Cultural managements

Hamilton named Director of Cultural Enhancement | Local News

Governor Bill Anoatubby has appointed Chickasaw citizen Catie Hamilton as the Chickasaw Nation’s Director of Cultural Enhancement.

“Catie Hamilton brings to her new role both cultural knowledge passed down from her family and a formal education in First American leadership,” Governor Anoatubby said. “His education, life experience and commitment to our mission will enable him to serve the Chickasaw Nation well in this position.”

Hamilton previously served the Chickasaw Nation as Senior Heritage Preservation Manager. His promotion expands his functions while retaining previous managerial tasks. She will continue to manage the Chickasaw Nation Internship Program, the Chickasaw Explorers Program and the preservation of the Chickasaw Bank Museum, located in Tishomingo.

Additionally, Hamilton will oversee staff located at Washita Farms and the bank museum under management agreements between the Chickasaw Nation, Johnston County Historical Society, and Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge.

While attending East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, Hamilton worked part-time in several capacities for the tribe. In 2015, she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and began her career as a program manager with the Chickasaw Nation. In 2017, she earned a master’s degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant, Oklahoma, in Native American Leadership.

Hamilton is the granddaughter of Chickasaw Hall of Fame inductee Rose Shields Jefferson, the eldest of 13 children born to Joseph and Minnie Allen Shields, whose parents were the first Dawes Commission registrants.

Hamilton is married to Clovis Hamilton, director of the Chickasaw Language Revitalization Program. They have a daughter, Emersyn.

Hamilton’s mother and stepfather work for the Chickasaw Nation. His mother, Drucilla DeCoteau, is a grants coordinator for the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health. Her stepfather, Steve Jacob, is a film/video assistant in the Chickasaw Nation Department of Culture and Humanities.

“It is an honor to be promoted by the Governor and to help the citizens of Chickasaw learn about their heritage through our programs,” said Hamilton. “Internships prepare our young citizens for the hands-on experience they will need to enter the job market while learning more about their Chickasaw culture through cultural activities and presentations. It is also a privilege to help young adults find their cultural identity with the Chickasaw Explorers program as they reflect on our ancestors and visit sites of our Chickasaw homeland.

The Chickasaw Explorers program is one of the most popular programs offered to citizens between the ages of 18 and 35. Explorers travel to the ancestral homeland of Mississippi and participate in archaeological digs at locations where ancient Chickasaw artifacts are recovered and preserved. Launched in 2014, the Chickasaw Explorers program selects 10 citizens each year for the two-week excursion. Citizens must submit an application and go through a selection process in order to qualify.

“It’s fascinating to find artifacts that once belonged to our ancestors,” Hamilton said. “To be in the lands where they were before their removal is both a blessing and an exciting experience. It’s amazing to be Chickasaw. Our leadership set a standard for our employees even before the withdrawal. Tribal leaders have done wonders to give back to the Chickasaw people. To be able to work and give back to the Chickasaw people is an absolute honor. I am amazed at where we have come to, how far we have come, how much we have endured, and how we have prospered over the centuries.