Thursday, November 4, 2010, I visited this world-class destination and found it to be a fascinating experience! I want to go back again and again so I can take more time to read the information displayed at each exhibit, to see the Indian Village next Spring and summer, and hope there will be lots of activity to show what it was like to actually live there a century ago.
The Chickasaw people, "unconquered and unconquerable", have built a showplace for their people and their accomplishments, in spite of the tremendous hardships put upon them in the past.
Determination is a hallmark of the Chickasaw character and has helped to make them successful both as individuals and as a people. The Chickasaw Tribe is one of the five civilized tribes: (Chickasaw, Chocktaw, Cherokee, Creek and Seminole,) and were forced out of their homeland in Mississippi, when the U.S. government wanted their land for new settlers coming there. Treaties were agreed upon, and the sale of their lands were negotiated, by Elders who are now inducted into the Hall of Fame, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center in the Honor Garden, by The Chickasaw Nation.
Located near Sulphur, Oklahoma, the entrance is a little difficult to find and took us awhile to get there. The secret is a small sign located between Mc Donalds' and Walmart, in Sulphur, and you have to look for a sign the size of aReal Estate lawn sign! That amazed us, because we were looking for a few large signs pointing the way, and a huge entryway worthy of this highly esteemed place, located in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, in the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. No doubt there will be some large signs eventually. (They only just opened in August, 2010.)
This is a gorgeous place to vacation, with the Lake of the Arbuckles nearby, to enjoy boating, fishing, swimming and camping. The world famous Bedre' Chocolate Factory is near Paul's Valley, The Toy and Action Figure Museum in Davis, and Turner Falls, off Highway 35 has a Fried Pie Place, and the pies are the best any where in the area!
So many Fried Pies to choose from, so little time...! Think...Apricot, Apple, Chocolate, for starters. What better dessert after a great Barbeque? Think slow-cooked Brisket with heavenly BBQ sauce on fluffy homemade buns, and a pile of fries, some slices of red onion or white Vidalia Onions, and dill pickles...and did I mention fresh Indian Tacos at the Cultural Center in Aaimpa Cafe? (eye IMP uh - "A Place To Eat". Delicious! The whole experience at The Chickasaw Cultural Center was delightful.
They had Guides throughout the grounds and buildings to helpfully show us our way and they provided golf carts to ride in for those who couldn't walk long distances, outside. Altogether, we left with happy memories and learned a great deal about these good people. I'd give it 5 stars, for innovation, imagination, service, food, and the Archives and learning opportunity for their people and the peoples of the world. Thank you from my heart to the Chickasaw People. www.ChickasawCulturalCenter.com