Tiajuana Cochnauer (above right) to speak on First Code Talkers, Choctaws.
The public is cordially invited to the Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society meeting on Sunday, January 13, 2019, at 3:00 p. m. in the Lynch Building Annex of the Tompkins Library, Edgefield, SC. The First Code Talkers: Choctawsis the subject for the meeting and will be presented by Tiajuana Cochnauer, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, who shares the beginnings of code talking in World War I and continued in World War II. She has presented this information at an international conference in Reims, France, in April, and at a 13-state regional conference in North Carolina in February.
Ms. Cochnauer will be teaching a short course, beginning February, 2019, at the University of South Carolina Aiken Academy for Lifelong Learning: Choctaw Indians Yesterday and Today. The course will be three sessions: Where Have All the Choctaws Gone?, Choctaw Code Talkers, and Choctaw Music and Dance.
She serves her family and Oklahoma history as an historian and contributor to Choctaw history housed in the Oklahoma Historical Society Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her contributions, including original photographs, documents, and family history information, are recognized in the Special Collections of the Oklahoma History Center as the Tiajuana King Cochnauer collection.
Her family history research traces her Choctaw ancestors from the late 1700’s and includes the documentation of her maternal great-great grandfather’s immigration from Mississippi in 1832 to what is now Oklahoma during the “Removal Period,” later known as the Trail of Tears. She has also established an enrichment fund at the University of Oklahoma Western History Collections.
Ms. Cochnauer is on the Artist Registry of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Her fabric and quilted items are currently available for sale at the Oklahoma Welcome Center managed by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and through its website, www.Choctawstore.com. She participates in the annual Labor Day Festival in Oklahoma with her brother, also a registered Choctaw artist, whose specialty is fine art.
She retired from the USDA Forest Service, serving at the national level of the USDA Forest Service in Washington, District of Columbia (DC) as the Acting Director of the Office of Tribal Affairs and as Acting Director of the Office of Conservation Education (environmental education). Prior to the USDA Forest Service, she was a program manager of university and education programs with the US Department of Energy (DOE) in Idaho serving the northwestern United States. She also earned a temporary promotion at DOE’s Headquarters in Washington, DC, for education programs.
Her education includes a Master of Education and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oklahoma (OU). She has additional course work at the graduate level in public school administration, natural resources, and special needs from a number of universities, including the University of Idaho, Boise State University, Utah State University, Oklahoma City University and Furman University.
She currently volunteers for the American Red Cross and fosters bottle-fed kittens for the Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare SPCA. She is the OU alumni chapter leader.
Refreshments will be served.