A Spirit of Resilience and Fortitude

Chickasaw matriarchal leaders stand strong with the core tribal values passed from generation to generation. They are the keepers of the stories. They are the guardians of tradition – the foundation of the family. Explore their stories – a testament to the surviving spirit of the nation.

15 Items


S1 • E3
Six elders talk about the Chickasaw past and the women who served as their role models.

Descending from Clans: A Matrilineal Society

Joshua Hinson
Joshua Hinson explains that traditionally, Chickasaw heritage descended solely from the female.

Matriarchs in a Business World

Andrea Horner
Andrea Horner addresses the matriarchal society of the Chickasaw Nation.

The Five Tribes: Matrilineal Societies

Jeannie Barbour
Jeannie Barbour explains that southeastern tribes share a matrilineal societal organization.

Matrilineal Society: Division of Labor

Jeannie Barbour
Jeannie Barbour explains how women were keepers of the land, overseers of work that took place in the fields, gatherers of food and materials.

Panther Women, Battle Strategist

Jeannie Barbour
Jeannie Barbour notes the role of Chickasaw women in battle as communicators and strategists.

Jeannie Barbour

S4 • E1
Jeannie Barbour explains some of the recurring themes in her artwork, as well as the mediums and techniques she uses to create her masterpieces.

Beaulah Shavney

S5 • E3
Beaulah Shavney describes her experiences as an original member of the Women's Army Auxiliary during World War II.

Role Balance of Chickasaw Men and Women

LaDonna Brown
LaDonna describes the balance achieved in traditional Chickasaw society.

Chickasaw Women: Cultural Treasures

Nacobi Walker, Joann Ellis, and Johnna Walker
Three generations of Chickasaw women reflect on their cultural heritage and its importance in their lives.

Chickasaw Women Held Positions of Power and Respect

Dr. Daniel Littlefield
The matrilineal structure meant most property belonged to Chickasaw women, not men.

Strong Female Roles Create Balance

Lisa Billy
Lisa Billy speaks to the collaborative efforts of both men and women in traditional Chickasaw culture.

The Influence of Chickasaw Women

Lisa Billy
Lisa Billy was surrounded by strong Chickasaw women whose examples served to reinforce the idea that she was every bit as capable as her male peers.

Three Generations: A Caring Family

JoAnn Ellis, Johnna Walker & Nacobi Walker
JoAnn Ellis, Johnna Walker and Nacobi Walker are family. They're women. And, they're Chickasaw.

Three Generations: Speaking Chickasaw

JoAnn Ellis, Johnna Walker & Nacobi Walker
As a Native speaker, JoAnn Ellis is vital to the Chickasaw Nation.