Quick 5: LeeAnn Dreadfulwater

LeeAnn Dreadfulwater

1. You’re originally an “Okie from Muskogee.” How did you end up in Tahlequah?

My great-grandfather, Jim Thompson, was Tahlequah’s mayor in the 1930s. I grew up spending most weekends here and am the fourth generation to attend NSU. So I’ve always had a strong connection.

2. You’ve worked for the Cherokee Nation since 1993. How did you get your start?

CN Health Services hired me out of grad school as a workforce trainer. Later, I took a job in the Communications office, fielding media requests and writing press releases. That turned into a management position handling creative services and getting the tribe started in social media.

3. Now you’re doing the historical research full-time for OsiyoTV. Tell us about that.

I’m pretty nerdy. I love digging into Cherokee and local history and became the person everyone came to if they needed some obscure piece of research for a project. It was kind of a natural progression to take that to OsiyoTV. I started working on the almanac and historical segments and ended up producing. I also do social media for the show and recently started a show/history blog.

4. You’re known as a horsewoman. What do you do with your horses?

In 2000, I started doing NATRC competitive trail competitions, where we do up to 25 miles a day and perform judged trail obstacles. It’s not a race; it’s about strategy and partnership. I’m the trail ambassador at Cherokee WMA for the Oklahoma trail-riding association. I map and mark trails there and sometimes lead rides. Otherwise, we just like to camp and ride!

5. You do a lot of trail rides, and some have been for charity. Share a few of your memorable experiences.

We’ve run across everything from wild pigs to romantic trysts and possibly BigFoot. You see a lot of snakes and armadillos. Until COVID hit, a friend and I hosted the Red Fern Trail Ride out at Cherokee WMA. We’d take a small group to the Quall’s end of the WMA via the trails, tie up the horses and enjoy lunch before riding back. We donated more than $4,000 to Help In Crisis over the years. Horse people are good folks.

– Kim Poindexter

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