TISHOMINGO, Okla., (KTEN) -- The Annual Chickasaw Meeting and Festival started Friday, and activities will continue through Saturday, when Gov. Bill Anoatubby is set to give his State of the Nation address at the tribe's new Aiittafama’ Ishto’ ("large meeting place") facility in Tishomingo.

“Saturday, October 1st will be the very first event inside the building, and we are so excited. It's going to be a wonderful time that all of the Chickasaw citizens and guests can be under under one roof to watch the governor present his State of the Nation address,” said special events director Jody Teeter. 

Ahead of Anoatubby's address, plenty of activities are scheduled at the festival grounds in Tishomingo.

“We have hundreds of kids on campus from local schools touring through cultural activities and events that they can get hands-on with and get instruction and learn a lot about the Chickasaw Nation, its history and culture,” Teeter explained. 

The annual meeting has been a Chickasaw tradition for decades. 

“Approximately 60 years ago, 100 Chickasaws gathered, and they started meeting annually to meet and talk about the nation,” Teeter said. “We are continuing that tradition today.”

The week-long event aims to keep Chickasaw art and culture alive. 

“I have an appreciation for art and basket-making. We really want to keep that alive in our tribe,” said basket-weaving demonstrator Sue Fish. “I love sharing with them what some of our ancestors might have gone through to process materials to make baskets.”

Festival activities are open to the public. 

For a list of scheduled events, visit the Chickasaw Annual Meeting and Festival website