Young Chickasaw artist Sophie Mater submits winning Butterfly Art piece

This article appeared in the March 2023 edition of the Chickasaw Times

Each year, Chickasaw Nation Arts and Humanities hosts the Butterfly Art Contest. Female Chickasaw citizens between the ages of 14 and 18 create unique butterfly art pieces for consideration to represent the annual Dynamic Women of the Chickasaw Nation Conference. This annual gathering salutes the valuable contributions, talents and skills of Chickasaw women. The winning butterfly design will also represent the Chikasha Ihoo Empowerment Series, a quarterly event that highlights the accomplishments and unique perspectives of Chickasaw women.

Sophie Mater, of Ada, Okla., is the winner of this year’s Butterfly Art Contest. Sophie is no stranger to expressing herself artistically. She won Best in Division for Culture in the 2022 Youth Southeastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM), placed second in the 2022 Chickasaw Nation’s 72-hour Photography Competition in the youth division and has won awards at Red Earth Art Festival. At school, Sophie participates in theater, Johnson-O’Malley (JOM) and aviation programs. She also enjoys participating in the Chickasaw Nation STEM and FemSTEM programs, Chickasaw Arts Academy and Chickasaw Nation Aviation and Space Academy. She looks forward to creating more art in the future.

Sophie incorporated traditional Chickasaw designs, such as elemental and directional symbols, in her blue butterfly to reflect patterns and carvings found on Chickasaw artifacts. She also draws inspiration and support from her father, Chickasaw artist Dustin Mater.

Sophie’s butterfly design will represent the beauty, inspiration and determination of Chickasaw women as the logo for the 2023 Dynamic Women of the Chickasaw Nation Conference and the Chikasha Ihoo Empowerment Series.

The first speaker in this series was Mari Hulbutta, a Columbia Law School graduate and Chickasaw scholar. She presented “Native Resilience as a Tool for Healing and Empowerment” at the McSwain Theatre. To watch her presentation, visit The next installment in this series features Ms. Kayla D. Lewis, Ph.D. Dr. Lewis is an associate professor of literacy at Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. This installment will take place March 29 at the McSwain Theatre in Ada.

The Dynamic Women of the Chickasaw Nation Conference will take place summer 2023. Virtual and in-person attendance will be available for this year’s conference. Registration information and additional details will be available soon. Visit for information about the conference, the Chikasha Ihoo Empowerment Series and to re-watch last year’s event.