Vol. LIV No. 5
May 2019

Message from Lt. Gov. Keel


To the Chickasaw People:

For the past twenty years I have been honored to serve you as your Lieutenant Governor. During this time our nation has experienced tremendous growth and development. I have been honored to serve our people on the national and international levels, including frequent testimony to the US Congress. I am currently serving as the President of the National Congress of American Indians, the nation’s largest and most representative Indian organization.

The time has come for me to step down, and for Carol and I to begin a new chapter in our lives.

On April 26, 2017 I was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma cancer. At that time, Carol and I prayed for the direction that we should go. We wondered if I should step down at that time. As we prayed, it became clear that I should wait until after my treatments to decide on a direction.

We have been diligently seeking the Lord’s direction since then. I completed my treatments, and by the Grace of God there is no sign of cancer. The Lord healed me and I know that He has a plan for me.

On Friday, April 26, 2019, two years after my diagnosis, I spoke to Governor Anoatubby and told him what had been my thoughts about retirement since learning my diagnosis two years ago.

We agreed that it is time for me to begin a new chapter in my life. My term of office will end on September 30th. Governor Anoatubby has asked me to continue my service to the nation. Perhaps as the Secretary of State, although the title and details still need to be refined.

It is important that Governor Anoatubby look toward the future of the nation, and select the right person to serve with him. I am confident that he will do so.

There is no greater honor than serving your own people. Thank you for the honor and privilege of allowing Carol and I to serve you. May God richly bless you and continue to bless the Chickasaw Nation.

Jefferson Keel