Voice of America: Chickasaw Nation in mainstream

"Today, the Chickasaw Nation is prospering with its own bank, chocolate factory, casinos, movie theater, and FM radio station. Chickasaws see themselves as very much part of the mainstream society.

The Chickasaw Nation was officially formed in 1856, in Tishomingo, Oklahoma. Known as a courageous people among Native Americans, the Chickasaws were called the unconquered or unconquerable. These historically fierce warriors settled in south-central Oklahoma in the mid 1800s.

Today the Chickasaw's influence goes even as far as Capitol Hill where Congressman Tom Cole is the only Native American representative on the Hill.

"I am Chickasaw! People forget there are 500-plus different tribes. They range in size from a few dozen members to the Cherokees who are over 200,000. They have very different traditions, different languages, and different histories and find themselves in different legal situations, everything from the great tribal reservation of Indians, the Sioux, the Navajo. Tribal sovereignty is not a gift."

Cole says tribal sovereignty and treaty rights are often violated, and he plays a pretty major role in the Congress to defend them. "I look on as one of my functions to try to make sure that does not happen and be very aggressive in defending tribal interest in Washington DC.""

Get the Story:
Chickasaw Nation Prospers Among Native American Tribes (Voice of America 10/18)

Relevant Links:
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