Jo Ann Kessel

Jo Ann Kessel, an Oklahoma Choctaw, received her Associate of Arts at Christian College in Columbia, Missouri, and Bachelor of Arts and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Oklahoma.  She worked with children and families in adoption, foster care, parenting classes, and school social work as clinical social worker, as well as Consultant with the Indian Education Program at the Oklahoma City Public Schools.

As Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Oklahoma, she managed a child welfare student training program and developed and taught courses in family and Indian Child Welfare.  

Her appreciation for Indian and western art, combined with a love of history, has allowed her to showcase her contemporary Indian fashions at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum banquet sponsored by the Cowbelles Auxiliary of the National Cattlemen’s Association, on the late Jerome Bushyhead’s television program UNITY, and at Indian arts shows throughout the southwest.

A docent at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Kessel’s other hobbies are travel, reading, riding, and breeding and showing smooth standard dachshunds.

Hall of Fame Inductee

Jo Ann Kessel
was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in

Recent Publications


Barney Kessel: A Jazz Legend

Barney Kessel was a renowned jazz guitarist known for his knowledge of chords and inversions. He played with many prominent jazz groups and was a "first call" guitarist for studio, film, and television recording sessions. Kessel was also rated the No. 1 guitarist in Esquire, Down Beat, and Playboy magazine polls between 1947 and 1960.


Ann Guerrier Pratt Shadlow was born to a union of two half-breed Cheyenne, descended from English and French ancestry. Her grandparents were William Bent of Bent's Fort and William Guerrier, a trapper and trader at Bent's Fort. She was born in the tepee of her grandmother Julia Bent Guerrier, daughter of Cheyenne Owl Woman and William Bent.