Stickball helping increase awareness of our heritage
From the desk of Assistant Chief Gary Batton
Stickball and the history that surrounds it have always been fascinating – it is a competitive sport, rich in legend for our tribe. Choctaw stickball has reached a new intensity for me this year. The Choctaw Nation played for the third year in the World Series at Mississippi, which is a tremendous accomplishment.
The two games that I sweated through on the field this summer weren’t competition level – no trophies at stake – but they meant a lot to me! I joined Councilmen and other players at the U.S. Capitol for an exhibition game beside the Smithsonian and just recently, was invited to don a team shirt at Tvshka Homma and play with friends and acquaintances who have fought for the ball on the Tribal Capitol lawn for years! Much to my thrill (and surprise) I even scored!
Encouraging people to participate in activities like this increases the awareness of heritage as well as increasing the desire to become more involved. This is why Chief Pyle and the Tribal Council create opportunities such as the youth camps for stickball and cultural immersion. When the young people begin to learn the sports, culture, dance and art of our tribe, they become more interested in the history of the tribe.
Our tribe is blessed to have so many stickball players, both male and female, who participated in the recent Labor Day tournament. Spectators were treated to some great games this year at Tvshka Homma.
Many more opportunities to learn about Choctaw heritage will be available this year. Please take the time to participate. Yakoke to all who are involved in sharing the Choctaw culture!