Choctaw Nation celebrates its heritage
DURANT, Okla. (KTEN) — It's Native American Heritage Month, and the Choctaw Nation has plans to celebrate its history throughout November.
"Being Choctaw is who we are," said Choctaw Cultural Center director of development and membership Cheyhoma Dugger. "It's resilience. it's perseverance. It's striving, and it's hard work. It's faith, family, culture, as our core values state."
Native American Heritage Month highlights native culture and tribal history.
"We have 39 different tribes represented here. Each of us have unique languages, cultures," said Seth Fairchild, executive director of Choctaw Cultural Services.
For the nation, this is a time to share who they are as a people and as a tribe.
"We're proud of who we are today, but there's a long history behind that," said Dugger. "Our language is a part of our sovereignty, and sovereignty is huge for us as a tribal nation."
Friday is Choctaw Day at the Cultural Center, and on Saturday and Sunday, many tribes across the nation will compete in the nation's largest pow wow event.
"It's an opportunity for people to come out and experience Choctaw culture and eat traditional foods, and then over the weekend, go to the pow wow," Fairchild said. "We'll have probably over 600 dancers and probably over 300 different tribes represented as a group."
If you miss the pow wow event, the Cultural Center will have many opportunities for visitors to join in on its celebration.
"We have workshops, classes, as well as daily programming that will include stickball demonstrations and social dancing," Fairchild said.