September Message

Governor Bill Anoatubby

Please join us this year for the Chickasaw Annual Meeting & Festival!

By Bill Anoatubby, Governor, Chickasaw Nation

We are approaching a very special time of year for the Chickasaw Nation. It is nearly time for the Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival, a celebration of our tribal progress and culture.

Chickasaws from around the country will once again gather in our historic capital city of Tishomingo to enjoy family, friends and fellowship as we take in this special occasion. This will be the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Chickasaw Nation and the 35th Annual Chickasaw Festival, with events beginning September 29 and running through October 7.

This year, we are also commemorating the 40th anniversary of the ratification of the 1983 Constitution of the Chickasaw Nation. This important document established an effective, stable and modern Chickasaw Nation government, and it remains an instrument of our self-governance that asserts our inherent sovereignty. Our constitution is the foundation on which we have grown and progressed to the Chickasaw Nation we know today.

As we are each year, we are excited to welcome you for family-friendly entertainment, cultural activities, food and more. Along with these fun celebrations, we also have the opportunity to connect with other Chickasaws throughout the week. Events will take place across the Chickasaw Nation, so be sure to plan ahead.

This year’s Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival will kick off with a golf tournament in Tishomingo and a social stickball match and stomp dance at Kullihoma Friday, September 29. The stomp dance is always a favorite amongst attendees!

Several activities continue Saturday, September 30, including the 1-mile fun run and 5k run in Tishomingo, as well as the kid and adult cornstalk shoots at Kullihoma. Athletic events continue with a co-ed slow pitch softball tournament, pickleball tournament and Junior Olympics in Tishomingo, a stickball tournament at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur and the Pontotoc Pursuit bike ride at Wintersmith Park in Ada.

The traditional Chickasaw Princess Pageant takes place at 6 p.m. the following Monday, October 2, at Ada High School. The popular Chickasaw Senior Olympics event is set for Tuesday, October 3, along with the start of stickball demonstrations and educational tours, in Tishomingo.

On Wednesday, October 4, Chickasaws can take part in the historic Chickasaw church tour, a special time to visit sites where Chickasaws practice their faith, language and more. This year’s tour will take place at the Temple of God in Connerville.

Several cultural events take place Thursday, October 5 at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, including the annual Cultural Evening and Arts and Culture Awards. The Chickasaw Press will also be releasing new titles that evening.

A wonderful variety of talented artists will be featured at this year’s Southeastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM) Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7, at the Chickasaw National Capitol grounds in Tishomingo. There, you will be able to view the unique works from a number Chickasaw and other Southeastern artists.

Annual Meeting and Festival will culminate Saturday, October 7, with a full day of fun and joyous celebration. The Annual Meeting of the Chickasaw Nation, which includes the State of the Nation Address, will begin at 9 a.m. at the new Aaittafama’ Ishto’ facility in Tishomingo. Last year was the first time using the venue for this event, and we anticipate seeing it packed again this year.

Our annual parade will take place following Annual Meeting and travel through downtown Tishomingo’s Main Street. Arts and crafts vendors, cultural demonstrations, kids’ activities, music and more will take place throughout the day.

Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival is a time to come together as a community bonded by our shared history and heritage. It is a time to connect, or reconnect, with our culture and people. We look forward to seeing everyone this year!