Howard C. Walkingstick, MSW ’49

Like his father, a Cherokee Nation Senator and Auditor in the 1890s, Howard C. Walkingstick (MSW ’49) was a leader all his life. Only 16 when he graduated from high school, he took a part-time job at the Bureau of Indian Affairs; it was the beginning of a 39-year BIA career devoted to overcoming racism and helping tribes throughout the country. Walkingstick worked his way through night school at George Washington University, where he and other minority students had tea at the White House with Eleanor Roosevelt each Saturday. He volunteered at Chicago’s Hull House and served with the Army during World War II, then became the first Native American in the country to earn an MSW. Walkingstick’s BIA service earned him a 1967 Distinguished Service Award, the Interior Department’s highest honor. A year before he died in 2002, he received the Cherokee Nation’s GaDuGi Award.