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Accomplishments

  • Betty Mae graduated from high school, the first of her Tribe to ever attain a degree.

    Betty Mae Jumper, third from the right in the top row.

  • Realizing the value of modern medicine, Betty Mae attended Kiowa Indian Hospital in Lawton, OK for nursing and brought white medicine to her Tribe. Later, the modern, two-story health clinic on Hollywood Reservation would be named after her.

  • Betty Mae was elected to the Tribe's first Council, and two years later to the Board of Directors.

  • In 1963, when the Tribe started a newspaper (The Smoke Signal, the forerunner of the Seminole Tribune Betty Mae was named editor. (She still serves as the Director of the Communications Department.)

  • In 1967, she was elected Tribal Chairman, becoming the first female Tribal 'Chief' in America; Because of that position, President Richard Nixon appointed her to a two-year term on the National Indian Opportunity Council.

  • In 1971, she was named among the top 50 Indian Women of the United States by the North American Indian Woman's Association.

  • She has authored two books, ...and with Wagons came God's Word, and Legends of the Seminoles.

  • She was named 'Woman of the Year' by the Jewish Women's Defense League

  • She was named 'Pioneer Woman' by the City of Dania.

  • In 1994 she won the Florida Department of State Folklife Heritage Award and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree from Florida State University.

  • In 1995 she was inducted into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame. In June of 1997 she won the first Lifetime Achievement Award ever presented by the Native American Journalists Association.

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