2009 State of the Nation Address

"Our Story Continues"
Governor Bill Anoatubby
10/3/2009 4:01:17 PM

2009 State of the Nation

Good morning!

Isn’t it a lovely day – a beautiful day that’s been provided by our creator?

Today is a day for celebration. It’s a day for reflection, and a day for hope.

It’s a day to connect with other Chickasaws.

Thanks, everyone, for being here.

And for those who traveled great distances, thank you for making that journey.

And, hello out there in the tent.

Today, for the first time, we are excited to welcome those listening live to this event on 89.5 FM and online via the new Chickasaw Community Radio station – KCNP.

Hello out there in radio land! I guess on the World Wide Web too, right?

You know, what’s good about that is there are a lot of folks that can’t make it to this meeting. They, for one reason or another, are not able to make it. They can listen to the proceedings.

They have heard everything so far. It’s not just the State of the Nation. It gives them a glimpse of what is happening within the Chickasaw Nation.

It’s very good to work with our legislative and judicial branches, and congratulations to all the newly elected and those who were re-elected to the different departments – legislative and judicial.

We look forward to working with each and every one of you.

Not enough can be said about the productive relationships that exist within the Chickasaw tribal government. Each branch is integral to the nation's overall success.

Let's recognize, again, the members of the Chickasaw Legislative and Chickasaw Judicial departments. Please stand and be recognized.

Lisa mentioned it – the success of the Chickasaw Nation is not possible without all the different branches of the Chickasaw Nation government.

You know, this has been a very, very busy week. Hasn’t it?

There have been a lot of events and activity for the young and the young at heart. And, once again I wish to recognize all those folks who work behind the scenes.

Each year we have some great events and they are successful because of the dedicated workers and the volunteers. Thanks again for your hard work and dedication. Let’s give them another round of applause.


Each year we recognize a variety of works and accomplishments through awards at our various ceremonies throughout the week, and throughout the year.

You have met our princesses. We crowned them on Monday night.

We are going to recognize you one more time, okay?

Jessie Miller, Chickasaw Princess, please stand…

Alexis Walker, Junior Miss Chickasaw…

and Lauren John, Little Miss Chickasaw. She actually exemplifies that name, doesn’t she? Little Miss Chickasaw!

We are proud of all of you, and they are very much an important part of our continuing story. And we know that you will serve this Chickasaw Nation very well.

Then we have the Arts and Cultural Awards and reception. We had it at our newly renovated McSwain Theatre in Ada. This was on Tuesday night.

They selected a new Dynamic Woman of the Year; Dr. Teresa Shavney. Let’s congratulate her as well.

This year the Silver Feather Award was presented to Jerry Underwood. My guess is Jerry is somewhere in a booth. Jerry, are you in the audience?

He was selected for his efforts to preserve Chickasaw heritage and culture. Let’s congratulate him.

Progress of the Past Year

Today marks another chapter in our continuing story.
That’s the theme of our meeting this year – and it’s a story of success.

It was forged by the drive and determination of our ancestors, to thrive as a people, to grow as a nation.

As we reflect on the pages of our past, we are reminded of how we got here…the path that was traveled.

Just like all nations, that path has been marked by times of great health and vitality and other times of despair and challenges, but what stands out in our history, through the good times and the bad times, is perseverance. The story of the Chickasaw Nation continues.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very privileged to report to you today, that the state of the Chickasaw Nation continues to be strong.

Our story is one that can be told in terms of growth, but also in terms of success.
When we look around, we look at our nation and the things that are going on today, we see the physical evidence of progress – the evidence of our mission in action – and we have much to celebrate and we have much to be thankful for.

We have been richly blessed. It would be impossible today to cover all the areas that we should talk about. So, we developed this progress report, and you will receive that progress report after the first of the year and get more details about all the activities that are taking place in the Chickasaw Nation.

Education and Youth

Years ago, we asked our education division to think outside the box when it comes to educational opportunities. Education and opportunities for our youth are keys to ensuring a bright future for our nation.

By keeping our eyes and ears fixed on the future, and always seeking out new ways of learning. Year after year, significant progress has been made in our goals in education.

As a result, Chickasaw people have more opportunities for a better education, better employment and a brighter future.

This year is no exception. Great strides were made in education.

More than 150 Head Start students graduated this year.

The Chickasaw Honor Club distributed more than 7,000 awards for the 2008-2009 school year.

For fiscal year 2009, more than $11 million dollars in funding was distributed to students in grants and scholarships and assistance and incentive programs. That’s $2 million more than last year.

Listen to this…
More than 2,000 students received funding for some form of higher education.
Now isn’t this remarkable?

I don’t know how many folks I have run in to, even this week, that came to me and said, “I was assisted through the education division to help my education.”

And parents are very thankful for it too. Just this last week I heard that more than 2,300 students made the September 1 deadline for this year, this next semester. Now that’s more growth!

Thanks to our education division!

School-to-Work program

Our school-to-work program continues to provide Chickasaw students a unique opportunity to further their education and their career goals.

School-to-work participants are able to attend school full time while earning full-time pay and benefits.

Recent improvements in the program enable participants to work in their chosen career field while earning their degrees. That’s done by placing these folks on the job.

Say they are wanting to be a nurse, they are placed at Carl Albert Indian Health Facility. Say they’re looking for a business degree. We look for something in the area – maybe enterprises or in one of our departments.

So they get on the job experience while they are going to college.

New Education Buildings

Progress many times means growth and the need for more space.

The Douglas H. Johnston Education Building and the Child Care Center are now fully operational.

The new Child Care Center is incredible! Each room has a theme based on a popular nursery rhyme or familiar building in the community.

This is much more than a daycare - it is an inspirational learning environment...

This center was designed based on the idea that imagination is a natural part of the learning and development process. With this new center, we are now able to serve more children.

Chickasaw Children’s Village

Five years ago we began operations at the Chickasaw Children’s Village near Kingston and it continues to serve as a place for a stable and secure home life.

More than 59 youth resided at the Children’s Village this last year and 8 students finished the academic year with a 4.0 GPA.

Now Jay, can’t you do better than that?

We really offer our congratulations to those folks at the Children’s Village, and to the staff for their hard work. It is a great home-place for these youngsters.

In addition, more than 8,300 Chickasaw children received a clothing grant in order to purchase school clothing this past year.

Our association with Creative Oklahoma led us to the FIRST Robotics program.
You noticed I said FIRST. FIRST is an acronym, F – I – R – S – T. And it means, For the Inspiration of Science and Technology.

Burns Hargis, who is now OSU president, who was chairman of the board of Creative Oklahoma, wanted to bring a FIRST regional competition to Oklahoma.
We worked with him to do just that.

As a result, we established our own robotics team. Our robotics team, Metal Mayhem, continues to experience great success. This year, the team, made up of 26 member received tow Imagery Awards in Oklahoma City and Dallas.

One member of our team received acceptance into the prestigious U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

The robotics program is designed to engage students in the application of science, math and problem solving.

Due to the success experienced in fiscal year 2008, it became evident there was a need to create a program designed for our younger students.

Since then, two Lego teams were formed, the Blockheads and the Mechanical Masterminds.

You may say Lego? Well, Lego is a way that they learn. They use robots, just on a smaller scale than the robotics team does.

Currently, there are 36 Lego members, ages 6 to 14, that are enrolled for the next fiscal year, fiscal year 2010. All are Chickasaw!

They represent 14 different schools from Little Axe to Sulphur, from Ada to Tishomingo.

Every year there are more and more participants in the Chickasaw Nation camps, clinics and academies. More than 1,200 students participated this last year.

The Chickasaw Nation hosted the first-ever family language immersion camp.
The camp brought families together for a long weekend in an environment conducive to learning. They learned conversational Chickasaw.

Softball, baseball, football and basketball and archery – all these camps were also held this year.

A language camp was new for this year. Instructors incorporated the Chickasaw language with sports to create a fun environment for learning the language.

Our camps are not all about sports. Our young people build not just their enthusiasm, but their self-esteem. Entrepreneurship camp, environmental and cultural awareness camps are also available.

Arts and Humanities

The Arts and Humanities division had another great year.

The Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy is just one area we can see tremendous growth. Enrollment was up 50% this year, and Chickasaw students who live at large were able to participate in our residential program.

You saw evidence on the stage today of some of the students who attended our Summer Arts Academy. Wasn’t that wonderful? Did you enjoy that?

You know, we really enjoy and love seeing our own kids on stage doing different things. It is a joy to see other kids as well, isn’t it?

Arts in education is an important part of our students reaching their full potential.

The Chickasaw Young Artist Initiative provided Chickasaw students’ one-on-one studio time with arts instructors in their chosen field.

Chickasaw Nation Senior Site Art Workshops were launched this year and have served seniors in Pauls Valley, Connerville, Purcell, Ada, Duncan and Madill. We have our seniors involved too.

Mike Larsen

There are many ways to tell a story.

You remember Mike Larsen’s beautiful artwork? He tells a story through painting.

Many of you were able to see the first Elders Series at the Cultural Center yesterday. I think we already took a pole, but a lot of folks attended the Cultural Center yesterday. Did you enjoy that?

I had a wonderful time. I met a lot of folks that I hadn’t seen before, and a lot of folks that I hadn’t seen in a long time.

It was absolutely a gorgeous day, and I think a lot of people had a wonderful time.

Amanda, are you in the audience? Amanda Cobb-Greetham. Stand up, Amanda. Give her a thank you.

It’s not over yet, Amanda. Although yesterday was over, we have many days to come.

You know, Mike Larsen, I mentioned him and his paintings at the Cultural Center.
He’s done a second series, and it’s called “I am Proud to be Chickasaw.” He completed it this year and there will be an opening of that series of paintings on October 8th at the Oklahoma Heritage Association in Oklahoma City.

Lowak Shoppala’

Lowak Shoppala’, meaning Fire and Light, was commissioned by the American Composers Forum Continental Harmony Project.

Put this on your calendar – November 21 and 22. There will be a premier at the Hallie Brown Ford Performing Arts Center at East Central University in Ada.

And, let’s see, is Jerod Tate in the audience? He is a composer, a Chickasaw and is deeply involved in this project. We thank him for helping put it together.

Housing and Tribal Development

Let’s go on to housing. You saw the video on housing. The division of housing and tribal development received International Accreditation for Building Department and Code Enforcement.

You say, “Why is that important?” It’s very important.

That means we are going to build a proper building. Safety is important.

These folks, because of their hard work and diligence, they were the first tribal building department in the United States and the first building department in the State of Oklahoma to receive this accreditation.

Let’s congratulate them. Thank you for your consistent quality and for always striving to exceed industry standards. It’s very important.

This division has also completed another successful year providing quality, affordable housing. Thirty-four new homes were built through the Home Owners Program this last year and there are twenty-five new homes that are under construction right now. And, thirty-seven Chickasaw families that became home owners when the deeds were made out to them and given to them. So, we are thankful for these thirty-seven families.

There were nearly 300 storm shelters that were installed this last year. Now the folks who live at large will be more proud to hear this than anyone, but 200 of those 300 shelters were for folks that live outside the boundaries of the Chickasaw Nation – people “at large” of the Chickasaw Nation.

Lighthorse Police

Ensuring the protection of Chickasaw people, couldn’t be in better hands than they are with Lighthorse Police Department. The LPD, as we call them, is composed of 26 full-time sworn officers and 8 support personnel. These 34 individuals cover a lot of ground.

Inter-agency cooperation continues to be a major initiative of the LPD. The Lighthorse continue to work with the community, serving as not only protectors, but as leaders and mentors to our youth.

Seventeen students participated in the Summer Police Academy this past year.
LPD staff implemented an anti-methamphetamine public awareness campaign, and has given numerous presentations to community groups and schools.

Sharing our skills and strength goes beyond the borders of the nation’s territory.
This year the LPD was honored for their peacekeeping efforts during a mission to the Standing Rock Sioux and Pine Ridge Reservations.

The operation ran from August through December, and made a huge difference in the challenging job of covering the country’s sixth largest reservation.
Thank you, Lighthorse, for sharing your skills and abilities.

Search and Rescue

In July we broke ground for the Search and Rescue building in Ada. The Search and Rescue team assists state, local and federal agencies in search and rescue efforts. When complete, the building will house training facilities, equipment storage and offices.

The Chickasaw Nation Search and Rescue teams are to be commended for their rescue efforts after the tornado that struck Lone Grove in February.


This year we especially would like to recognize and thank all of our servicemen who to defend this country and come to the aid and comfort of all of us.

We are going to give some special mention today. We are going to give it to U.S. Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Jay Mitchell and his brother Major Mike Mitchell.

Now guys, you were recognized and applauded just for being there, but there is something really special…

Jay was awarded the Bronze Star for his development of an identification system for electronic elements that led to the capture of a key bomber. Jay, thank you.

Mike, his brother, was awarded the Bronze Star for overseeing the only high value detention facility in Iraq, which held the most notorious and dangerous detainees in U.S. custody in Iraq.

Jay and Mike, we are going to recognize you again.

That is quite remarkable to have two brothers who both earned a Bronze Star that came and joined us today. I personally offer my congratulations to both of them. And thank you for serving as great role models for our people.

Thank you, all our veterans. What about other veterans? Are there other veterans in the audience? If so, please stand and be recognized.

History and Culture

I brought this up a while ago about the Cultural Center. Many of you enjoyed the Behind the Scenes film at the Cultural Center.

This film is designed to tell you about the construction of the Cultural Center.
It gives great insight to the scope and effort that went into the building process.

The Cultural Center is important to our continuing progress and our story. Our culture and traditions come to life in the Anoli Theater, the Traditional Village and in the natural setting of the amphitheatre.

For generations to come, Chickasaw people can visit the Cultural Center to learn of our story. People from any where, any walk of life or any background can visit the Cultural Center and know more about Chickasaw people.

They will see that our story is one of success, made possible by the self-determined, never give up attitude of our ancestors.

It was a massive, but a worthwhile undertaking.

And I am pleased to report that the Chickasaw Cultural Center will open in May and we are planning a special event, an opening, just for Chickasaw people in the spring.


One of the most customary ways to tell our story is through oral tradition. Speaking the Chickasaw language brings our tradition, our culture and our story to life. The Language Revitalization program has had great success this year;
especially with our young people.

The Chepota Chikashsha Anompoli – Notice I had to let that kind of roll out. I need to learn a little bit more Chickasaw. – they won two first place awards at the Oklahoma Native American Youth Language Fair, for Spoken Performance and Song Performance. Let’s give them a nice congratulation.

Additionally, the Master Apprentice Program graduated its first class of students this year. Each master and apprentice spent a minimum of 10 hours a week together speaking only Chickasaw for 18 months. That’s one way to learn Chickasaw.

Keeping our language alive is testimony to the living and breathing culture of the Chickasaw Nation and its people.


Chickasaw people are blessed in many ways. One of our greatest blessings is the special gift of so many elders who share the stories of our past.

As we look to the future with excitement, we know our path is a positive course, embedded in the strength of those who came before us.

It is important that we lift up our elders -- recognizing the work that they’ve done.
There are now 11 Senior Centers across the Chickasaw Nation and an active group in Oklahoma City. And, we continue to work hard to ensure there are programs designed especially for them.

Health Care

The businesses of the Chickasaw Nation continue to provide a solid economic platform from which we are able to provide programs and services.
Health care is a high priority for Chickasaw people.

We are excited about the progress our health system and all the success and the things they’ve done over the past several years. We are committed to providing the highest quality health care that’s possible.

The Chickasaw Nation Medical Center

The tremendous increase in the number of patients who utilize our health system is incredible. To help meet that need, the new Chickasaw Nation Medical Center is being constructed outside of Ada.

You saw some of the drawings of that health center a little while ago. The progress on construction has been right on target. The facility is now 78% complete.

It seems a short while ago that we were breaking ground on this medical center. This medical center will enhance the quality of life of the Chickasaw people. Soon that medical center will become a reality.

Over time, the health system expects to add 300 new positions. That includes doctors, nurses and support staff. New staff will be added in many areas including family practice, dental, OB/GYN and optometry. Imaging will also expand to cover an extensive range of services.

New equipment will include CT scan, MRI and women’s imaging with digital mammography, ultrasound and bone scan. This facility will enable us to provide the highest quality of patient care.

Our health system is continuing to make strides improving the level and quality of health care, and much has occurred over the last year. I’d like to mention a little bit of that.


The pharmacy department, they filled more than 940,000 prescriptions during FY 2009.

In addition, more Chickasaws at-large are accessing available programs and services.

Expanded outreach efforts have proven very fruitful. I have had several folks ask me, yesterday and today, are we going to continue meeting with the folks at-large and the answer is yes! We will continue that.

The health system has continued to improve. They continuously search for ways to meet the demand of the people. Last year, the automated telephone refill system and internet refill system became fully functional.

These innovative features allow patients multiple avenues of convenience. Both systems have achieved more success and have proven to be very popular with patients.

During the past year, more than 6,600 calls were received through the automated telephone refill system, and more than 8,800 prescriptions were processed.

In addition, the pharmacy refill feature of the Chickasaw Nation Web site has been accessed more than 10,500 times. It seems to be very popular.

Many of these ideas came out of our outreach meetings. And we continue to conduct outreach, and we will learn more from you, as to what you would like us to do.

Wellness Center activity

Providing opportunities for overall wellness and increased physical activity is very important.

The wellness centers located in Ada, Ardmore and Tishomingo have seen a significant amount of activity this year. It is rewarding to know that more people are taking an interest in wellness and are working toward healthier lives.
Providing the tools and facilities for a healthier future is a vital step in the continuing story of the Chickasaw Nation.


Last year during our annual meeting, you may recall learning about the story of Chickasaw Pearl Carter Scott, who was the youngest licensed pilot in America.

A screening of “Pearl,” the movie, was available in the Anoli Theater yesterday for those of you who were able to attend the event at the Cultural Center.
How many saw the movie? Did you like the movie?

Pearl was a significant character in our story. Even though Pearl is no longer with us, this film brings her spirit and determination to life for us today.

I’d like to introduce the members of Pearl’s family who are in the audience. Louise Thompson, Pearl's daughter, and her son Scott Thompson are in the audience. Please stand and be recognized.

In addition to “Pearl,” the movie, our communications division has accomplished a great deal this past year. I’ve invited Robyn Elliott, who is the communications administrator, to come and share some of those thoughts with us…Robyn.

Robyn Elliott:

Thank you Governor.

As Governor Anoatubby mentioned, “Pearl” has had GREAT reception from the public as well as the film industry.

“Pearl” has been screened at several film festivals in Dallas and in Oklahoma City and will screen later this month in Tulsa and Indianapolis,

Another project that hopefully you all have noticed is the re-design of the Chickasaw Times. In response to your suggestions, we developed a new layout, specific sections and streamlined articles so that you are able to find the news and information that is important to you and your family.

Another exciting way we are enhancing our communications efforts is the addition of Chickasaw community radio.

This weekend, KCNP - the Chickasaw Nation’s first station dedicated to broadcasting Chickasaw programming – began airing.

As a matter of fact, as the Governor mentioned, this Annual Meeting is streaming LIVE.

KCNP Radio covers central and southeastern Oklahoma on 89.5 and will soon be available soon to Chickasaws through on online stream at kcnpradio.org.

KCNP will broadcast news, music and talk shows and engaging cultural programs. You can download applications that will allow you to listen to KCNP through your iPhone and Blackberry.

In an ever-changing world of internet and electronic advancement, we will continue to provide quality news and information through current successful tools as well as embrace the new - allowing us to reach all Chickasaws in a timely manner regardless of where they live. Future plans include – a WebTV broadcast, pod casts and engaging social media networks.

Community development is just another way of reaching out to our citizens and our surrounding communities.

Years ago the Artesian Hotel in Sulphur was a favorite spot to thousands of visitors as they took in the natural beauty of the area and the healing waters of the sulfur springs.

Rebuilding this historical “jewel” will serve as a complement to the Chickasaw Cultural Center and provide another venue for Chickasaws and tourists to stay as they visit the scenic area.

The hotel will include amenities for the whole family including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a restaurant, a banquet room and a relaxing spa.

With the future addition of a plaza around the hotel, the Artesian and the Cultural Center are sure to become a destination for visitors from across the country and around the world.

It’s all a part of our job to share the Chickasaw story. Thank you!

Governor Anoatubby:

As you can tell, our communications division is very busy.


Our nation is truly blessed. Each year we grow in a positive direction in one form or another. And now, we have become one of the larger employers in this state.

We are very fortunate to have some of the brightest, most innovative, dedicated, hard-working employees anywhere. Let’s recognize our employees.

There is evidence of growth and success in every corner of the nation.

Business support

Today, Chickasaw people can be assured that our nation is strong. Part of our strength lies in our careful, proactive approach to the changing economic times.

The businesses that support our growth are to be commended for yet another year of solid financial performance.

Our businesses continue to do well, but we recognize we are not immune from the impact of the economy. We are diligent in our fiscal management and disciplined with our economic strategy to continue building for our future.

In the annual report you received this morning, you can see that tribal net assets increased nearly 16% over last year.

The 10% increase in net revenues over the previous year is testament to the importance of a quality management team, a robust marketing plan and continued strategic development and expansion of product lines and services.

To tell us more, please welcome Bill Lance, administrator and CEO of the division of commerce to the podium.

Bill Lance:

Thank you Governor.

Good morning everyone!

This is a challenging economic environment across the United States and while we have been somewhat insulated from the problems faced by the rest of the country, we have not been immune in Oklahoma.

We now have begun to see a decrease in revenues in some of our businesses. The effects have only slowed our growth, not stopped it.

We are being diligent in our efforts so that programs and services will not be affected.

Despite a challenging economic environment the Chickasaw Nation’s businesses and enterprises continue to perform quite well over all.

We are truly blessed to have the best and brightest people on our team.

In the near future we will see more golfers on the greens as the expansion of the WinStar Golf Course is underway. The addition of nine holes will no doubt draw more tournaments in the future.

Just recently, the much anticipated grand opening of both the WinStar World Casino Hotel and the WinStar RV park took place. WinStar continues to be a terrific performer.

The Chickasaw Nation’s third largest casino, Newcastle Gaming Center, was also expanded in 2009. Completed in June, the expansion added an additional 500 gaming machines at the Newcastle facility. A new restaurant will be introduced in the fall of 2009.

South Central Oklahoma Radio Enterprises continues to prosper and experience growth.

In March 2009, Bedre’ launched a new website offering customers the option of ordering their favorite Bedre’ chocolates online. In addition to increasing its customer base, Bedre’ also received major recognitions for excellence in quality.

Additionally in February, Bedre’ received recognition for “Superior Performance in Food Safety.” This marks their second consecutive rating of “Excellent” as mandated by the ASI Food Safety Consultants Auditing Program.

Recognized as a national leader among tribally owned firms in federal government contracting, CNI has once again proven to be an asset to the Chickasaw Nation.

CNI strengthened its performance in 2009 by reducing debt, expanding its customer base and increasing profitability. Additionally this past year, CNI developed an industry-leading cyber security Center-of-Excellence for the US Food and Drug Administration.

Following a period of dramatic growth, Solara Healthcare is now focused on building patient volumes and operational efficiency. The profitability of newer facilities continues to improve.

Global Gaming Solutions was established this past year to pursue gaming opportunities outside the boundaries of the Chickasaw Nation. It has continued to make great strides in 2009.

During this past year, Global Gaming successfully completed a number of consulting projects for Native American tribes.

As many of you are aware, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation, Global Gaming Remington Park, made a successful bid for Remington Park race track in Oklahoma City. Remington Park is a stable and profitable business with a long history in Oklahoma.

It has great potential to become even more profitable because of its location to other attractions such as the Oklahoma City Zoo, Science Museum Oklahoma, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. With further development this area of Oklahoma City has the potential to become a national tourist attraction.

A subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation, Global Gaming LSP, has also placed a bid on Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas. The bid on this facility is an important part of our business diversification plan. Lone Star Park provides an excellent opportunity to expand our business operations and establish our presence in one of the largest and most productive markets in the United States.

The future of the Chickasaw Nation business enterprises looks very bright. Thank you.

Governor Anoatubby:

Thank you very much, Bill.

The great teamwork ethic behind the Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce shows in every effort that they make. The division’s support of our people, keeping our mission at heart, is shown in their work.

We are able to offer additional programs and services to our people because of the successful business enterprises of the Chickasaw Nation and because of the sound management, hard work, and good stewardship of all our tribal employees.

Looking to the Future

We have experienced incredible success this year. But rest assured – we’re not finished. There is still much work to be done, and I am personally looking forward to the dynamic and exciting future of the Chickasaw Nation.

Each day there is progress.

The legislative and judicial buildings, I’m sure they’re pretty happy about this, are nearly complete. And they should be open within the next several weeks.

The Honor Garden is almost complete on the Cultural Center campus.
This is a special place. The Honor Garden is a testament to the Chickasaw people. It honors those who have been recognized and inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame.

How many of you have seen the Honor Garden? Don’t you think it’s pretty nice?

Now, in the Honor Garden there, those people who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, a plaque will be placed there in that circular area. These folks deserve to be honored and the Honor Garden is a great place to do that.

An initiative in the early planning stages is the Adolescent Treatment Center.
The treatment center is a central piece of the Family Initiative through youth and family services.

Beginning initially with 8 to 12 youth, the center will coordinate delivery of services to youth who struggle with chemical dependency and related issues.

You know, it’s important that we work hard to prevent drug abuse and chemical dependency, and it’s important also to treat those people who have it.

At full capacity, plans call for the treatment center to serve 40 adolescents and their families.

There is more exciting news on the horizon for our elders.

Plans are underway for an expansion of nearly 1,000 square feet to the Madill senior site. I noticed the Pickens District legislators are pretty enthusiastic about that.

And in the Panola District, a new, much larger, conveniently located senior nutrition center will be coming this year.

This is a little bit unusual. We haven’t done this before. In addition, we are in the planning stages for an independent living apartment complex at the Carter campus in Ardmore!

These new apartments are designed to be a “home” for Chickasaw elders.

It is actually the first of what we hope will be several projects throughout the Chickasaw Nation, where elders can live in an independent setting.

Often times people are placed in nursing homes when they don’t need to be. This is a place for them to live and be independent.

One thing that is pretty important to, is that these are located within walking distance of nutrition services, the health clinic, the wellness center and the area office.

The new living center will be close to the Ardmore Senior Center, and they will have access to great activities and fellowship. And, we have plans for a new senior center on the campus in Ardmore.

This center will be more than 9,000 square feet, providing more than twice the currently available dining rooms space, an exercise room, a craft room and sitting area.

Science and math are two areas of concentration that have received much attention. For this reason, I am glad to announce the creation of a new facility to house the science and math programs.

The new Science Technology and Math building will house the robotics team and the Lego leagues. Here we can make use of the flight simulator for the Chickasaw Nation Aviation and Space Academy.

Our young mathematicians and scientists can build robots, simulate tournament play, carry out research and design as well as conduct meetings. The new building will have a classroom equipped with Smart Board technology, a kitchen, office space and a large shop area to test their new creations!

Progress and the future

Progress is a common thread in our continuing story. As you can see, we have plans for years to come. There is much to be done, and we look forward to seeing those plans through.

The pages of our future are filled with exciting challenges and tremendous opportunity. I look forward with great anticipation to the prospect of what lies ahead.


Ladies and gentleman, as you have seen and heard this morning, the state of the Chickasaw Nation is strong and getting stronger.

Each one of you, all of you, are important in our continued story – one that has no end, one that we will pass to our children and their children after them.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving you as your governor.

I appreciate your time this morning.