A Season of Hope

This article appeared in the March 2024 edition of the Chickasaw Times


Spring is upon us! It is a time of growth, rejuvenation and new life. During this time of year, we appreciate the new beginnings and blossoming wildlife abundant throughout the Chickasaw Nation. New life, new possibilities and new opportunities bring a new atmosphere of excitement.

Throughout our history, the Chickasaw people have risen to seize new possibilities and opportunities rather than focusing on obstacles. Chickasaws have taken on hardship and adversity with unprecedented resiliency and persistence. We have a long history of embracing new opportunities and making the most of our circumstances. Through Removal, allotment, Oklahoma statehood, assimilation and more, Chickasaws persevere.

A spirit of ingenuity in both economic and community development has long played an important role in the lives of the Chickasaw people. From our time in the Homeland through Indian Territory days until today, successful commerce has been vital to serving the needs of our people and communities.

Today, we are grateful for those who helped build a solid foundation of community, cooperation and progress. More than 100 diversified businesses and nearly 14,000 employees form a sound economic base that enables us to offer the abundance of opportunities and resources to Chickasaws of all ages.

This spring, Chickasaws will be completing their educational journeys, taking on new roles and taking part in activities across the Chickasaw Nation, as events and celebrations will take place throughout Chickasaw Country.

Spring is a wonderful time to take in the wildlife and activities at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, in Sulphur, or at the Chickasaw Cultural Center. Exciting spring exhibits and more will be featured in the coming months, including the annual Three Sisters Celebration later this month.

This event celebrates the symbolism of planting corn, beans and squash together for their mutual benefit. Corn provides support for the beans, which fertilize the soil, while squash plants shade the soil. Those diverse contributions to a successful harvest help symbolize the importance of the contributions of diverse people to the success of any community. 

 To celebrate the emergence of spring, visitors can take part in our Chickasaw culture, language, demonstrations and a variety of fun activities.

We are also preparing to host the annual Artesian Arts Festival in April, which typically brings thousands of people to the community to view and shop for First American art.

In May, we will host the annual Chikasha Ittafama (Chickasaw Reunion). Hundreds of Chickasaws will gather at Kullihoma for Chickasaw culture, tradition and fellowship. Several family-friendly events will take place throughout the two-day event, including cornhole, stickball, cultural demonstrations, traditional meals, a stomp dance and more.

The monthly Kochcha’ Market will take place at the Chickasaw National Capitol grounds in Tishomingo this spring. The Kochchaˈ Market is a new effort to offer space for artists and farmers to participate in a homegrown and handmade community marketplace. Patrons will have the opportunity to view and purchase local art and fresh produce each month.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the events and celebrations this spring. We are thankful for all that spring represents and for the legacy of the Chickasaw people that lives on  in us today.

We continue working to build a brighter future for our children and grandchildren, because we know it is through them that hope springs eternal.