Family is foundation of all we do
Throughout the last five years, I’m sure many of you have seen or heard us use the phrase faith, family and culture. Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture is the Choctaw Nation’s vision.
Family is the foundation of all that we do. The word family is often defined as all of the descendants of a common ancestor. As Chahta people, we are family connected by the Chahta blood running through our veins. We may all look and talk differently from one another; we may live in different places and have different professions. But one thing we all have in common is our bond as Chahtas.
We all have different levels of connection to our heritage. For many of us living in the 10 ½ counties, we have nearly unlimited access to culture. We can attend cultural events like the Trail of Tears Walk and the Labor Day Festival; we are within driving distance for all Choctaw Nation facilities and programs. Our heritage is a daily part of our lives. But for others, seeking out and connecting with our Chahta culture is a little more complicated. We have tribal members living in all fifty states and around the world. We feel it is vital to reach out to these members through community meetings.
Community meetings foster a sense of community throughout the United States. These meetings are more than just taking photos and having fun; they are about family. Tribal members get to meet other Chahtas in their area, visit cultural, artist and services booths. They can also update their membership cards and register to vote. These meetings are to help bring our Chahta family closer together.
I enjoy getting to meet such a diverse group of people at these events and getting to hear their stories. We have so many exciting and talented Chahtas out there accomplishing great things. It has been so great to hear their stories and to share their connections with the rest of the tribe. All their stories somehow tie them back to the Choctaw Nation.
I encourage all of you to attend a community meeting if you can. Our next meetings will be Oklahoma City June 7 and Tulsa June 15. We would love to see you there and for you to meet other Chahtas while you are there. For more information, visit https://www.choctawnation.com/communitymeetings.
I want to say yakoke to everyone who has supported me, and for the confidence, you have placed in me throughout the past four years. It has been a blessing and an honor to serve the Chahta people, and I look forward to continuing to serve to the best of my ability.