The Chickasaw Cultural Center (CCC) invites the public to join in celebrating a decade of sharing Chickasaw history and culture with a virtual anniversary event premiering 10 a.m., Friday, July 24.
The video will be available at ChickasawCulturalCenter.com and Facebook.com/ChickasawCCC. To maintain responsible distancing, what would normally be an in-person gathering will instead be offered online and include recorded segments and guests.
Speakers from Chickasaw Nation leadership will include Chickasaw Nation Governor Anoatubby, Lisa John, secretary of culture and humanities, Valorie Walters, undersecretary of culture and humanities, as well as Marcus Milligan, executive officer of the cultural center.
Celebrities will have recorded messages to share as well, including Tatanka Means and Martin Sensmeier.
A highlight of the virtual event will be a journey through 10 years of memorable moments, a story told with firsthand accounts and media. From the mouths of the people who make it all possible, viewers will learn about CCC events, landmarks, film festivals, horticulture, art, demonstrations, traditions and exhibits.
Chickasaw citizens like elder and 2018 Silver Feather recipient Pauline Brown will share personal memories.
Dr. Amanda Cobb-Greetham, 2018 Dynamic Chickasaw Woman of the Year, served the Chickasaw Nation from 2007-2012 as Administrator of the Division of History and Culture. She worked closely with Governor Anoatubby to launch the Chickasaw Cultural Center and will share her insight as part of the virtual celebration.
Bill Wright, a longtime veteran of the National Park Service and superintendent of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area will also share messages.
A look back
The cultural center existed as a concept as far back as 1979, when a cultural committee was tasked with locating funding for a cultural center. The key attraction for this proposed cultural center would be a museum reflecting the rich heritage of the Chickasaw people. Soon, a search for historic items was underway.
In March 1991, the Chickasaw Nation sought to work cooperatively with the National Park Service to offer both a visitor’s center and the cultural center within the Chickasaw National Recreation Area in Sulphur.
Many Chickasaw citizens, officials and the dance troupe participated in a dedication event the summer of 1999.
The front page of the February 2001 edition of the Chickasaw Times displays the above-the-fold headline “Chickasaw Cultural Center on the way to becoming reality.” The story goes on to explain, the cultural center campus would include three major buildings, a replica of a traditional village and a special events area.
“Once completed, the Chickasaw Cultural Center will serve as a center for Chickasaw cultural preservation, education, artistic expression and historical interpretation,” the article explains.
The Chickasaw Nation broke ground for the Chickasaw Cultural Center in 2006.
A special one-day event where Chickasaw families caught a sneak peak of the cultural center before official opening was offered June 12, 2010. Governor Anoatubby spoke to attendees.
"Chickasaw people have long dreamed of a special place to celebrate, embrace and share the culture and heritage which binds us together as a people," said Governor Anoatubby. "That dream has now become reality as we open a center which reflects the vision, imagination, resilience and spirit of the Chickasaw people."
After four years of construction, Governor Anoatubby cut the ribbon on the completed cultural home for the Chickasaw people, opening it to the public July 24, 2010.
"Chickasaws of all ages and from all walks of life contributed to the development of the center and the programming that will be available," said Governor Anoatubby. "It is beautiful and provides an opportunity for us to tell the remarkable history of Chickasaw people. We want to not only preserve our history, but recognize that we have a living, thriving, growing culture to share with others."
The Chickasaw Cultural Center 10-year Anniversary Logo
The Chickasaw Cultural Center 10-year Anniversary Logo was created by Chickasaw artist Dustin Mater. It incorporates a clean and modern font along with a rattlesnake gorget pattern from the homelands. Mater said the logo represents renewal and growth.