Henry T. Collins, "Mi-Kai-Ook-Pa-they" ( Falling Star), 76, passed away Monday night in Oklahoma City. Henry was born right here on the Ponca Pow Wow grounds on June 5, 1941 and his birth was not recorded until he was two years of age at this first visit to the Pawnee Agency. His first birth certificate was issued in 2003.
Jennie Agnes LeClair mother of Henry was a descendent of George Gives Waters, Sun Dance Priest of the Ponca Tribe. Melvin Collins, Sr. father of Henry was the son of Laura (Primeaux) and Charlie Collins. Grandfather Charlie Collins was a noted Chief and Interpreter of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma.
Henry T. Collins, Member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma comes from the Half Breed Clan. Henry Graduated from Ponca City High School in 1960. An accomplished athlete, he made his abilities known early in life, he lettered in football three years, track three years, and was Co-Captain of the track team in 1960. He was also all conference and all district in football in 1960.
Henry worked in public service for over fifty years. His career accomplishments include being a graduate of the United States Indian Police Academy. He served as the Chief of Police for the 5-Tribes of the Pawnee Agency and Chief of Police for the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma. Henry retired at the end of 2007 from Haskell Indian Nations University with 22 years of service in the Government of the United States of America.
He served in the U.S. Army during the 1960's, until he received an honorable discharge.
Henry's service to the Ponca Tribe includes elected member to the Ponca Tribal Business Committee, Chief Whip Man for the Ponca Man's War Society the Hey-Tho-Skah and Head Singer throughout Indian country for over forty years, singing for many different tribes on North America. Singing for non-Indian organization and celebrities such as western singer, Donna Fargo, President Linden B. Johnson, sport broadcaster, Chris Shinkel, Senator Jim Slatery, Inauguration for Kansas Governor, Kathleen Sebelius and Kansas Governor JoAnn Finney.
Henry was an accomplished straight dancer winning many championships and noted craftsman; drum maker, bead worker and feather designs. He was the father of Jennie, Justine, Robert, and Bruce Collins and has left behind nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, and a son, Wesley Collins.
A wake will be held for Henry at the Ponca Cultural Center from Tuesday afternoon until Thursday at Noon. A funeral feast will start Thursday at Noon and a giveaway will follow. Burial will be at Ponca Tribal Cemetery after the giveaway.