Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby announced today that he filed for reelection to his ninth consecutive term as Governor. Chris Anoatubby will join the ticket as Lieutenant Governor.
“Serving the Chickasaw people as governor is a great honor and a tremendous responsibility,” Governor Anoatubby said. “Through hard work and commitment, the Chickasaw people are making the most of more opportunities than ever before. Our goal is to offer Chickasaws even greater opportunities to succeed in every aspect of life.”
Governor Anoatubby began his career with the Chickasaw Nation in 1975 as health services director. He was elected as Lt. Governor in 1979, and served in that role until he was elected Governor in 1987.
During his 32 years of service, Governor Anoatubby has helped lead the Chickasaw Nation to exponential growth in diverse and highly successful business operations.
“Successful business diversification efforts have long been integral to our success, because federal funding does not adequately meet the needs of our people, and the Chickasaw Nation has no tax base,” Governor Anoatubby said. “Rather than taxes, we rely on the entrepreneurial spirit that is such a strong part of our Chickasaw culture to generate the funds needed to offer opportunities to our fellow Chickasaws.
“Our business diversification strategy is producing compelling results. Last year, we earned record revenues and record profits.”
Today, the Chickasaw Nation operates more than 100 successful businesses in gaming, hospitality, tourism, banking, manufacturing, chocolate and other industries.
In 1996, we invested $50,000 to establish Chickasaw Nation Industries (CNI) as a federally-chartered corporation. Today, CNI serves as a holding company with multiple subsidiaries producing total annual revenues of more than $350 million. Several CNI subsidiaries are leaders in their respective industries.
One of those subsidiaries, Corvid Technologies, is working on a number of projects with large defense contractors. Corvid’s predictive modeling capabilities save these companies millions of dollars in research and development costs.
Corvid is currently building a new headquarters and expects to add more than 350 new jobs in the coming years. Earlier this year, Corvid expanded the scope of its business as a result of a $223 million contract to provide hardware, equipment and components to the U.S. Navy.
Another CNI subsidiary, Filtra-Systems has developed a mobile filtration system designed for use in oil and gas operations. This mobile recycling system is capable of filtering up to 10,000 barrels of produced water per day, saving energy companies time and money, while also preserving water resources.
“We continue to invest in established businesses to ensure continued success while also evaluating new opportunities,” Governor Anoatubby said. “It is essential to continue diversifying our portfolio to help ensure economic stability into the future.”
Business revenues provide the majority of funding for more than 200 programs and services available to the Chickasaw people and other Native Americans.
Education is one example. In 1987, higher education funding was about $200,000 annually and provided scholarships to 157 students. Today, in addition to providing grants and scholarships totaling almost $20 million each year to more than 5,000 students, we operate four early childhood centers serving more than 330 students. We have also implemented a STEM initiative to introduce students to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Chickasaw Nation has also expanded and improved housing services to help meet the needs of Chickasaws in all walks of life. Those services include rental assistance as well as an increased emphasis on home ownership, including programs to facilitate home loans.
Expanded education offerings serve more students in early education as well as offering scholarships for higher education and vocational training. In addition, the tribe recently implemented a new division devoted to helping prepare Chickasaws for viable, sustainable careers.
Significant strides in health care include a state-of-the-art 370,000 square-foot hospital, four clinics, eight pharmacies, a diabetes care center, emergency medical services, four nutrition centers, eight WIC offices and five wellness centers.
This year alone, the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health served more than 930,000 patient encounters, delivered more than 1,200 babies, filled more than 1.8 million prescriptions, served more than 60,000 meals to children and welcomed more than 177,000 visits at our wellness centers.
A new pharmacy is under construction on the Ada South Campus and a new wellness center is under construction in Ada.
An increased focus on supporting healthy lifestyles is an integral part of the health care strategy moving forward.
“We have long believed it is important to move beyond treating disease to treating the whole person, so we are increasing our focus on preventive health care,” Governor Anoatubby said. “We will soon open a new, larger wellness center in Ada, which offers state-of-the-art exercise equipment and staff to encourage an active lifestyle. We also offer a wide array of activities and nutrition services to promote health and wellness.”
The Chickasaw Nation recently opened a new community center as well as a senior center in Oklahoma City. A senior center is also under construction in Achille.
“While the senior centers and community centers provide physical locations that help being Chickasaw people together, it is our shared cultural identity that truly binds us together,” Governor Anoatubby said.
Opened in 2010, the Chickasaw Cultural Center may be the most visible example of the numerous language and culture programs that have been implemented to help ensure the Chickasaw culture stays strong for generations to come.
Another aspect of language and culture programs is a collaboration with Rosetta Stone. To date, 120 Rosetta Stone Chickasaw lessons have been developed and made available to Chickasaws and others interested in learning the language.
“This collaboration between our fluent speakers and Rosetta Stone is a significant part of our efforts to make the Chickasaw Language easily accessible to Chickasaws everywhere,” Governor Anoatubby said. “This project to revitalize our language epitomizes the spirit of our people, as we see elders and young people working together to preserve our language for future generations.
“We help keep our culture alive through language, arts, songs and games. We help our fellow Chickasaws succeed through service to our nation. Together, we will continue to build on our vision of a nation of successful and united people with a strong cultural identity. We are Chickasaw, and we will succeed.”