Gregory E. Pyle 1997 - 2014
Chief Gregory E. Pyle became Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in 1997, after serving more than 13 years as the Assistant Chief of the tribe. Chief Pyle negotiated millions of dollars in new contracts for the tribe, as well as expanded existing programs and initiated many innovative services.
Awards honoring Chief Pyle include being named a Distinguished Alumni and Benefactor for SOSU and being named an Honorary Member of the Oklahoma State Troopers Association. In 2007, he was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Chief Pyle is very proud that the Choctaw Nation has been named the recipient of the Pro Patria Award and the 2008 Freedom Award.
Other appointments and awards for Chief Pyle included receiving the SBA Region VI Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year, several terms as a member of the National Indian Health Board and a year as the elected President of the Oklahoma Area Indian Health Board. He was appointed by former Secretary of Interior Manuel Lujan to serve on a Task Force created to reorganize the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and reappointed two years later by former Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt, heading up several subcommittees on the Task Force.
Chief Pyle testified before several Congressional hearings on various subjects, including Code Talkers, sovereignty, the Arkansas Riverbed, and health care.
Under the leadership of Chief Pyle, the Choctaw Nation put families first, with priorities on education, health, and jobs. Deep involvement in economic development resulted in profitable tribal businesses such as gaming centers, manufacturing plants, and travel plazas, creating numerous jobs and funding tribal programs. During his term of office, a new hospital was constructed in Talihina, as well as the Diabetes Wellness Center, clinics in Stigler, McAlester, Atoka and Idabel, a new Hospitality House, new Recovery Center, and a new Women's Treatment Center. The Poteau Clinic has been expanded to include additional health care professionals and a mail-pharmacy refill center.
Education milestones under Chief Pyle, included the Choctaw Language Program and increasing the scholarship program to serve 5,000 students. A new academic building has been built at Jones Academy for the elementary school. A career development program for Choctaws has been initiated to include training at technical institutes.
Chief Pyle's dedication to the Choctaw people was made evident through the many services that are now available.