April Message

Governor Bill Anoatubby

Strong Chickasaw families make for a strong Chickasaw Nation

By Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation


Since time immemorial, Chickasaws have understood that strong families are the foundation for a strong community and a thriving nation. Protecting, educating, and preparing our children to become future leaders has always been an integral part of our culture and a high priority for the Chickasaw Nation.

Therefore, the Chickasaw Nation is joining the Oklahoma State Department of Health and other organizations across the state to raise awareness of the impact child abuse has on families and offer resources to help prevent abuse and neglect.

This April, during National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we will take part in the “Build a Blue Ribbon Tree for Kids” campaign.

By decorating trees with blue ribbons, the international symbol for child abuse prevention, we are demonstrating that we stand in solidarity with Oklahoma and its many communities in working to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Participating in the campaign helps promote awareness of this serious issue affecting families, as well as the many resources available to assist.

Our duty to protect, educate and prepare our youth comes into sharp focus this time of year as we see young people prepare to graduate from high school and college, and move into the next phase of life. These are the promising faces of future educators, doctors and tribal leaders – they are the next generation.

With this understanding, it is vital that we, as Chickasaws, invest in the success of our youth from the earliest possible stages of development by providing them with every opportunity to reach their highest potential, emotionally, spiritually and cognitively, and by minimizing any barriers that hamper their success.

As part of our mission to enhance the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people, the Chickasaw Nation is dedicated to providing vital programs and services that are essential for building stronger communities. Whether through health and wellness programs, education and employment opportunities, or housing and nutrition services, we are investing in the success of our people and nation.

Through revenues generated from our diversified business portfolio and sound economic investments, the Chickasaw Nation is able to offer many programs and services designed to support for the diverse, and sometimes complex, needs of the whole family.

The Chipota Himmita (“young child”) program assists families in improving support systems and increasing parenting skills and knowledge. It teaches the skills necessary to raise a healthy and happy child, and offers home visitation focused on child health and development, parent-child interaction, nutrition, family budgeting and other areas to assist in creating a positive home environment.

Our Hofanti Chokma (“to grow well”) program collaborates with child-serving programs and families to support developmental and social-emotional well-being through a number of activities, including workshops, parenting groups and more.

Chikasha Anokfilli, “Thinking Chickasaw,” is a mental health initiative exploring what it means to think Chickasaw, exhibiting strength and resilience. It includes mental wellness support courses taught by experts on a range of topics related to mental health.

Within our family support services, parents and individuals can also access resources that include child welfare services, the foster care and adoption program, and our parent education program.

Through these programs and services, among many others, we are working to ensure families have the tools and resources to provide their children a caring and nurturing environment in which they can excel.

By strengthening families, supporting the growth and development of our youth, and building lasting bonds within our communities, the Chickasaw Nation will flourish long into the future.

Everyone is invited to join us in support of this statewide campaign to protect children in Oklahoma and preserve their promise for a better future.