Vol. LII No. 10
October 2017

Opportunities are before us, and our future is limitless

The future of the Chickasaw Nation looks fantastic!

It’s exciting to be part of our tribe’s tremendous growth. We have been blessed with a number of opportunities that have “supercharged” our growth. That growth has led to expansion of essential programs, services and initiatives that serve Chickasaw people.

We understand the opportunities before us take time to mature. We know proper execution by those of us who serve you is very important. Creating a workable plan is essential. It is equally important to make the all-important commitment to see the plan all the way to completion.

At the Chickasaw Nation, we operate with a strategic plan. This plan contains goals – the big things we want to achieve over time to make our tribe stronger. Strategies typically reflect the way we do things, rather than some specific project.

One of our tribal strategic objectives is to be vigilant in our use of resources. The objective is an element that will impact the entire tribal organization. It is obviously a good idea to make the best use of resources provided. Next, we must break down the objective so it can be translated into action by the various tribal departments.

The first part of this objective states “Chickasaw Nation employees will practice good stewardship by ensuring resources are being used in a manner that ensures maximum benefit. The Chickasaw Nation will work towards financial independence, developing new funding sources and needed services while evaluating the benefit of existing services.”

That is a tall order, but if we are serving the Chickasaw people properly, wise use of our tribal resources is imperative. We encourage our administrators, department heads, directors and all employees to analyze how resources are applied, and we seek their input. Citizen needs must be met, and we don’t want to be wasteful as we complete those tasks. We have been entrusted to manage your resources properly and to do so means avoiding the “automated” response. We don’t do things simply because that’s how they have always been done. We do things for the benefit of our citizens.

We are continually seeking new sources of funding, whether federal, private, commercial or other. Regarding growth, there is never a stopping point. As in any business, the environment can change, and it can change rapidly. Sales can go up and down, and income which may have come from one source last year may have to be replaced with a new source this year.

It is highly important that all our tribal workers remember the Chickasaw Nation is continually working to expand its financial independence. We are a long way down that road, but we must not take our success for granted. That means we must not only be good stewards of what we have, we must be always searching for new financial opportunities. New businesses, new partnerships, new initiatives are constantly under review. Our drive for robust financial independence means we make our own decisions as a tribal government, and we continually seek to fulfill our tribal mission by focusing on improving the lives of the Chickasaw people.

Our strategic objectives take time, but they are definitely the right things to do. A five- to 10-year time horizon is not unusual. I am committed to seeing each of our objectives in place, and our tribe always “on the grow.”

New opportunities present themselves to us on virtually a daily basis. Some aren’t really appropriate for us, but some stand out. Those latter opportunities are the ones we pursue. By keeping our strategic objectives in mind, we can assess the opportunities before us and make the right decisions – the decisions that will most benefit the Chickasaw people we serve.