February 2019 Graduate

James Wagnon

Home Town: Tahlequah, OK
Tribe: Cherokee
Scholarship: GMS & SPGSF Graduate
School: Northeastern State University
Major: Health & Kinesiology
GPA: 4.0

Community Service

Winter Wear Event (2013): Coordinated and acquired over 363 articles of clothing for Native American Youth for the Fall and Winter season.

Sequoyah High School Blood Drive (2014): Collaborated with the Oklahoma Blood Institute to implement a blood drive at Sequoyah High School which fostered over 330 blood donations.

Jacobson House Spring Cleaning Event (2015): Scheduled, implemented, and integrated cleaning services for the Jacobson House. Additionally, created a mentorship that allowed Native American Youth to learn about culture and preservation of Native American art and language.

Tsalagi Language Event (2016): Developed and implemented a Cherokee Language Seminar in which Cherokee Citizens could learn about the logistics, expectations, and problem areas (and how to address them) of starting a language program in their hometowns. This provided opportunities for the citizens not located within the 14 county districts.

Indian Tacos with Santa – The Silent Auction Event (2017): Created a taco sale to help raise money for the children on the Pine Ridge Reservation for Christmas presents. Managed over 76 auctioned items which ranged from price values of $40 – $2,100. Succeeded with obtaining $3,429 for the children of Pine Ridge.

The Pine Ridge Reservation Project (2017): Developed, established, and organized this project to provide care to the Oglala Lakota Tribe. Generated $10,234 for the families living on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Procured 43 beds for children, 10 propane tanks for 10 family households, 8 trailer repairs, 4 wheelchair ramps created, and 2 school repairs.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Leadership Summit & Lobby Day (2018): Collaborated with the American Cancer Society in Washington D.C.  to speak with Oklahoma Senators and Representatives about passing laws to increase research funding, improving quality of life for Oklahomans, removing barriers to colorectal cancer screenings, and discussing global cervical cancer advocacy.


Osiyo nigada! My name is James David Wagnon Jr. I am a proud Cherokee Citizen from Tahlequah, Oklahoma. I attended the University of Oklahoma in 2012 where I double majored in Biology and Native American Studies with a minor in Health and Exercise Science. I am currently at Northeastern State University working on my Master of Science degree in Health & Kinesiology. My research focuses on Cherokee Nation Citizens diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, and it addresses the factors inhibiting them from pursuing a nutritionally dense diet and exercise regimen. After completing this program, I intend to pursue my PhD degree in Public Health – Health Promotion. I have two siblings: one older sister and one younger brother. I am married to my high school sweetheart, and we have a beautiful daughter! I am an amazing uncle (if I do say so myself) to my niece and nephew. I am a proud pet owner to my fur-babies. I love to travel, laugh with friends, spend time with family, hike, and learn anything and everything I can about my culture. I believe I am here on this Earth to make and be a difference, and I believe I have a power to make this happen! Wado!