Oklahoma Blood Institute Tribal ChallengeChoctaw Nation Photo

Chief Batton, pictured with associates and Oklahoma Blood Institute representatives, displays the Choctaw Nation's trophies received from the Tribal Challenge.

Choctaw Nation proves its servants’ heart in blood challenge

Chahta Okla yvt i tishu chukvsh ahlichi

Published May 24, 2024

By Chief Gary Batton

Audio in Choctaw Language

Each year the Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) has a Tribal Challenge amongst the tribes. The contest measures which tribe will donate the most blood for the year.

This past year, from August 1 to January 31, the Choctaw Nation won the contest with a blood draw of 1,726, that equates to about 5,178 lives saved. We also won first prize with projection accuracy by exceeding OBI’s projection by 108%, meaning they projected our donation at 1,603 and the actual draw was 1,726. Even in years where we don’t finish in first place, our associates and tribal members place very well in the blood drive contest, and that shows that our tribe is ready, willing, and able to give the life blood needed to sustain lives during emergency needs. Donors, especially those who give regularly, keep our communities’ blood supply stable. And remember, blood is needed every day of the year.

We received the trophies for winning the challenge and the other for exceeding the projected number of tribal participants, from the Oklahoma Blood Institute. The trophies will be on display in the lobby of the Choctaw Nation Durant Headquarters at the welcome desk for everyone to see.

It is a great honor to win these trophies and to know that the Choctaw Nation is carrying on the traditions of our ancestors who answered the call when help was needed. Our Chahta pride will not allow us to turn a blind eye when someone is in need, and we can lend a helping hand. While the trophies are nice, the real source of our pride comes from saving lives, after all, one blood donation has the potential to save three lives.

It is a real source of pride that our tribe answers the call each year for blood drive donations and a great feeling of accomplishment that we took home the top prize this year for our efforts. Now, as we look forward to next year’s Tribal Challenge, I want to encourage all tribal members and associates to shatter our winning numbers and increase our blood draw for the next Tribal Challenge. I know we have it within the Choctaw Nation to come out and really show the folks at OBI what our tribe is made of, just as we did for the just completed blood drive contest. And remember, the more we give, the more lives will be impacted.

Yakoke Chito for bringing these trophies back to the Choctaw Nation and drop by the welcome desk at the lobby in Durant Headquarters and look at our prizes – they really are some beautiful trophies!

Yakoke and God bless!