Office of Civil Rights
November 1, 2013

Date: 11/01/2013 Description: Native American Heritage Month 2013: Teri Keas - State Dept Image I am a consular-coned officer, currently in Kabul, Afghanistan, working as a staff assistant in the Executive Office. During my previous tour I served as the Non-Immigrant Visa Chief in Guadalajara for 4 years. I served my first tour in Guadalajara as well and also have served in Santo Domingo and CA/OCS/ACS.

Prior to entering the Foreign Service, I taught at Wichita State University in the College of Education and was the Program Director for the State of Kansas and Wichita Public Schools program for aspiring teachers. I also served time teaching American history and civics/government to middle school and high school students and as a high school administrator. I received a B.A. in history with minors in sociology and economics and a B.A. in secondary education from Wichita State University where I also earned an M. Ed. in leadership.

We can trace our Native American heritage back to my great-grandfather’s mother who was among the thousands of Cherokees who walked the Trail of Tears from the Southern U.S. to Oklahoma, which was previously known as Indian Territory. My great-grandfather, was entered on the DAWES rolls which listed the members of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory and was given Cherokee land. He was employed as a scout for the U.S. Army in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. My other grandfather was adopted by a German family and took their family name to avoid the rampant discrimination that Native American’s experienced when using a Native American name at that time in history. He attended Haskell Indian School for boys in Lawrence, Kansas, where he was involuntarily sworn into the Kansas Army National Guard at the age of 16. The Indian Calvary Troop participated in Army training every summer at Fort Riley and during WWII, he served as a glider pilot. My uncle retired from the Army as a full bird Colonel. My mother is retired from the Foreign Service. Prior to joining the Foreign Service, I served on the Board of the Mid-Continent Indian Museum in Wichita, Kansas for several years.

Our family is proud of our Native American heritage and I am proud to continue our long history of service our country.