With the passage of the 1975 Act, significantly more federal grants became available. Concurrently, the Chickasaws were outgrowing their tribal headquarters, a suite of offices at the Chickasaw Motor Inn in Sulphur, Oklahoma.
It wasn’t clear whether the headquarters should be in Tishomingo, Sulphur or Ada. After reviewing written proposals from each city, the governor’s Advisory Council accepted Governor James’ recommendation to build the new headquarters in Ada, Oklahoma. The grant the Chickasaws applied for, received and used to build the new Chickasaw headquarters was initially intended to help with unemployment in the area. As a result, 75 percent of the grant’s funds were earmarked for labor. This funding ultimately provided jobs for unemployed Chickasaws and made it necessary to forage for rocks and lumber used for what turned out to be a magnificent headquarters building.
The building was completed in February of 1977, and an open house was held on March 26, 1977. Even before the building was complete, the Chickasaws realized that they needed additional space. An additional grant in 1976 from the Economic Development Authority provided funds for two new wings—which actually ended up becoming three new wings.
By March 1978, our headquarters were transformed from a small suite of offices in a Motor Inn to a new 14,000 square foot headquarters.