Owanah Anderson (Choctaw) was born in rural Choctaw County, Oklahoma in 1926. She has long been a strong advocate for Native Americans, especially Native women. For many years she has been a role model for Native women and men alike, bringing Native issues to the forefront of Native and Non - Native organizations, as well as to policy makers.
Dr. Anderson was an active member of the AAIA Board of Directors, serving in various positions between 1984 and 2008. Greatly appreciated for her direct, no nonsense approach, her input was immensely poignant and valuable to the work of the Association. In her position as staff officer for Native American Ministry at the New York headquarters of the Episcopal Church (1983 - 1998), she was particularly helpful with AAIA’s efforts to protect Native American religious freedom and was able to get the support of the national Episcopal Church behind that effort. She was also immensely helpful in bringing attention to need for churches to support protection for Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWAR).
Dr. Anderson studied Journalism at the University of Oklahoma and is most notably known for her books Jamestown Commitment: The Episcopal Church and the American Indian; Ohoyo One Thousand: A Resource Guide of American Indian and Alaska Native Women; 100 Years: Good Shepherd Mission in the Navajo Nation 1892 - 1992; 400 Years: Anglican/Episcopal Mission Among American Indians
and The Native American in the Mission and Ministry of the Episcopal Church