A group of people dressed in formal attire hold awards and pose for a photo.

Jennifer Woods received the Distinguished Alumni award at the Eastern Oklahoma State College Sapphire Ball in April.

District 6, May 2024

By Tribal Councilmember Jennifer Woods
May 3, 2024

Halito to all our tribal members from District 6, The Heart of the Nation! I would like to start off by saying “congratulations” to all our high school seniors on their graduations that will be taking place throughout the month of May. There are so many opportunities for each of these students, and I encourage them to utilize Choctaw Nation High School Services, Higher Education and Career Development programs. We look forward to seeing the great things that you accomplish in your lives, as you all are our future.

I was honored to be a guest speaker at the Eastern Oklahoma State College Sapphire Ball in April, where I received a Distinguished Alumni award. I was a first-generation high school graduate, and then me and my sister Marty Lalonde attended Eastern. The encouragement I received from my teachers and counselors at Jones Academy to attend Eastern, and the wonderful professors at the college who pushed me into stepping out and overcoming fears and insecurities that I had have helped to shape my life into who I am today. It was an emotional evening that I felt honored to be a part of.

We are looking forward to the Trail of Tears Walk that will be held in Tuskahoma on Saturday, May 18. This is an emotional walk as we give honor to all who walked the trail, and many who lost their lives and family members. May we never forget where we came from and who we are. We are a resilient people!

We are very thankful for our new homes that were built in Red Oak and Wilburton. These homes are providing a safe place for our tribal members to live as well as being beautiful and energy efficient. We want to build more homes, but we must have ten approved applications in order for housing to buy land and build in the area that has the numbers to document the need. Buffalo Valley and Yanush area, we need your applications. Please apply if you even think you might be interested.

We are continuing to put people to work through our Job For The Day program and Employment Training Services program. We also have the Reintegration Program that assists tribal members who have been convicted of felony crimes. The program seeks to remove barriers for those who are transitioning back into their communities. The Prevention Services program also helps to assist tribal members who have lost their driver’s license through their Driver’s License Restoration Program, so put in your applications and let us help you get to work.

We invite our District 6 seniors to come to lunch every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. and to get involved with other seniors for activities and events that we will be attending. We will be having a Foster Care Awareness Event on Saturday, May 4 at 9:30 a.m. at the Gary Rosebure Park in Wilburton for anyone who would like to join us to bring awareness for our need of foster care families in our area, and we will be holding our District 6 Community Meeting Dinner on May 9 at 5:30 p.m. at our new center. We will be taking our buses to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Walk that will be held in Hugo on May 10, the Elder Appreciation Day on May 22 that is held in Durant and Outreach At The Beach in Sardis on May 29.

We also have a guest speaker every week to educate our tribal members on the services that are available to them. OILS (Oklahoma Indian Legal Services) will be joining us on Wednesday, June 5, so you have time to make an appointment if you need legal aide. We have a lot of activities and don’t want anyone to miss out on events, so please come, enjoy lunch and get a calendar of upcoming events.

Yakoke District 6 for allowing me to serve you. My door is always open to you.