Release Date: September 18, 2023
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office
A time of reunion, fellowship and cultural celebration, the 2023 Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival will begin Sept. 29 and continue through Oct. 7. Activities will be conducted in communities throughout the Chickasaw Nation.
This year marks the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Chickasaw Nation and the 35th Chickasaw Festival.
Each year, Chickasaws from across the country attend the weeklong event, which is highlighted by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby’s State of the Nation Address. Governor Anoatubby’s address is set for 9 a.m., Oct. 7, at Aiitafama’ Ishto “large meeting place” on the Chickasaw National Capitol grounds in Tishomingo, Oklahoma.
Chickasaw Annual Meeting began in 1960, when more than 100 Chickasaws met at Seeley Chapel near Connerville, Oklahoma, to discuss the state of their nation and a vision for the future. Each year, the Chickasaw Nation pays tribute to this historic event by celebrating Chickasaw pride and progress during the Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival.
The hub of activity and celebration of tribal culture and history is the Chickasaw National Capitol grounds. Attendees can learn to play stickball, try their hand at archery, tour historic Chickasaw Nation buildings, stomp dance and learn techniques in ancient arts and crafts.
Other events planned for the week include a parade, arts and crafts vendors, cultural demonstrators, educational tours, food booths, a health fair, children’s activities, entertainment, a parent/child fishing tournament, archery tag, storytelling and more.
Guests will have the opportunity to browse and purchase artwork created by artists of Southeastern and Woodlands tribes at the Southeastern Art Show and Market (SEASAM), which opens at 11 a.m., Friday, Oct. 6.
Venues in the Tishomingo, Ada and Sulphur, Oklahoma, areas will host activities throughout the week.
Several activities are planned in Tishomingo beginning Saturday, Sept. 30, including: a golf tournament, a 5K fun run and walk, softball tournament, junior Olympics and a pickleball tournament. Cornstalk shoots at Kullihoma, Pontotoc Pursuit bicycle ride in Ada, and a stickball tournament at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Sulphur, will also be conducted Sept. 30.
Three young ladies will be crowned Chickasaw Princess, Little Miss Chickasaw and Chickasaw Junior Princess during the Chickasaw Princess Pageant, 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 2, at the Ada High School Cougar Activity Center. Princesses serve for one year as ambassadors of the Chickasaw Nation at events across the U.S.
Chickasaw Cultural Evening will take place from 4-8 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 5, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Sulphur. The event includes cultural demonstrations, artists, Chickasaw Press authors and a traditional meal. Presentation of the prestigious Silver Feather Award, an elite award for Chickasaws who dedicate themselves to the preservation and revitalization of Chickasaw language, culture and lifeways, is included in the evening’s festivities.
A complete list of events, locations and schedules will become available online at AnnualMeeting.Chickasaw.net.The event schedule is subject to change.
Follow Chickasaw Nation social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter, for updates.
For more information, call (580) 371-2040.