District 4, October 2023

By Tribal Councilmember Jess Henry
October 2, 2023

As summer transitions into autumn, cooler temperatures, and the leaves begin to change, there’s a sense of excitement in District 4. As we step into the new school year, it is important to acknowledge the dedicated teachers and eager students who are the backbone of our community’s future. We wish them all a fantastic school year filled with growth, learning, and success.

In August, the district had the privilege of hosting Chief Batton for a senior luncheon. At the luncheon, he shared valuable insights into the progress of District 4. As the Choctaw Nation continues to be the top employer in our district, coupled with the ongoing construction of new housing and the eagerly anticipated 2025 launch of a community center in Poteau, our community’s future is brighter than ever. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Chief Batton for his leadership and support, which undoubtedly contribute to the positive atmosphere of our district.

The Freshman Year Initiative Banquet at Carl Albert State College in Poteau was a success, welcoming 34 freshmen to the program. It’s the perfect introduction to the supportive community that awaits these new students. With a dedicated team at Carl Albert State College ready to offer both personal and academic assistance, we are confident that these students will thrive in their educational journey. We applaud the Choctaw Nation’s commitment to investing in the future of our youth.

Our seniors demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship by winning the Senior Chair Volleyball Championship Trophy at the Labor Day Festival for the third consecutive year. Their dedication and community spirit bring pride and joy to District 4.

The senior community in Poteau continues to thrive with a variety of activities. A special yakoke goes to Debbie and Kenzie, who visited from the Cultural Center to teach seniors the art of making corn husk dolls. Their dedication to preserving traditional craftsmanship is commendable and eagerly anticipated by the seniors for more classes. A recent trip to the Museum of Native American History in Bentonville, Arkansas, enriched their cultural knowledge. Additionally, on the first Friday of every month, the Dale Cox Community Center in Poteau hosts a taco sale, offering a delicious taco and a drink for $7. The proceeds from this event support the senior activities and we express our gratitude to all those who have contributed.

Spiro seniors enjoyed a night of entertainment and fellowship with the singers “2 Country 4 Nashville.” They also embarked on a journey to explore the Spiro Mounds and the Marshall’s Museum in Fort Smith in August. As we transition into fall, they are planning more exciting day trips to continue their explorations.

District 4 continues to thrive, with a rich blend of cultural preservation, sportsmanship, community support, and a bright academic future. It’s a testament to the vibrant spirit and unity of its residents, making District 4 a special place to call home.

As we celebrate the achievements of District 4, I want to take a moment to express my deep appreciation for the opportunity to serve as your councilman. It’s an honor to be a part of this thriving community and to witness the dedication, resilience, and unity that define our district. As we cherish our culture and accomplishments, please know that my door is always open. If there’s anything I can do to assist you or address any concerns you may have, please do not hesitate to contact me. Together, we can continue to make District 4 an even better place to live, learn, and grow. Thank you for your trust and support.

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