September Message

Governor Bill Anoatubby

Join us for the 2019 Chickasaw Annual Meeting & Festival!

By Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation

Preparations are well underway as we look forward to 2019’s Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival!

The 59th Annual Meeting of the Chickasaw Nation and 31st Annual Chickasaw Festival will kick off Friday, Sept. 27 and the celebration will continue through Saturday, Oct. 5. We will once again gather for our traditional events in our historic capital city of Tishomingo. Events will also be hosted in Ada, Sulphur, Emet and Kullihoma.

As we reviewed here last month, our Annual Meeting traces its beginning to the Seeley Chapel gathering at Connerville in 1960. The meeting at Seeley Chapel marked a momentous reawakening in Chickasaw history. From that gathering came the foundation for our modern Chickasaw Nation, and our shared success. It is important for us to all come together annually, review our progress and recognize the beginnings of our modern Chickasaw Nation.

All Chickasaws know about Annual Meeting and Festival, and thousands make it a regular stop every year. This is your special invitation to you and your family to join us for this unique and historic gathering. I will be looking for you!

My promise to you is you will enjoy a very special experience. Virtually everyone who attends learns something new about his or her family, makes that special connection, or discovers a key to his or her Chickasaw history.

Please come and be with us. I promise your visit will be more than worthwhile, and I look forward to meeting you personally!

At Annual Meeting and Festival, we celebrate the rich history of the Chickasaw Nation through gatherings and events, large and small. We actively engage our Chickasaw heritage, traditions and culture with a spirit of family togetherness.

This year kicks off with the traditional stomp dance and social stickball game beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at Kullihoma. When you attend this event, you will be setting the tone for your weekend. Our culture is expressed through these activities, and you will enjoy the atmosphere and feeling of togetherness.

Saturday, Sept. 28 features the 5k Fun Run/1m Walk in Tishomingo, Pontotoc Pursuit bicycle tour in Ada, and the co-ed stickball tournament at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur. The Junior Olympics begins at 10 a.m. at Tishomingo High School. The popular Cornstalk Shoot begins at 8:30 a.m., Saturday at Kullihoma with the kids’ competition, followed by the adults at 10.

There are tours of the Chickasaw Capitol building, Chickasaw Bank Museum and Chickasaw Council House Museum, all in Tishomingo throughout the day. Movies are shown at both the Cultural Center and the Chickasaw Capitol Saturday night.

Monday, Sept. 30 features the traditional Chickasaw Princess Pageant, which begins at 6 p.m. at the Ada High School Cougar Activity Center. We will show our gratitude for our retiring royalty, and will welcome our three new young Chickasaw ladies who will serve as Chickasaw ambassadors across the country.

Throughout the week, local students will enjoy historic tours of the Chickasaw National Capitol, Chickasaw Council House Museum and Chickasaw Bank Museum in Tishomingo. The historic Chickasaw White House in Emet will also be open for tours.

The annual Chickasaw Senior Olympics is set for 10 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 2 at the Johnston County Sports Complex in Tishomingo. Come out and cheer our elders on! Thursday, Oct. 3 features the traditional Cultural Evening at 4 p.m., followed by the Arts & Culture Awards at 6:30 p.m. Both events are at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur.

If you have never attended the Southeastern Art Show and Market, you must make plans to attend this year. It is a truly fantastic display of Chickasaw and Southeastern art! The show is set up under the new artists’ pavilion on the capitol grounds in Tishomingo on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5. The Southeastern Art Show and Market is very likely the top show of its kind in the country.

Saturday, Oct. 5 is the culmination of our celebration with the State of the Nation address at 9 a.m. at Murray State College, followed by the annual Festival parade down Tishomingo’s Main Street. The traditional Chickasaw meal will be served at 11:30 a.m., under the new meal pavilion on North Fisher Street east of the capitol building. Stomp dance, stickball and other cultural demonstrations will now take place at the new cultural demonstrators’ pavilion on the capitol grounds.

You will enjoy many events in Tishomingo Saturday, so please come and plan to spend the day enjoying family, friends and Chickasaw culture!

This year, make that very special trip home. I look forward to seeing you!