Annual Labor Day Festival celebrates the role of women

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
Choctaw Labor Day Festival emblem “Honoring the Giver of Life.”
Choctaw Nation dedicates festival to honor the “Giver of Life.”

DURANT, Okla. – This year the Choctaw Nation dedicated the annual Labor Day Festival to the strong Choctaw women who are the heart of Choctaw culture. Throughout history and from the beginning, Choctaw mothers and grandmothers gave life, love, and learning to the tribe’s children and formed the core for the tribal matrilineal society. Women have harvested the crops, tended to the homes, were incredible artists, and were valued members of a tribe and thus were referred to as “beloved”. “Honoring the Giver of Life” is meant to signify the special bond and guidance given to the Choctaw people by the modern Choctaw woman and to show appreciation for continual leadership in faith, family, and culture.

Events for this year’s festival will begin at 7 p.m. August 28 with the Princess Pageant and continue through September 1 ending with Chief Gary Batton’s State of the Nation Address along with door prize drawings and lunch.

The Labor Day Festival is held at the Choctaw Nation Capitol building at Tushka Homma and expected to draw over 100,000 visitors. Admission to the festival is free as well as parking, rides, and concerts.

Pow Wow Grand Entry will begin 7 p.m. on the Capitol lawn with a special statue unveiling ceremony of treasured former Choctaw council member Charlotte Jackson. Jackson’s statue will be the first female statue to be erected at the Capitol and women attending will receive commemorative buttons as a special honor.

Main attractions for this year’s festival will include entertainers Merle Haggard, Jeff Foxworthy, Duck Dynasty’s Willie and Korie Robertson, Chris Cagle, Jason Crabb, and several local performers. Traditional Choctaw cultural events such as gospel singing, dancing, stickball, and crafts will be held throughout the festival. Fast pitch tournament, 5k race, horseshoe tournaments, an arts and crafts show, and special exhibits will also be held.

For additional information about Choctaw events and activities during the 2014 Honoring the Giver of Life Labor Day Festival and Pow Wow visit Choctaw Nation or (800) 522-6170. To join in the social conversation during Labor Day events, don’t forget to use #ChoctawFest.