretch from Vinita, Oklahoma to our tribal lands in Kansas and Ohio. I am an artist and live and work in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Most of my art practice is […]

Read More
Aug 3, 2023


BEN BARNES (Incumbent) HOMETOWN: MIAMI, OK  CURRENT CITY: MIAMI, OK OCCUPATION: CHIEF OF THE SHAWNEE TRIBE For over 25 years, I have served in leadership roles in Indian Country, professionally at director-level positions in Tribal Gaming. Since 2008, it has been a true honor and privilege to work for my own community, working to bring […]

Read More
Jul 7, 2023

Trauma Support Group Beginning September 7

Shawnee Tribe Behavioral and Mental Health invites you to join an upcoming trauma support group centered around the book The Body Keeps the Score by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk.

Read More
See All News