Cross Timbers own, Chuck Tsoodle recently received this award for his many years of service to the Kiowa Tribe. “This is one of AARP Oklahoma’s most prestigious and visible awards given to recognize outstanding Native American Elders who are making a powerful difference in their communities and Indian Country, in ways that are consistent with AARP’s mission and vision, and who inspire others to service”. Here’s the bio from the nomination:
Chuck Tsoodle is a stalwart in the world of tribal transportation. He served many years as the Transportation Director for the Kiowa Tribe, and although retired now, he continues his work as a consultant for tribal transportation. When he began working for the Kiowa Tribe, he wrote funding grants for a Transportation Department, Indian Reservation Roads Program, Road and Bridge Program, Federal Transit Authority, Tribal Transit Program, and an Environmental Program. The Kiowa Tribe’s transportation department was able to purchase construction heavy equipment, build a department of transportation facility, and assist with tribal need such as burial services and tribal member drive-ways.
While serving the local tribal community, Chuck saw the need to improve tribal transportation across the nation. He had vision and served on national, state, and local tribal transportation committees such as IRRPCC (Indian Reservation Road Program Coordinating Committee), TEA-21, Negotiated Rule-Making Committee, Oklahoma TTAP (Tribal Technical Assistance Program), and the Oklahoma DOT TAB (Tribal Advisory Board). He was a founding member of the OTTC (Oklahoma Tribal Transportation Council) and served as the chairman for twelve years. Chuck was a working group member for the Oklahoma Strategic Highway Safety Plan.
One of his most notable contributions is to tribal transportation safety. Chuck was on the Safety Management Steering Committee that was responsible for securing funding and establishing the National Tribal Safety Management System Implementation Plan and the Strategic Highway Safety Plan for Indian Lands.
Currently, Chuck splits his time between tribal transportation projects and taking care of his cattle. He sought part-time consulting work in tribal transportation after a few months of official retirement. He continues to be active with his community and other tribes.
Chuck deserves to be recognized for his service to his tribal community, the state of Oklahoma, and the nation. He has helped to make the world around him a safer place.