Honoring 100 for the 100th: Linda Ketcher

Image of Linda KetcherDr. Linda Kaye Ketcher was born in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, raised in rural Adair County, and is the daughter of the late Reverend Key and Anna Ketcher. Cherokee was the predominant language spoken in her home, churches, and community. Her parents were very involved in helping fluent Cherokee speakers, their church members, and community members. They often served as translators and interpreters. Dr. Ketcher knew at an early age that she wanted to help people.

She is a 1966 graduate of Stilwell High School, attended Bacone College, and is a graduate of Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. After graduation from NSU, she worked for one year with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the Okmulgee Agency. After one year of employment, she was accepted and enrolled at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Social Work and graduated with her MSW in 1973.

Following graduation at OU as an MSW, she began her career with the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Eufaula Dormitory. She then transferred to the Tahlequah Agency.

Her career then took her to Washington, DC, with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, where she worked with the Indian Child Welfare Act as an ICWA Grant Specialist. She traveled extensively throughout Indian Country providing training and technical assistance to Indian tribal grantees, both on and off the reservation setting. She also worked as a Quality Control Specialist, Eastern Area Social Worker, and as a Supervisory Child Welfare Specialist. She was often assigned to areas in some parts of Indian Country to help address critical and sensitive issues.

During 1991 – 1998, she also worked under the leadership of former Principal Chief, Wilma Mankiller of Cherokee Nation. She worked in various capacities as Director, within Behavioral Health, as Deputy Director of the Health Department, as Executive Manager, and led Staff Training and Development.

She taught at the University of Oklahoma’s School of Social Work at both the Norman Campus and Tulsa Campus from 1998 – 2000. She began her Doctoral studies in 2000.

She retired from the BIA in Washington, DC in 2013. Shortly after her retirement, she began working with the Cherokee Nation at the AMO Salina Clinic as a licensed clinical therapist, where she continues to help people.

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