Widespread interest in Choctaw culture is tremendous blessing
From the desk of Chief Gregory E. Pyle
One of the greatest moments of the 2012 Labor Day Festival was seeing so many people wearing Choctaw clothing during the Monday festivities! For over a year, the tribe has officially made the first Monday of each month “Heritage Monday” and we have put forth a conscious effort to dress traditionally, greet people in the native language and share our unique culture through dance, history, song and food. For people to embrace “Heritage Monday” at Tvshka Homma and wear their Choctaw shirts and dresses to the State of the Nation ceremony was a tremendous blessing to me and I was elated to see the interest.
During the month of November, which has long been recognized as Native American Heritage Month, the Choctaw Nation Cultural Services Department is planning a series of classes that will enhance our knowledge of Choctaw heritage. Each Wednesday in November at the Tribal Complex in Durant, the Cultural Services Department will host an opportunity to learn an ancestral skill or hear a lecture about our history.
Our Cultural Services Department provides classes in making baskets, pottery, beadwork, cornhusk dolls and other cultural items not only at the offices in Durant, but throughout southeast Oklahoma and at community meetings around the country. Other facilities in the Choctaw Nation also plan Heritage Days and sometimes cook traditional food for the employees to enjoy.
My long-term vision is that every generation in the future is more self-sufficient and successful than the generation preceding. To achieve this, it is important we understand the culture and history of the Choctaw people.