Lillian Blackwood Fowler
1919 - 2004
Lillian Blackwood Fowler faithfully served the Chickasaw Nation as a pioneer for vital programs that became benchmarks of the tribe’s commitment to its citizens.
Fowler was born in Antioch, Oklahoma, the eldest daughter of Bryant Blackwood and Malinda Blackwood (Gibson), an original Dawes enrollee. She attended Bloomfield Academy and Chilocco Indian School. She left school, but later earned her GED diploma in 1977 at the age of 57.
Fowler raised six children in a modest setting, working various jobs, including in a school cafeteria, assembly line and restaurants. Her diverse work experience would serve her well during her time with the Chickasaw Nation.
Her dedication was a major contributor to the early success of the community health representative (CHR) program, being one of only three representatives after its founding in 1969. As a CHR, she experienced firsthand the needs of Chickasaw citizens, especially Chickasaw elders. She established relationships with those she served and helped to voice their needs to the tribe.
One of the most critical requirements she identified was providing quality nutrition to Chickasaws. Thus, she accepted the challenge of becoming the Chickasaw Nation’s first nutrition specialist. The position, supported by a federal grant, enabled her to serve citizens living in all counties of the tribe, and in her success, laid the foundation of what has become an indispensable service for Chickasaws today.
Fowler was proud of her service and her tribe, and her spirit of giving has been embodied in the Chickasaw Foundation’s Lillian Fowler Memorial Scholarship. Her service to the community was recognized in 2005 with the dedication of the Lillian Blackwood Fowler monument at the Pauls Valley Senior Center.