June Message

Governor Bill Anoatubby

Commitment to core values has served Chickasaws well

By Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation

Throughout our history, Chickasaw people have been able to adapt successfully to constantly changing situations, in part, because of our belief in certain core values.

Servant leadership is one of those core values. At its essence, true servant leadership rests on a shared vision between the leaders and the people they serve.

Our vision “to be a nation of successful and united people with a strong cultural identity” is one embraced by Chickasaws, because it is based on shared values. As Chickasaws, we have always placed a high value on enhancing the well-being of our family, other Chickasaws and the Chickasaw Nation.

Successful business diversification efforts have long been integral to our success, because federal funding does not adequately meet the needs of our people, and the Chickasaw Nation has no tax base.

Rather than taxes, we rely on the entrepreneurial spirit that is such a strong part of our Chickasaw culture to generate the funds needed to offer opportunities to our fellow Chickasaws.

We operate more than 100 successful businesses in gaming, hospitality, tourism, banking, manufacturing, chocolate and other industries.

Our businesses also have a significant impact on the economy of Oklahoma. That economic impact raises the standard of living across the Chickasaw Nation and helps move us closer to fulfilling our vision.

Our business diversification strategy is producing compelling results. Last year, we experienced record revenues and record profits.

Today, we are positioned to see continued growth of our current businesses as well as further diversification and development of new lines of business.

Our diverse businesses provide direct employment opportunities for the Chickasaw people, as well as many other benefits. Our business ventures grow each year, and through these efforts, we are able to expand and enhance programs and services.

Today, business revenues provide the majority of funding for more than 200 programs and services available to the Chickasaw people. Our vision touches nearly every aspect of life, including education, employment, housing, health care, family and community.

We have long placed a high priority on education. Education is essential to our vision of a nation of successful people. This past year, we provided close to $20 million in scholarships, grants and other forms of financial support to more than 5,200 Chickasaw students.

Another high priority is health care. Access to health care is vital to the success of our people and the future of our nation.

Today, our Department of Health operates a state-of-the-art hospital, four clinics, eight pharmacies, a diabetes care center, emergency medical services, four nutrition centers, eight WIC offices and five wellness centers.

This year, the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health had more than 930,000 patient encounters, delivered more than 1,200 babies, filled more than 1.8 million prescriptions, served more than 60,000 meals to children and welcomed more than 177,000 visits at our wellness centers.

We plan to do even more. A new pharmacy is under construction on the Ada South Campus and we are building a new wellness center in Ada.

We also work to provide opportunities for Chickasaws to gather and fellowship to help build on the spirit of unity that is such an important part of Chickasaw culture. We recently opened a new community center as well as a senior center in Oklahoma City. A senior center is also under construction in Achille.

While the senior centers and community centers provide physical locations that help bring Chickasaw people together, it is our shared cultural identity that truly binds us together.

We help keep our culture alive through language, traditions, song and games and through service to our nation.

We are Chickasaw, and we will succeed. Together, we will continue to build on our vision of a nation of successful and united people with a strong cultural identity.