The Mississippi River provided an essential resource for the tribe's people: river cane. This Chickasaw necessity was used for everything from basketry to tool making – disciplines that are still passed down at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.
Olympic gold medal-winning British coach Shaun Caven "jumped the pond" in 2009 to help develop the rising river sports movement in OKC, where he now trains Olympic hopefuls. A Scotsman with a keen interest in native cultures, Caven helped launch the program for the Chickasaw Nation at the Devon Boathouse. The tribe, he notes, were "river people" with a rich history of water travel by canoe.