SIPI Board of Regents Member

Darrell Flyingman, Oklahoma Tribes

Darrell Flyingman, Oklahoma Tribes

Born in Clinton, Oklahoma and raised in Colony, Oklahoma by his grandparents, Darrell Flyingman is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. He has been on the Board of Regents at SIPI since 2013.  

After graduating from high school, Mr. Flyingman joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served from1964-75 while stationed in California, Hawaii, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Texas. His service included positions as a Tanker, Criminal Investigation and Counterintelligence trainee, Squadron Admin Chief, and Recruiter and Admin Chief for the Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. Flyingman’s military service continued as active-duty Army National Guard, where he served from1983-96 as a Recruiter and non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC)  of recruiting for a district in Kansas. He retired as a Master Sergeant (E8) after 23 years of service.

After leaving military service, Darrell was employed as a Career Development Officer and Student Recruiter for Haskell Indian Nations University. While working at Haskell, he continued his graduate education at Friends University, in Wichita, Kansas, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Resources Management and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.

In 2011, Mr. Flyingman was classified as a 100% Disabled Veteran for service in Vietnam and Thailand. Like many of his fellow Veterans, he experienced the impact of serving in war and the effects on his health years later.

Darrell also served at the Bureau of Indian Education in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a Career Development Officer and Recruiter. He retired from the BIE as a Human Resources Supervisor in 2004.

After retirement, Mr. Flyingman returned home to Oklahoma and was elected to the Business Committee, representing his Cheyenne tribal district; he was also elected to become the Chairman of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in 2005.

In 2006, a new constitution was adopted, which called for the first-ever election of a tribal governor. Mr. Flyingman was elected as the first Governor and led the process of establishing and forming a new government under the constitution. He served as Governor until 2010.

Governor Flyingman admits this was a difficult and challenging time for the Cheyenne and Arapaho of Oklahoma, as many tribal members resisted a more formal and structured system of government. However, he believes this was necessary and helped the tribes understand that the change made a path toward the betterment of the people into the future, while ensuring that Cheyenne and Arapaho culture and language programs persisted.

He currently occupies a legislative seat and after nearly 20 years of tribal government service, he plans to retire in December 2023. 

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