DURANT, Okla. (KXII) -- With a shovel in hand, Choctaw Nation leaders celebrated the groundbreaking of a new justice center in Durant.
It's being built near the Choctaw Nation Wellness Center and Regional Medical Center, just off Big Lots Road and Highway 69.
Choctaw leaders said the building will house the entire judicial center, which includes their constitutional, appellate and district courts.
"We are a sovereign nation and we have our own court system," said Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton. "We have our own laws so anytime anything pertains to that or if a law if violated, they will come to this particular courthouse."
Batton said it's a historic time for the Choctaws because it's the first courthouse they've built since 1883.
"Now our judicial system is sort of spread out at different locations and bringing everybody in one place where our members can come to one location for the services they need," said Chief Justice of the Choctaw Nation Constitutional Court David Burrage.
The 15,000 square foot center will feature three courtrooms and other offices. Construction is scheduled to be completed by December.
"Its been a long time coming, but it's really about us letting people understand that we want a fair and just judicial court system for anyone that partners with the Choctaw Nation," said Batton.