TITLE: Native American Heritage Month Keynote Address by Rep. Tom Cole
SPEAKER: Rep. Tom Cole
EVENT DATE: 11/06/2007
FORMAT: Video + Captions
RUNNING TIME: 54 minutes
TRANSCRIPT: View Transcript (link will open in a new window)
Five years to the day after being elected to represent Oklahoma's 4th congressional district, Rep. Tom Cole delivered the keynote address for the Library's 2007 celebration of Native American Heritage Month.
Speaker Biography: Rep. Tom Cole, who is a fifth-generation Oklahoman and a member of the Chickasaw Nation, is the only Native American currently serving in the U.S. Congress. He was inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2004. Cole has served Oklahoma as a district director for former congressman Mickey Edwards, as a member of the Oklahoma State Senate and as Oklahoma's secretary of state. In this capacity he served as former Governor Frank Keating's chief legislative strategist and liaison to the state's federal delegation. Keating tapped Cole to lead Oklahoma's successful effort to secure federal funds to assist in the rebuilding of Oklahoma City in the wake of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Early in his congressional tenure, he was named one of "Five Freshmen to Watch" by Roll Call. As a member of the House, Cole has been an advocate for a strong national defense, a defender of the interests of small businesses and taxpayers, a proponent of education at all levels and a leader on issues dealing with Native Americans and tribal governments. Cole is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, to which he was appointed in 2002. He serves on the Natural Resources Committee and as House Deputy Whip. He also chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee. Cole is a founding partner and past president of CHS & Associates, a nationally recognized consulting and survey research firm based in Oklahoma City. A former college instructor in history and politics, Cole holds a bachelor's degree from Grinnell College, a master's degree from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Cole has been a Thomas Watson Fellow and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of London. He currently serves on the national board of the Fulbright Association and on the board of the Aspen Institute.