Self-Governance

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The Chickasaw Nation has survived despite attempts throughout history to destroy or undermine its sovereignty. That's why positive interactions with the U.S. Government and the Bureau of Indian Affairs benefit everyone. On the local level, the Chickasaw Lighthorse Police maintains partnerships with adjacent law enforcement jurisdictions. The Chickasaw Nation also has its own executive, legislative and judicial branches, and all Chickasaw citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote.

What is Self-Governance?

Thomas John, Undersecretary of Community Services, Department of Community Services, Chickasaw Nation

Self-governance is an exercise of sovereignty, but it's more than just that. Thomas John, Undersecretary of Community Services for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Community Services, describes how it gives the tribes the legal authority to assume the operation of federal programs, allowing each tribe to tailor and execute each program to best fit the needs of its citizens.

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6 Videos

Reestablishing Indian Self-Governance

Neal McCaleb, Ambassador At-Large, Chickasaw Nation
In 1898 tribes were stripped of any right to control their own affairs.

Self-Governance, Great Leadership

Neal McCaleb, Ambassador At-Large, Chickasaw Nation
Neal McCaleb talks about how sovereignty has become a reality in a short period of time, and how the Chickasaws have taken control of their destiny.

With a Return to Self-Governance, Renaissance

Jeannie Barbour
Native American people making decisions for themselves has resulted in the increase in cultural innovation that the Chickasaw Nation is experiencing.

A Bridge Between Governments

Thomas John
In administering federal programs, the Division of Self-Governance connects the tribe with federal resources.

Self-Governance as a Priority of the Nation

Thomas John
The Chickasaw Nation is able to work in harmony with the state and federal government because of self-governance.

Removal Treaty: Self-Governance and Title

Stephen H. Greetham
In 1830, the Choctaw Nation agreed to relocate its people to the west of the Mississippi River but insisted on maintaining the sovereign nation.