February Message

Governor Bill Anoatubby

Economic diversification, career opportunities keys to Chickasaw success

By Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation

Entrepreneurship and ingenuity have long been characteristics of the Chickasaw Nation and Chickasaw people. This spirit of determination and resolution has served us well over the years and continues to do so in the present day.

It is with this fortitude that our leadership developed a deliberate plan to exercise the Chickasaw Nation’s inherent sovereignty and our right of self-determination for the benefit of the Chickasaw people.

Among the many aspects of this plan, are the tenets of economic development and job creation. Our strategy for progress through self-determination includes an investment in business diversification and economic development. Returns on that investment are reinvested in the lives of the Chickasaw people.

Today, as the result of our successful economic plan, we have a sound economic base and operate more than 100 diversified businesses, which provide the majority of the funding for more than 200 programs and services. Revenues generated are used to further expand business diversification and economic development, as well as meet the needs of Chickasaws around the world.

Another result of this economic plan, one that directly impacts Chickasaw families and our communities, is the creation of thousands of jobs. Our work exercising self-determination toward self-sufficiency for the Chickasaw Nation increases opportunities for all Chickasaws to find meaningful employment and work toward personal success.

With businesses in a wide variety of fields, including manufacturing, energy, government, health care, media, technology, hospitality, retail, tourism and more, opportunities are more abundant than ever.

More than just job creation, the Chickasaw Nation has long understood the importance of training and career development opportunities, and the impact of these opportunities on the lives and success of our citizens and their families. Therefore, many programs and services have been created over the years to help ensure Chickasaws are prepared for sustained employment success and career growth.

Chickasaw Employment Access includes programs that assist in removing barriers to employment, as well as identifying and gaining essential training and placement needed for viable employment.

Other training programs, including the Toksali SMART, School-to-Work, and internship programs, offer high school and college students, traditional and non-traditional, the chance to learn with on-the-job training in real world environments, ensuring participants have the necessary skills to succeed.

The Chickasaw Institute of Technology offers classroom learning, applicable training, and career preparation in several trades, including electrician, plumbing, HVAC, construction technology, nursing assistant and more.

The training, career development and job opportunities are key to our work in meeting our mission to enhance the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people. As we say, and truly believe, “a rising tide lifts all ships.”

We believe continued successful business diversification, economic development, and expansion of programs will lead to even greater opportunities for the Chickasaw Nation to exercise self-determination in a manner that will benefit the Chickasaw people today and build a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.