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Charles Guy Tate
1940 -

Charles Guy Tate was born on Feb. 9, 1940, in Ardmore, Oklahoma, to Ernest W. Tate and Juanita J. Keel Tate. Charles is a descendant of Edmund Pickens, first elected Chickasaw chief in Indian Territory, and Cyrus Harris, the first elected Chickasaw governor.

In 1965, Mr. Tate enrolled in the University of Oklahoma Law School to work on his Juris Doctorate. Not long after graduation, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he worked for the Legal Aid Society, and in 1971, he began work for the All Indian Pueblo Council as in-house counsel.

He then moved to Oklahoma to work as a staff attorney for Oklahomans in Indian Opportunity, a nonprofit organization.

At the end of 1974, he moved to Ardmore, Oklahoma, where he set up a law partnership with his father, Ernest.

Mr. Tate was elected as a tribal judge for the Chickasaw Nation in 1987 and served one term. He has also contracted with the Chickasaw Legislature to provide legal counsel for legislative activities.

In 1988, Mr. Tate was selected to serve on the Court of Indian Offenses and served in that capacity until 2006. He has also accepted various positions in the tribal court for several Oklahoma tribes. In December 1995, he was appointed special district judge for Carter County, Oklahoma, and served in that position until November 2009, when he retired.

In his retirement, Mr. Tate accepted a contract position with the Chickasaw Nation to locate, identify and retrieve historical materials relating to the tribe. The materials he is gathering will become part of the library and archives of Holisso: The Center for Study of Chickasaw History and Culture at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma.

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