Enoch Kelly Haney

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Enoch Kelly Haney
Artist kelly haney.jpg
Member of the Oklahoma Senate
In office
Constituency50th, 28th districts
Member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives
In office
Preceded byRon Sheppard
Succeeded byJim Morgan
Constituency28th district
Personal details
Born (1940-11-12) 12 November 1940 (age 80)
Seminole, Oklahoma
NationalityAmerican, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materBacone College
Oklahoma City University
OccupationArtist, Politician

Enoch Kelly Haney (born November 12, 1940) is an American politician and internationally recognized Seminole/Muscogee artist from Oklahoma, He served as principal chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma from 2005 until 2009 and previously served as a member of both houses of the Oklahoma Legislature.[1] He was also a candidate for the office of Governor of Oklahoma in the 2002 election.

Haney created a bronze statue that sits atop the Oklahoma State Capitol. Another statue he created is located at the Chickasaw Nation headquarters in Ada, Oklahoma.

Early life and education[edit]

Enoch Kelly Haney was born on November 12, 1940 in Seminole, Oklahoma to William Woodrow Haney and Hattie Louise Haney. His father was a flute maker and craftsman and his paternal grandfather, Willie Haney, contributed to the Smithsonian Institution's oral history project[2] and served as Chief of the Seminole Tribe in the 1940s.[3] Haney graduated from Prairie Valley High School in Earlsboro, Oklahoma in 1959, then went on to earn an Associate of Arts degree from Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Oklahoma City University.[2] He attended the University of Arizona on a Rockefeller Foundation Scholarship.[4] He also served in the Oklahoma National Guard.[5] In 1972, he was named as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America.[2]

Political career[edit]

Prior to becoming Principal Chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Haney served in the Oklahoma Senate from 1986 to 2002.[1] During his tenure in the State Senate, he served as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. From 1980 to 1986, he served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives,[1] becoming Vice Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee in his second term. He was the first full-blood Native American to serve in either house of the Oklahoma Legislature. Earlier in his career, he had served the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, as a tribal councilman, band chief, business consultant, and planner.[1] In 2002, Haney ran as a Democratic candidate for Oklahoma governor,[6] but was ultimately defeated in the primary by then-State Senator Brad Henry.

A statue created by Haney sits atop the Oklahoma State Capitol

Artistic career[edit]

In addition to his political career, Haney is an internationally recognized Native American artist, specializing in paintings and sculpture. He paints in oil, acrylic, and watercolor and draws with pastels, as well as sculpting with bronze. Haney was shown throughout the United States, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland. The Five Civilized Tribes Museum declared him a Master Artist in 1976.[2]

Most notably, he created "The Guardian," a 22-foot bronze sculpture which adorns the Oklahoma State Capitol dome. Modeled after Haney's own relatives, "The Guardian" took 10 months to complete, weighs 4,000 pounds, and was erected on June 7, 2002.[3] Seven 7-foot replicas of the statue are located throughout the state.[7] Other artistic accomplishments include the "Chickasaw Warrior" sculpture at the Chickasaw Nation headquarters in Ada, Oklahoma, and the "Standing His Ground" sculpture at Seminole State College in Seminole, Oklahoma.

A painting by Haney, "The Earth and I are One" is displayed at the Oklahoma State Capitol.

Sculpture of a Chickasaw Warrior at the Chickasaw Cultural Center by Haney

Other accomplishments[edit]

Kelly Haney produced and hosted his own weekly television program. He also narrated and worked as a consultant for the Seminole series of the Discovery Channel's 1993 television documentary series, "How the West was Lost." He has taught at Oklahoma City University and owned an art gallery, Haney, Inc.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Seminole Nation Executive Branch-Principal Chief Enoch Kelly Haney Archived March 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c d Lester, Patrick D. The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters. SIR Publications, 1995: 217-8. ISBN 0-8061-9936-9
  3. ^ a b The Guardian. Archived July 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Art of the Oklahoma State Capitol. (retrieved 11 April 2009)
  4. ^ Art of the Oklahoma State Capitol-The Guardian by Enoch Kelly Haney Archived July 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b Enoch Kelly Haney. The Oklahoma State Senate. (retrieved 11 April 2009)
  6. ^ National Briefing | Plains: Oklahoma: Bid For Governor. New York Times. 24 November 2001 (retrieved 11 April 2009)
  7. ^ Kellyhaney.com (accessed May 16, 2013)

External links[edit]