A basket of good ideas, a plan, and hard work have led us to our success

It has been important over the years that the Chickasaw Nation see its many good ideas become reality. Things really can change for the better when you have a good plan, and work that plan faithfully. Together, we have nurtured our good ideas and developed them into elements that today serve all Chickasaws well.

In 1988, just 33 years ago, we were operating several essential programs and services. Those programs and services served Chickasaws, but were not funded at nearly the level to properly serve everyone fully. Our tribe, like most others, relied heavily on federal funds to operate. We understood the cold facts that those funds were never a sure thing and often grew little to none from year to year, and could actually be cut or eliminated.

We instinctively understood we must come up with ideas that could be developed into real progress for the Chickasaw Nation. We knew we had to put our “thinking caps” on.

We engaged in discussion regarding many proposed plans and laid out countless scenarios we thought might turn into success. It was determined back then that our best avenue for success rested in tribal commerce. We studied the economic environment for tribes in the U.S., and we decided to develop businesses that had good chances of making it and producing resources for the people. We embarked on a course that we continue on today.

And what a road we have traveled together! We believed that if we worked hard and stayed the course, we would meet with success. We knew we would have to make changes as we went along the path of commerce. Adaptability is how good businesses survive and flourish. We also knew our business plans would be a matter of discipline and “sticking with it.”

Certainly, we learned some valuable lessons along the way. You seem to learn more from your mistakes than your successes. We’ve had plenty of mistakes to learn from. Things however have smoothed out considerably in recent years.

Our tribal businesses are now on good stable ground and are producing a substantial amount of funding to meet our needs. We have obviously had to adapt our operations over this past year of the public health crisis, but our team has done a terrific job of keeping our businesses humming. The resources our businesses are producing are directed into the programs and services that support and improve the lives of Chickasaws and their families across this country. We are fortunate to have on our team many bright, industrious, hard-working people.

We have reached the point where each and every Chickasaw citizen has an impressive menu of opportunities from which to choose. From education to jobs to housing to health care and so much more, Chickasaws today are benefitting from our commercial success in a multitude of ways. The goal, as always, is to provide the basis for healthy, happy, prosperous Chickasaw families.

A critically important part of our business plan is to continually keep developing new ideas that work for Chickasaws. With our rock solid foundation established, we are working harder than ever to discover new opportunities and new ways to build our tribal legacy of service to the people.

Thank you for your participation and your contributions to your tribe over the years. Together, we are generating successes that translate into real Chickasaw opportunity.