More than 200 Chickasaw Nation officials, guests and citizens gathered recently to cut the ribbon of two government buildings; the Chickasaw Nation Legislative building and Chickasaw Nation Judicial building. The event was held April 19 in Ada.
The buildings are located at 801 N. Mississippi and 821 N. Mississippi, respectively, in Ada.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby was joined by several current and former tribal justices and legislators, as well as dozens of tribal citizens and employees for the event.
“These new facilities make all three departments much more accessible to Chickasaw citizens and enables us to more efficiently fulfill our number one priority, serving the Chickasaw people,” said Gov. Anoatubby.
Gov. Anoatubby said all three departments strive to secure a bright future for tribal citizens.
“Many programs and services we operate in order to enhance the quality of life of Chickasaw people are a direct result of the efforts of the executive, legislative and judicial departments. Progress doesn’t happen by chance. It happens because people set their mind to it, they work hard and they persevere. That is what is happening in the Chickasaw Nation.”
A 130-seat legislative chamber, complete with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, is located in the Chickasaw Legislative Building.
“We aim to make this always a place where Chickasaws are always welcome and we will continue to work for you and pass legislation to enhance the citizens of the Chickasaw Nation,” tribal legislative chairperson Holly Easterling said.
The 13,880-square-foot facility also includes office space for each legislator and legislative staff, three conference rooms and an exercise room.
The Judicial Building houses the Chickasaw Nation Supreme Court and Chickasaw Nation District Court.
Chief Supreme Court Justice Barbara Smith said, “this is such a monumental day for the Judicial branch. We have grown, we have served a lot of people, but this really about the leadership the Chickasaw Nation has had to bring us to this new facility. We are so proud and we are so thankful.”
Smith also said the building features art work by several Chickasaw artists.
The 15,610-square-foot building houses two courtrooms, each complete with state-of-the-art Digital Evidence Presentation System. This type of system allows counsel to present evidence to the court and jury through the use of electronic presentation tools, including an automatic projection screen and a projector.
Both courtrooms are handicapped accessible and have a secure evidence room.
Designed with safety and security as a top priority, the building features a secure holding room for prisoners, full-time security personnel and a security monitoring system throughout.
The building has a large lobby, a central office for court clerks, two jury conference rooms, two court advocate offices, a peacemaking room, and offices for Supreme Court justices and district court judges.
Most exterior doors in both buildings are controlled access for staff safety, and security of the building. Both buildings also have a safe room.
For more information about the Chickasaw Tribal Legislature, call 580-436-1460. For information about the tribal Supreme Court, call 580-235-0281 and district court call 580-235-0279.