Beyond the Book

Programs, Services and Resources to Help Chickasaw Citizens Thrive

Heritage is an indispensable part of Chickasaw culture, which is why preserving and spreading tradition is a central goal of the Chickasaw Nation. A key player in that effort is the Chickasaw Press, which began by publishing academic texts but has evolved to include popular works in its mission. In 2013, it founded the White Dog Press imprint, which encompasses genres such as fiction, children's literature and cookbooks. The Chickasaw Press has also added a digital platform that produces apps, e-books and audiobooks to enhance the interactive nature of its publications. Its first brick-and-mortar bookstore opened in August 2017 in Ada. One initiative that aims to foster a love of reading in Chickasaw children is the Chickasaw Reading Program, which sends kids one book a month until they reach the age of five. The books are educational and relate to Chickasaw culture when possible. Participants also receive Chickasaw language flash cards on a quarterly basis and brochures that explain cultural activities. Another approach to incentivize reading is the Chickasaw Nation Summer Reading Program, which runs from early June to early August at the Tribal Library in Ada. Children ages seven to 18 are allowed to check out five books at a time, which they proceed to log and summarize in order to win prizes at the end of the summer. Finally, the Chickasaw Press hosts the Holisso Ikbi Book Camp, a three-day event for students ages 12 through 18. Participants learn how to workshop stories about Chickasaw life before proceeding to illustrate and design their narratives. By the end of the camp they have created a book that will eventually be published. Students who want to participate should submit an application to the Chickasaw Press with a writing and illustration sample. To learn more about the Chickasaw Nation's publishing and reading programs, visit Chickasaw.net.

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