June Message

Governor Bill Anoatubby

Our Chickasaw spirit of self-reliance has served us well over time

By Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation

Throughout history, Chickasaws have always been a people of self-sufficiency, development and entrepreneurship.

We have remained strong and united, committed to serving our people through sound fiscal stewardship, enhanced services and opportunities.

Our organization is strong because of the thousands of dedicated employees working to meet our mission to enhance the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people.

Our story is rich in history, culture and traditions. It is also a story of continuous change and progress.

The stories of our people being business owners, builders, tradesmen, innovators and more have been recorded since before Removal.

Our unwavering defense of our independence and self-determination, perseverance, ability to adapt, reliance on family, community and faith are a deep-rooted part of who we are and have been exhibited by our people throughout history.

Chickasaw people continued to work and move forward through times of great vitality and other times of challenge.

In 1970, our right to elect our own leadership was restored.

The renewal of our government helped drive us to a new time of progress.

The Indian Self-Determination Act of 1975 gave the Chickasaw Nation greater control over the management of funds for health care, education and welfare.

In 1983, we revised the 1856 Constitution, providing a path forward.

In 1987, we had approximately 250 employees and the programs and services that we offered were mostly funded by the federal government.

We determined that in order to create opportunities for Chickasaw people, we needed to focus on providing the tools necessary so that we each had the opportunity to have good jobs, quality education and so we could provide for ourselves and our families.

That spirit of advancement and self-reliance continues to this day and is the corner stone of our mission to enhance the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people.

Economic development and employment opportunities are two key ways we support that mission.

We understood that successful economic development would provide revenues to fund programs and services as well as increase employment opportunities for our people.

One of our earliest investments in economic development, the Chickasaw Motor Inn, was a profitable business for quite some time.

Today, the Chickasaw Nation operates more than 100 businesses, offers more than 200 services, and employs more than 13,500 individuals.

Funds from our businesses are used to promote a better way of life…..quality housing, health care, camps, clinics, arts and culture, tourism and much more.

Our programs have flourished and expanded to citizens living across the United States and around the world.

Educational services are now available to assist Chickasaws in pursuing degrees, certifications and trainings in an unlimited array of occupational fields.

Opportunities to pursue a meaningful career within the Chickasaw Nation have also increased exponentially.

Entrepreneurial programs exist to help Chickasaws pursue their dreams of owning their own businesses.

Beyond that, our economic development efforts now contribute billions of dollars to the local economy each year, increasing opportunities for Chickasaws, and for our communities.

We all desire a prosperous future for the next generation.

The Chickasaw Nation will remain a people of self-sufficiency, development and entrepreneurship far into the future. Our tribe is strong because of the tireless work of many to fulfill our mission – all driven by the spirit passed down from our ancestors.

We have much work left to do, we are united in our efforts and we are committed to the continued advancement of our great nation.