Charles Knife Chief

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Charles Knife Chief
Sa-kuru-la-sharo (Sun Chief)
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Charles Dennis Knife Chief

(1953-05-27) May 27, 1953 (age 71)
CitizenshipUnited States of America
EducationMedical Degree, UCSD
OrganizationDiplomate, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Known forFirst Medical Physician of the Pawnee Nation
FamilyKnife Chief

Charles Denis Knife Chief (born 27 May, 1953) is a citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma, and also recognized as the Pawnee people Tribe's first medical doctor.

The Knife Chief family relocated to Anaheim, California from Pawnee, Oklahoma in 1957 under the Indian Relocation Act of 1956. Dr. Knife Chief resided in Anaheim, CA where he pursued his education.[1] Knife Chief is licensed to practice by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Fellow for the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.[2]

He is married to Kimberly Knife Chief, his high school sweetheart, since November 4th, 1972. They are parents of six daughters and one son. One of his daughters was a Major in the US Army, and his son was a Corporal in the US Marine Corps, both serving honorably.

While in High School, he was a Native dancer at the Indian Village in Disneyland, alongside his father and brothers. While living in Orange County, California, his parents (John and Lois Knife Chief) saw a need for other Natives who were having difficulty living away from their homelands. They began collecting food and clothing from their garage, as well as establishing connections to those that could instruct on resume writing and job hiring to assist other Natives in need. This was the beginning of what would become the Orange County Indian Center, which was established in 1964. The OCIC grew into what is now the Southern California Indian Center.

Knife Chief is a council member of the Pawnee Tribal Nation.[3]


  • Magnolia High School 1971
  • University of Utah, BS biology[4] 1977
  • University of California San Diego School of Medicine[5] 1982
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency, University of Oklahoma Tulsa Medical College[6] 1982-1986

After graduating from Magnolia High school in 1971, he started his undergraduate education at Santa Ana College eventually transferring to the University of Utah earning a BS in Biology in 1977. He was the first male to receive a scholarship in 1973 from the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) to attend the University of Utah. In 1982, Knife Chief graduated from the University of California School of Medicine, earning his Medical Degree. Knife Chief was an Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident from 1982 to 1986 at the University of Oklahoma Tulsa Medical College. His first position after completing his residency training was with Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in LaJolla, California. He and his family moved back to Oklahoma in 1990 where he opened a solo private practice in Claremore, Oklahoma.

Professional career

Knife Chief was a staff OB/GYN physician, as well as Clinical Director at Claremore Indian Hospital. He also served as Medical Director of Blue Cross Blue Shield in Tulsa, Ok.[7] Prior to retiring in 2018, he was part of a group practice affiliated with St. John Owasso hospital in Owasso, Oklahoma. [8] Currently, he owns and operates a medical spa in Tulsa, Ok under the name of Inspire Med Spa Tulsa. Past member Board of Directors; Indian Health Care Resource Center, Tulsa, Ok; Oklahoma Caring Foundation, Tulsa, Ok; Orange County Indian Center, Stanton, Ca.[9]

Indian Health Care Resource Center Board Member of the Year 2011

Dream Keepers Award 2007, City of Tulsa and Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission Dr. Ralph Dru Career and Professional Award

Pawnee Tribal Member of the Year, 1982[10]

June 19, 1982 Citation awarded by the State of Oklahoma House of Representatives

After graduating from medical school, he was honored with the Pawnee Doctor Dance, the last time this dance was performed within the tribe.[11]

Knife Chief is Medically Licensed in Oklahoma and Arkansas.[12]


  1. "Scholarships". Daughters of the American Revolution. 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  2. "KNIFE CHIEF, CHARLES DENNIS - Licensee Information - Oklahoma Medical Board". Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  3. "Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma". Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  4. "Biology Learning Center - School of Biological Sciences - The University of Utah". Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  5. "UC San Diego School of Medicine". Retrieved 2019-02-27.
  6. Medicine., University of Oklahoma. College of. Class of 1980 College of Medicine University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Tulsa Medical College. OCLC 19582260.
  7. "People Spotlight: Dr. Charles Knife Chief". Tulsa World. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  8. "St. John Health System". Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  9. "Healthy Spirit Fall 2014". Issuu. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  10. LLC, Revolvy. ""Pawnee people" on". Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  11. "Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma". SPTHB. 2017-04-10. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  12. "KNIFE CHIEF, CHARLES DENNIS - Licensee Information - Oklahoma Medical Board". Retrieved 2019-06-18.

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