Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation

Values passed on through generations

From the desk of Chief Gregory E. Pyle

September 2013

The priorities of our ancestors are passed on to us through examples of the way each generation lives. The way we talk, where we work, how we spend our money, where we live, how we use our time, and the way we treat others – all of these things are lessons to the people who surround us and watch us. In other words, we better “walk the talk.”

Driving in to the Capitol grounds this year for the Labor Day Festival I was thinking about the great values that the Choctaw people have and all the things our tribe has to be proud of. Choctaws are known for honesty, integrity, love of family, perseverance and faith in God. In this next year, that Christian faith will be outwardly illustrated with the construction at Tvshka Homma of a beautiful chapel, which will be prominently seen by visitors to our Choctaw Capitol. This chapel may be used for special occasions throughout the year, as well as for the Sunday services at the Labor Day Festival. The Council, Assistant Chief and I will be very excited about updating you on the progress of this chapel as the architects’ drawings are further developed, the building work begins and the first service is held there.

Storytelling is another way of passing on values to young people. During this year’s festival, there were ample opportunities to hear Choctaw tales filled with good morals.

Even while playing, Choctaw people are teaching principles of good living to others. Stickball is a teaching tool to the players – teaching teamwork, responsibility, resilience, hard work and resolve. Stickball also teaches unity and loyalty – very important values for today. It is uplifting to see some of the ways of our ancestors being successfully utilized by the “modern” Choctaws.

The more “experienced” in life I get, (notice I didn’t say older!) the more I realize that my children and grandchildren are watching me and the way I live my life. I want to be a good example, so it is important to have a healthy, productive lifestyle, and also to be spiritually fit. The Choctaw Nation and Choctaw people have remained true to their values for many generations. What a great tribe to be aligned with and learn from! We are all very fortunate.

Yakoke to you all!