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John L. Hilton
1952 - 2008

John L. Hilton dedicated his life to the service of the Chickasaw people and the growth of the Chickasaw Nation. He was instrumental in the funding of programs that still benefit Chickasaws every day.

Born in 1952 in Ada, Oklahoma, to John Mitchell Hilton and Ruby Lee Miller Hilton, he attended Byng High School, graduating in 1970. Hilton earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from East Central University and began working for the Chickasaw Nation in 1979. His career started as a grant writer then as a planner for grants and contracts, section head and finally director of planning.

His efforts directly contributed to the establishment of the Chickasaw Nation Roads Program, which allowed the tribe to contract for the construction of its own roadways. He assisted Chickasaws with direct services including disaster relief, home repairs and emergency aid.

In 1987, Hilton was appointed as a special assistant to Governor Bill Anoatubby, a position he maintained until he passed away. His resourcefulness and compassion reflected in his work ensuring Chickasaw Nation programs were properly funded and supported.

He served as president of the Indian Tribes Community Development Association, a nonprofit organization addressing community development block grant needs for improving housing conditions and boosting economic development in First American communities. He also served as a member of the Governor’s Resource Advisory Committee.

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