September Message

Governor Bill Anoatubby

Exciting to once again gather for our Annual Meeting & Festival!

By Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation

Annually we come together to celebrate our unique and historic Chickasaw culture, history and traditions!

This year marks the 62nd anniversary of our Chickasaw Annual Meeting. This year also marks the first time we have been able to physically gather together since 2019. We all look forward to seeing all our Chickasaw friends and relatives, as well as our guests!

Our Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival events are traditionally a wonderful time of gathering, celebrating, enjoying fellowship and simply appreciating our special heritage. The year 2022 marks a special return to some “normalcy.” This is an exciting time to rekindle kinships, friendships and celebrate our sovereign nation of people!

Our Annual Meeting and Festival week kicks off with the traditional social stickball match and Stomp Dance at Kullihoma cultural grounds Friday, Sept. 23 beginning at 7 p.m. If you have never been to this gathering, you are in for a real cultural treat!

There are lots of activities set for Saturday, Sept. 24 including the 1-mile fun walk and 5k run in Tishomingo. The kids’ cornstalk shoot begins at 8 a.m. at Kullihoma, with the adult shoot at 10 a.m. A stickball tournament is set for the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, the Pontotoc Pursuit bike ride at Wintersmith Park in Ada, and the Junior Olympics at the Tishomingo High School football field.

Monday, Sept. 26 marks the traditional Chickasaw Princess Pageant at Ada High School, beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 is the day for the Chickasaw Senior Olympics at 10 a.m. in Tishomingo.

If you have never participated in the historic Chickasaw church tour, please attend this year. On Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m., the group will go to Okchamali Blue Baptist Church near Connerville. The tour offers a great lesson in our Chickasaw faith history.

The annual Cultural Evening kicks off at 4 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 29 at the Cultural Center with the Arts and Culture Awards at 6:30 p.m. The very popular Southeastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM) opens at 9 a.m., Friday, Sept. 30 on the historic Chickasaw Capitol Grounds in Tishomingo.

Our Annual Meeting day is Saturday, Oct. 1. We will gather at the brand new Aiittafama’ Ishto’ facility in Tishomingo at 9 a.m. for the annual State of the Nation address. Please come and enjoy this new setting. It was built for you! The traditional meal begins at 11 a.m.

Our annual parade will, as always, proceed down Tishomingo’s Main Street beginning about noon. There will be lots of live music, cultural opportunities, kids’ activities, and fun for everyone!

It was very nearly 62 years ago, in October 1960, when Chickasaws gathered at Seeley Chapel for what became a watershed event in Chickasaw history, and the foundation for our Annual Meeting gatherings. This 1960 meeting of Chickasaws and friends produced a wellspring of spirit to propel our tribe to its greatest potential. The meeting resulted in what became known as “the Seeley Chapel movement.”

Chickasaws were united in developing a robust government structure and generating full recognition of our tribe’s sovereignty.

Our predecessors’ efforts met with success. In 1971, the Chickasaw Nation conducted its first election since 1906. In 1983, the people approved a new Chickasaw Constitution. Today, we have together become one of the largest, most progressive tribes in the country.

Best wishes to you and your family on the upcoming 62nd Chickasaw Annual Meeting! I look forward to seeing you there!