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Carter, Cecile Elkins



Member of the Caddo Indian Nation of Oklahoma, Historian, Writer and Speaker


 Ms. Carter was a member of the federally recognized Caddo Indian Nation of Oklahoma, after retiring she continued to work as a historian, writer and speaker.  Her primary research focused on Caddo Indian history, culture and traditions. She wrote and spoke with authority based on thirty-five years of scholarly research and a collection of oral histories she began collecting from tribal elders in 1970. Before passing away in November 2011, she researched close to the Red River on the Oklahoma side of Lake Texoma and was actively engaged in Caddo cultural and historic preservation programs administered through the Caddo Nation headquarters near Binger, Oklahoma, about 47 miles west of Oklahoma City.

Her book, Caddo Indians: Where  We Come From, published by the University of Oklahoma Press, is a well documented and easily read narrative detailing the history of the Caddo Indians. It won the Oklahoma State Historical Society History Book of the Year award in 1995 and was finally made available in a paperback edition in 2001.

Ms. Carter has held appointments as the Caddo Nation Cultural Representative and Liaison. She was also the Caddo Nation’s first coordinator of the Native American Graves Protection Act, and was instrumental in establishing the Caddo NAGPRA office in 1995. Before her passing Ms. Carter was a Charter Member of the Caddo Heritage Museum Board of Trustees and served as the Board’s Senior Advisor.

Updated November 30, 2016 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff