New Choctaw Nation Headquarters opens
After nearly two years of construction, the brand new Choctaw Nation headquarters is open.
Located just off Chukka Hina in Durant, the nearly five-hundred thousand square foot headquarters is much needed for the Choctaw Nation, according to the Chief.
"We've been located in over 30 different locations in Durant and now we're located at one location," said Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton.
"I think we heard/mentioned around one-thousand jobs here today and those contribute significantly to our economy," said Durant Mayor Jerry Tomlinson, who is also a Choctaw member.
"It's a better way to serve our people," said Chief Batton. "It's a one stop shop. It's a better collaboration for our employees, it's better for relationship buildings and we're all about faith, family and culture. It can all be displayed here in one location."
Chief Batton said it took nearly 200-million dollars to build. The new headquarters will provide member services such as Choctaw language education, career development and community services to name a few, but the building will also keep the Choctaw spirit alive.
"This facility is built upon the shoulders of giants and what I mean by that is our ancestors," said Chief Batton.
Chief Batton told the crowd Tuesday the Choctaw people have been through trials and tribulations, like the Trail of Tears which killed thousands of Choctaws as they relocated to Durant from Mississippi during the 1800's.
He said the new building signifies their resilience as the tribe continues to grow.
"We do have plans to continue to grow like we expect, we hope to create five-thousand jobs within the next five years," Chief Batton said. "This is just the beginning for us, we need to continue this this choctaw journey for our people, for our community and for our state."
Chief Batton told News 12 there's more to come around the campus, The Choctaw Nation Judicial Center is still under construction and is scheduled to open in December this year.