New Choctaw Nation Seal Represents Chahta Sia
Chief Gary Batton
The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has a proud and storied heritage. Ours is a story of faith—the promise of hope and a future; of courage—resilience in the face of adversity; and a story of compassion–a nation of humanitarians.
We have endured much—a journey of displacement, of rights stripped, of a sovereignty infringed upon, but today we stand at the beginning of an entirely new era.
With all that we have endured, our people, their strength, courage and commitment to the tribe, are what have allowed us to become the third largest Native American tribe in the United States.
We strive to better the lives not just of our people, but all who we interact with in southeast Oklahoma, the United States, and across the world.
Our children are more educated than ever, our members’ access to health care has never been wider spread and our commercial entities have never been more successful. Nevertheless, there is more to be done.
For our members to take pride in being Choctaw, our name must stand for all that we are: an enduring tribe that brings positive change to those it interacts with.
We want to be known for what we are—a thriving people—thus creating a renewed sense of pride for the Choctaw people.
As a sovereign nation as well as individually, our tribe and its members maintain relationships multifaceted in nature.
Across all, the personality with which we carry forward ourselves directly reflects on our nation. In achieving our vision of living out the Chahta spirit we want to be known as big–hearted, humble, and strong.
We are humanitarians at our core. With numerous acts of kindness throughout our history, the Choctaw Nation has earned a name synonymous with generosity.
We take care of those, both near and far, who need our help. It’s in our culture to give and share without hesitation and without expectation of getting something in return.
Regardless of what happens to us, we never lose our compassion for others—when others are in pain, we feel it. Having a big heart comes from all the experiences we have been through. It is the essence of who we are as a Nation.
We have much to be proud of, yet we remain humble. We do not brag—so much so that our friends and neighbors are largely unaware of all our successes.
Our humility is not a lack of confidence; rather, it comes from confidence in our strength as a Nation. We know that we are strong, that we have beaten the odds and will continue to endure.
Being humble and strong means that we have faith in our abilities and that we’re satisfied with quiet successes. We don’t need to draw attention to ourselves.
These very personality traits are what characterize a true Choctaw Tvshka. Tvshka means warrior, and it carries a sense of duty and honor. We take great pride in our heritage, and we are fiercely protective of it. But a warrior’s duty is also to help those in need. The honorable title of Tvshka is bestowed only on those whose great deed or continual service has had a positive impact on the tribe.
We’re a peaceful people, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fight. Living out the Chahta spirit takes tremendous courage and fortitude.
Being Tvshka means standing up and fighting for the well-being of the Choctaw Nation, for our people, for all that we value and hold dear.
A bright future lies ahead for our Nation—a future that holds prosperity for our children and many more generations to come. They will live out the Chahta spirit through faith, family, and culture.
The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation has been updated to have one culturally accurate official image that stands for everything we are.
The idea of a seal was first formalized in 1857 in the constitution signed at Skullyville, Oklahoma. The description added in an 1860 act was, “a great seal with ‘The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation’ around the edge, and a design of an unstrung bow, with three arrows, and a pipe-hatchet blended together engraved in the center.”
There have been many variations of the seal through the years culminating in 1940 with a design by Oklahoma City architect, Guy C. Reid.
The center elements were not indicative of a traditional Choctaw bow, arrows, and pipe-hatchet. There continue to be changes, and our Great Seal has drifted in many directions.
The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation is a representation of Choctaw people throughout the world. It should always be used with reverence and responsibility.
A group of cultural and member service leaders have worked for months to research, identify, and create the most accurate visualization of the traditional Choctaw items. Significant input from tribal historians and elders was reviewed concerning the limited modifications.
In accordance with official tribal policy, the Choctaw Nation Tribal Council approved The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation on June 10, 2017.