Chief Baker joins 100-year birthday party in Pryor


Ray “Buck” Hampton (center) is gifted a Cherokee Nation Pendleton blanket on his 100th birthday from Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla.— Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker recently helped Pryor resident Ray “Buck” Hampton celebrate the century mark.

Hampton was born on his family’s Cherokee allotment, north of Salina, in 1913. He moved to California in 1936 and eventually came back home in 2004.

Baker told Hampton that turning 100 years old is a major accomplishment and that the Cherokee people have always been strong.

“Buck is a living example of a strong mind, body and spirit. He has a tremendous amount of history, advice and stories to share with his beloved family—children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Baker said. “Buck is a lifelong citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and Oklahoma is where his roots are. He followed the Dust Bowl migration out to California that so many others traveled, but he eventually came home. That’s quite a lifetime journey he’s able to share.”

Hampton’s son Rod said the family was honored to have Chief Baker make a surprise appearance and present the honoree a Cherokee Nation Pendleton blanket and special certificate of achievement.


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