Governor Mitch Daniels surprised Representative
Cleo Duncan recently when he honored her with the Sagamore of
the Wabash Award for her 16 years of service to the Indiana
I scheduled a meeting with the governor to say farewell
and to give thanks for everything he has done for me and for
our state over the years, said Rep. Duncan. So,
needless to say, I was genuinely surprised and much honored
to receive such a prestigious award.
The Sagamore of the Wabash is an honorary award created by the
State of Indiana during the term of Governor Ralph Gates (1945-1949).
While attending a tri-state meeting with Ohio and Kentucky,
Gov. Gates received a Kentucky Colonel certificate. The Indiana
delegate decided to create an appropriate award to present in
return creating the Sagamore of the Wabash.
The term sagamore was the term used by Algonquian-speaking
American Indian tribal chiefs. It means a lesser chief to whom
the tribes chief would turn for wisdom and advice. The
Wabash is the State River of Indiana as well as a major tributary
to the Ohio River.
Each governor since Gov. Gates has presented the award in his
own way. Until 2006, the award was the highest honor which the
Governor of Indiana bestows a personal tribute to someone who
has made a significant contribution to life in the Hoosier state.
After serving House District 67 for 16 years, Rep. Duncan made
the announcement in May she would be retiring from the General
She has helped pass several pieces of legislation that have
had a great impact on the State of Indiana, as well as other
One of the most significant was her Move Over/Slow Down legislation,
which requires motorists to move over or slow down for emergency
or law enforcement vehicles. All 50 states have passed similar
legislation since then.
She was also a co-author of Indianas Major Moves legislation
launching an aggressive 10-year, $12 billion transportation
plan to significantly improve and expand Indianas highway
Another significant piece was Kellys Bill, which allows
murder victims families an opportunity to have their voice
be heard during a defendants sentencing hearing.
In addition, Rep. Duncan has worked to continue finding new
ways to improve autism training and awareness, publicize safe
haven laws, enforce ignition interlocks and encourage women
Rep. Duncan currently serves on the House Committee on Roads
and Transportation as the Ranking Minority Member, and on the
Committee on Financial Institutions. She served previously on
House committees concerning public policy, human affairs, ethics
and veteran affairs.
She has also been very involved in House District 67, serving
on many boards and committees.
I have had such a wonderful experience serving our community
and the State. I want to thank Gov. Daniels, again, for honoring
me with this award, Duncan said.
I have served House District 67 the best way I knew how,
and just because I will no longer be an elected official, doesnt
mean I plan to stop serving my community. We have such a great
district here and I plan to continue, in one way or another,
making it better, she concluded.
Rep. Duncan and her husband, John, have lived in Greensburg
for 40 years. They have three daughters, three sons-in-law,
and five grandchildren.