Instrumental in the creation of the first published Chickasaw dictionary

Chenena James Roach was a driving force behind the preservation of Chickasaw culture and history. She was inducted to the Chickasaw Hall of Fame for her efforts and dedication to promoting the legacy of the Chickasaw Nation.

Roach obtained a bachelor’s of science from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and worked for the state of Oklahoma as an administrative accountant.

She persuaded her mother and stepfather to aid in her work of creating a written translation to preserve the Chickasaw language. In 1973, the first Chickasaw language dictionary was printed as a result of Roach’s hard work. She also compiled audio recordings of her mother pronouncing over 700 commonly spoken Chickasaw words and phrases.

Accomplishments

  • Inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2003
  • Served as administrative accountant for the state of Oklahoma
  • Aided in the creation of the first published Chickasaw dictionary
  • Member of the Chickasaw Historical Society