Reasserting Sovereignty

With the leadership of President Richard Nixon, tribal nations were once again able to assert their sovereignty. Tribes reclaimed their right to self-government. Soon the Chickasaw Nation began developing profitable businesses and an ambitious range of facilities and services for tribal members. Each step towards reviving the centuries-old Chickasaw government strengthened the tribe and its members who now live around the globe.

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Nixon's Message to Congress

The first modern presidential message of its kind promoting the rights and well being of native people
On July 8, 1970, President Nixon delivered a special message to Congress on Indian affairs.

Chickasaws Elect a Governor

Overton James became the first elected Chickasaw governor since 1904
Under the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, as well as other federal legislation, the right to hold popular elections was restored.

First Chickasaw Business, Chickasaw Motor Inn

The first of many successful economic ventures to come
In 1972, the Chickasaw Nation purchased a travel lodge in Sulphur, Oklahoma, paving the way for successful economic ventures around the globe.

Indian Self-Determination and Indian Education Assistance Act

A hopeful reversal of more than 30 years of federal action against Native American people
Signed into law in 1975, the Indian Self-Determination and Indian Education Assistance Act reversed 30-years of termination policies.

Chickasaw Headquarters in Ada

A new central location for the Chickasaw Nation's seat of government
An increase in federal grants became available with the passage of the 1975 Act, just as the Chickasaws were outgrowing their tribal headquarters.

Early Plans to Reenter Tupelo

Governor Overton James tours the Chickasaws' ancestral homelands
Governor Overton James went to tour the Chickasaws' ancestral home in Tupelo in 1978.

First Lieutenant Governor

Lieutenant Governor Bill Anoatubby elected by popular vote of Chickasaw Nation tribal citizens
In late 1979, Bill Anoatubby was elected the first Lieutenant Governor of the Chickasaw Nation by popular vote of the tribe’s citizens.

A New Chickasaw Constitution

Tribal officials worked tirelessly to formulate a constitution to fit the needs of a modern Chickasaw society
In 1979, the Department of Interior and a federal district court approved a draft of a new Chickasaw Constitution.