Carnival Riders

2023 Should Make You Chahta Proud

Published December 21, 2023

By Chief Gary Batton

As 2023 ends, I can’t help but take some time and reflect on what a great year it has been for the Choctaw Nation.

The planning and execution of this year’s Labor Day Festival was second to none. All our associates banded together with a true Chahta spirit of volunteerism and hard work and continued our tradition of excellence for this event to again make this uniquely Choctaw event the best one yet. The crowds, the vendors, the events, and the execution of the event get better and better each year and it shows exactly what I already know about the Choctaw Nation – we are second to no one. Our executive staff, associates and tribal members work tirelessly to make sure this event runs smoothly each year, and it shows. And that’s not just my opinion. The Labor Day Festival was named the 2023 Event of the Year by the Talihina Chamber of Commerce. Also at the same awards ceremony, the 2023 Kiamichi Valley Hall of Fame Award was awarded to Choctaw Nation Assistant Chief Jack Austin, Jr., among other dignitaries.

The Choctaw Nation should be proud of all the work we have accomplished in 2023, here are just a few projects and milestones we reached:


  • Timber View multi-family housing in Broken Bow approved funding and started construction.
  • The Haven multi-family housing Durant approved funding and started construction.

Chahtapreneur Growth

  • Overall – 6.6% (from 2,436 to 2,598); 162 new clients; 28 business start-ups; 8 business expansions
  • 5% increase of Chahtapreneur’s in business (from 1,510 to 1,587)
  • 2.9% increase in jobs supported by Chahtapreneur’s in business (from 4,333 to 4,461)

Health Statistics

  • Total tribal member encounters – 1,072,454
  • Total prescriptions – 1,636,558

ARPA Funds

  • Economic Impact Recovery Program assisted 160,532 tribal members with $292,023,400.
  • Elder Food Security assisted 31,630 tribal members with $203,638,000.
  • Disability Food Security assisted 3,430 tribal members with $20,664,200.
  • The Small Business Recovery Assistance Program assisted 787 tribal members with $3,484,000.
  • Emergency Rental Assistance Program assisted 4,268 tribal members with $15,050,655.
  • Homeowner’s Assistance Fund assisted 2,158 tribal members with $7,798,245.
  • Victims Assistance Program assisted 1,349 tribal members with $7,493,641.


  • Calera LEAP Homes – February 2023, 30 Homes
  • Durant LEAP Homes – February 2023, 30 Homes
  • Hugo LEAP Homes – March 2023, 10 Homes
  • Spiro ARH Homes – May 2023, 10 Homes
  • McAlester ARH Homes – July 2023, 5 Homes
  • Broken Bow LEAP and ARH Homes – August 2023, 15 LEAP | 20 ARH
  • Hosted ground-breaking for Hugo Tribal Services Building – May 2023
  • Stigler ARH Homes – December 2023, 10 Homes
  • Stigler LEAP Homes – December 2023, 10 Homes
  • Calera LEAP Homes – June 2023, 15 Homes
  • Wilburton ARH Homes – October 2023, 20 Homes


  • Launched Warrior Wellness Program to support Choctaw Veterans.
  • Leased housing to support families of domestic violence.
  • Awarded $4,000 (per school) to support 12 districts with the development or expansion of e-sports program.
  • Participated in NASA downlink event.

The Choctaw Nation has a lot to be thankful for in 2023 and we have a lot to look forward to in 2024. We will take a look ahead in my next letter.

Be proud of our accomplishments and let’s make 2024 even better.

Yakoke and God Bless!