January Message

Governor Bill Anoatubby

Great way to begin the new year: Set goals, work hard, be proactive

By Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation

With the dawn of the new year, now is a great time to take stock of what has transpired in the years previous, and to set goals for the year and years ahead.

At the Chickasaw Nation, we have together accomplished so much over the past 35 years. Our ongoing method to achieve success has included setting realistic goals, paying attention to the details, and being proactive.

If we return in history to 1988, we will find the tribe was operating several essential programs and services. However, those programs and services were not adequately funded to properly serve all Chickasaw people. The Chickasaw Nation, like virtually all other federally-recognized tribes, relied heavily on federal funds to operate. Those federal funds were never guaranteed, and they most often grew little to none from year to year. We knew we were not keeping up with the peoples’ needs.

We were making do as best with could with the limited resources we had, and we knew we had to do better. We determined we would start down a new and exciting path. We knew we would have to plan carefully, set our goals and be proactive in our efforts.

We determined back then that our best avenue for success rested in tribal commerce. We studied the economic environment in which tribes operated. We assessed our financial position and weighed options we might have for growth. We determined our most promising commercial path, broke down the details and were proactive as we built new tribal businesses.

And what a road we have traveled together! We believed that if we worked our plan and stayed the course, we would meet with success. It was, and is, a matter of discipline and “sticking with it.”

We realized very early on one of our strengths was the ability to adjust our course as operations dictated. We certainly encountered a few bumps and detours along the way! We have dealt with the Great Recession of 2008-09, and now the ongoing pandemic. In business, you can never be totally certain of what lies ahead, but you know there will be unexpected challenges and obstacles along the way. As we have traversed the twists and turns, we improved our approach. We watched the details and were always proactive in our approach and thinking.

In the years since 1988, we have built successful, profitable operations in a number of different commercial categories. The planning we did back in 1988, our attention to detail, our ability to adjust to new situations and our proactive approach has taken us to where we are today.

And we have done this together as one tribe, one mission, one people! The Chickasaw Nation’s heritage of unity and common purpose has served all Chickasaws well.

Our tribal businesses now produce millions of dollars of net income annually for Chickasaw people. This outcome is the result of a number of bright, industrious, hard-working people dedicated to delivering outstanding futures for Chickasaws.

Chickasaws today are benefitting from our commercial success in a multitude of ways. The goal, as always, is to provide the foundation for healthy, happy, prosperous Chickasaw families.

Our efforts on ongoing. With our bedrock businesses in place and productive, we are working to discover new opportunities and new ways to build our tribal legacy of service to the people.

Thank you for your contributions over the years. Together, we are honoring our cherished past by generating success in our modern world.