becoming Chief, he worked as a Shawnee language volunteer alongside
his brother in hopes to revive the Shawnee language. Upon taking office
with only a small number of fluent Shawnee speakers remaining, Chief
Barnes declared a State of Emergency for the Shawnee Language and
declared 2021-2030 the Decade of the Shawnee language.
Ben is also a member of his people’s traditional, religious community at
White Oak Oklahoma. It is from this frame of reference he hopes to guide the
Shawnee Tribe’s future, recognizing the importance of preserving the
culture, language, and religion of the Shawnee to inform the crafting of
tribal policy and law. In 2015, Chief Barnes was also the inaugural recipient of Indiana University's IAS Summer Repository Research Fellowship.
Please read more about Chief Barnes’ work here or here https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11759-018-9334-1