Sharing Oral Histories

Host Lisa Billy hears from a group of six female Chickasaw elders, who speak of the influence that their mothers, aunts and grandmothers had on their values and sense of heritage. Passing on knowledge of traditional medicine and stories about the beginning of the world, they also taught the traits of strength, self-assertion and generosity in a world that was not kind to Native women. The elders also swap tales of the early days of working for the Chickasaw Nation, from the construction of the headquarters in Ada to the first annual meetings. They applaud the progress that the Chickasaw Nation has made and the programs dedicated to teaching leadership traits, job skills and the Chickasaw language to the youth. All of them feel that the Chickasaw stories and values that held the tribe together for centuries must be passed on intact to future generations.