Valorie Walters, Under Secretary for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Culture and Humanities, says it's an amazing feeling to know the Cultural Center is a home for the Chickasaw people and for the Nation's history. Valorie says even those who aren't Chickasaw can come and learn about this rich Native American culture. Whether it's watching someone hand-craft a stickball stick or learning how to bead a collar or make a drum, there are a variety of activities in which to participate and discover.
Valorie grew up in Coalgate, Oklahoma, and moved to Ada, the Nation's headquarters, in her early 20s. It was at that time in her life that she became connected with her ancestral history, and she started working for the Chickasaw Nation in 2002. In 2005, she graduated from East Central University with a degree in mass communications.
Her Chickasaw heritage extends from her mother's side of the family, and she says she's been fortunate to study her family tree. During the allotment era, Valorie's ancestors were given land in the Coalgate area, the same place where she was raised.
In addition to her work at the Cultural Center, Valorie is a proud board member of the Oklahoma Museum Association and in 2016 was honored with Oklahoma Magazine's prestigious "40 Under 40" award.