Oklahoma's 3rd congressional district
Oklahoma's Third Congressional District is the largest congressional district in the state, covering an area of 34,088.49 square miles, over 48 percent the state's land mass. The district is bordered by New Mexico, Colorado and the Texas panhandle. Altogether, the district includes a total of 32 counties, covers more territory than the state's other four districts combined, it is one of the largest districts in the nation. As of 2015, the district is represented by Republican Frank Lucas. Prior to 2003, most of the territory now in the 3rd district was in the 6th district. Meanwhile, from 1915 to 2003, the 3rd district was located in southeastern Oklahoma, an area known as Little Dixie, it had a different voting history from the current 3rd. It was the district of Carl Albert, Speaker of the House from 1971 to 1977; the district borders New Mexico to the west and Kansas to the north, the Texas panhandle to the south. To the far west, the district includes the three counties of the Oklahoma Panhandle, Harper, Woodward, Major, Grant, Kay, Osage, Creek, Lincoln, Kingfisher, Canadian, Custer, Rogers Mills, Washita, Kiowa, Greer and Jackson.
Some of the principal cities in the district include Guymon, Ponca City, Enid, Yukon, Guthrie and Altus. It includes portions of Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Half of the district's inhabitants are urban and 3 percent of adults working in the district use public transportation, ride a bike, or walk; the district's population is 3 percent foreign-born. The political success of the Republican party in the region is tied to the state's settlement patterns. Northwest Oklahoma was settled out of Kansas while southeast was settled by Southerners that brought with them Democratic traditions; the Great Depression hurt the GOP, but it has since regained its place in the state, the growing social conservative bent in the state has allowed it to overtake the Democrats. It is now one of the most Republican districts in the nation. George W. Bush received 72 percent of the district's vote in 2004. Oklahoma's congressional districts List of United States congressional districts Martis, Kenneth C.. The Historical Atlas of Political Parties in the United States Congress.
New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Martis, Kenneth C.. The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. Congressional Biographical Directory of the United States 1774–present
The Dawes Act of 1887, authorized the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Native Americans. Those who accepted allotments and lived separately from the tribe would be granted United States citizenship; the Dawes Act was amended in 1891, in 1898 by the Curtis Act, again in 1906 by the Burke Act. The Act was named for Senator Henry L. Dawes of Massachusetts; the objectives of the Dawes Act were to abolish tribal and communal land ownership of the tribes into individual land ownership rights in order to transfer lands under Native American control to white settlers and stimulate assimilation of them into mainstream American society, thereby lift individual Native Americans out of poverty. Individual household ownership of land and subsistence farming on the European-American model was seen as an essential step; the act provided that the government would classify as "excess" those Indian reservation lands remaining after allotments, sell those lands on the open market, allowing purchase and settlement by non-Native Americans.
The Dawes Commission, set up under an Indian Office appropriation bill in 1893, was created to try to persuade the Five Civilized Tribes to agree to allotment plans. This commission registered the members of the Five Civilized Tribes on what became known as the Dawes Rolls; the Curtis Act of 1898 amended the Dawes Act to extend its provisions to the Five Civilized Tribes. This completed the extinguishment of tribal land titles in Indian Territory, preparing it to be admitted to the Union as the state of Oklahoma. During the ensuing decades, the Five Civilized Tribes sold off 90 million acres of former communal lands to non-Natives. In addition, many individuals, unfamiliar with land ownership, became the target of speculators and criminals, were stuck with allotments that were too small for profitable farming, lost their household lands. Tribe members suffered from the breakdown of the social structure of the tribes. During the Great Depression, the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration supported passage on June 18, 1934 of the US Indian Reorganization Act.
It ended land allotment and created a "New Deal" for Native Americans, renewing their rights to reorganize and form their self-governments. During the 1850s, the United States federal government's attempt to exert control over the Native Americans expanded. Numerous new European immigrants were settling on the eastern border of the Indian territories, where most of the Native American tribes were situated. Conflicts between the groups increased as they competed for resources and operated according to different cultural systems. Many European Americans did not believe that members of the two racial societies could coexist within the same communities. Searching for a quick solution to their problem, William Medill the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, proposed establishing "colonies" or "reservations" that would be for the natives, similar to those which some native tribes had created for themselves in the east, it was a form of removal whereby the US government would uproot the natives from their current locations to positions to areas in the region beyond the Mississippi River.
The new policy intended to concentrate Native Americans in areas away from encroaching settlers, but it caused considerable suffering and many deaths. During the nineteenth century, Native American tribes resisted the imposition of the reservation system and engaged with the United States Army in what were called the Indian Wars in the West for decades. Defeated by the US military force and continuing waves of encroaching settlers, the tribes negotiated agreements to resettle on reservations. Native Americans ended up with a total of over 155 million acres of land, ranging from arid deserts to prime agricultural land; the Reservation system, though forced upon Native Americans, was a system that allotted each tribe a claim to their new lands, protection over their territories, the right to govern themselves. With the Senate being able to intervene only through the negotiation of treaties, they adjusted their ways of life and tried to continue their traditions; the traditional tribal organization, a defining characteristic of Native Americans as a social unit, became apparent to the non-native communities of the United States and created a mixed stir of emotions.
The tribe was viewed as a cohesive group, led by a hereditary, chosen chief, who exercised power and influence among the members of the tribe by aging traditions. The tribes were seen as strong, tight-knit societies led by powerful men who were opposed to any change that weakened their positions. Many white Americans sought reformation; the Indians' failure to adopt the "Euroamerican" lifestyle, the social norm in the United States at the time, was seen as both unacceptable and uncivilized. By the end of the 1880s, a general consensus seem to have been reached among many US stakeholders that the assimilation of Native Americans into American culture was top priority. On February 8, 1887, the Dawes
U.S. Route 66 in Oklahoma
The historic U. S. Route 66 known as the Will Rogers Highway after Oklahoma native Will Rogers, ran from west to northeast across the state of Oklahoma, along the path now taken by Interstate 40 and State Highway 66, it passed through Oklahoma City and many smaller communities. West of the Oklahoma City area, it has been replaced by I-40. However, from Oklahoma City northeast to Kansas, the bypassing I-44 is a toll road, SH-66 remains as a free alternate; the history of Route 66 in Oklahoma can be traced back to two auto trails—the St. Louis, Missouri–Las Vegas, New Mexico, main route of the Ozark Trails network, the Fort Smith, Arkansas–Amarillo, Postal Highway. In the state highway system, approved in mid-1924, the portions of these in Oklahoma, which crossed at Oklahoma City, became SH-7 and SH-3 respectively. US 66 was designated in late 1926, followed these state highways with one exception: a new SH-39 was created to carry Route 66, leaving SH-7 at Commerce and heading east and north to the state line in the direction of Baxter Springs, Kansas.
Over the years, many portions of Route 66 west of Oklahoma City were replaced with I-40. On the other hand, the Turner Turnpike and Will Rogers Turnpike were built parallel to Route 66 east of Oklahoma City, Route 66 remained on the old road as a free alternate to the turnpikes. Route 66 was eliminated by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials on April 1, 1985. In Oklahoma, the portions west of Oklahoma City that had not been rerouted onto I-40 became business loops of I-40 through Sayre, Elk City, El Reno; the still-independent route, starting at US-81 in southeastern El Reno, became SH-66, using surface streets except through Oklahoma City and Tulsa, where Route 66 had been rerouted onto the freeways. SH-66 ends at US-60 west of Vinita, where Route 66 overlapped US-69 to east of Commerce; the remaining independent portion to the Kansas state line became part of a new US-69 Alternate. By 1916, a series of unpaved state roads was laid out from Texola, just east of the Texas state line, east via Erick to Delhi, north to Sayre, east and north via Doxey to Elk City.
It became part of Route 66 in 1926. After a mile south on N1680 Road, it turned east on E1250 Road to Erick south again on N1750 Road, east on E1260 Road, south on N1810 Road, east on E1270 Road to Delhi. Traffic turned north at N1870 Road, jogging west on E1250 Road at the mismatch in the section lines, entered Sayre on N1870 Road; the bridge over the North Fork of the Red River in Sayre was built of timber in 1924 and upgraded and widened with steel in 1933. It was bypassed in 1958, has been demolished; the original Route 66 passed through Sayre on Main Street and Fourth Street, leaving to the east on Benton Boulevard. It turned north on N1900 Road, east on E1170 Road, north on N1960 Road, east on E1160 Road, north on N2000 Road into Elk City on Randall Avenue. Short sections of this — a bridge on E1170 Road east on N1950 Road and the crossing of Elk City Lake on N2000 Road — no longer exist. A new alignment from the state line to Elk City was built in the late 1920s, it only coincided with the earlier route through Sayre.
Except in Sayre, where the city had paved the road with Portland cement in 1926, the state began paving the road in 1928 and 1929 with asphalt over a concrete base from Elk City to several miles east of Hext. It switched to PC in 1929, paving the remainder from east of Hext to the state line from 1929 to 1931; this alignment followed E1240 Road from the state line to Texola, the present main road through Erick and Hext to south of Sayre. The old cement lies in the center of the four-lane road through Texola, mainly follows the westbound lanes to Erick, through which it again lies in the center. A short abandoned piece of PC, including ruins from a former bridge over a creek, is located to the south of the road, between N1700 and N1710 Roads. Beyond Erick, the PC was again built in the present location of the westbound lanes, but has since been paved over until the I-40 interchange. Just past exit 11, the road becomes two lanes, the original road — built as PC, but resurfaced in asphalt, once the westbound lanes of a divided highway - is now abandoned to the north of the open roadway.
Beyond Hext, where I-40 comes in from the south, the two-lane road crosses to the original roadway. The 1929 alignment curved to the north into N1870 Road west of exit 20, following Main Street and Fourth Street as the original route did. However, it continued beyond Benton Boulevard to Sayre Avenue, turning off onto the present four-lane I-40 Bus. towards I-40 exit 25. Just prior to the exit, Route 66 curved northeast along the northside frontage road, it crossed to the south side after exit 26, crossing Timber Creek on a 1928 through truss bridge, crossed again just east of the N1910 Road overpass. This part of the north frontage road, from east of N1910 Road to exit 32, retains the original 1928-1929 paving, as well as a 1926 box drain. Between exit 32 and Elk City
The Territory of Oklahoma was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 2, 1890, until November 16, 1907, when it was joined with the Indian Territory under a new constitution and admitted to the Union as the State of Oklahoma. The 1890 Oklahoma Organic Act organized the western half of Indian Territory and a strip of country known as No Man's Land into Oklahoma Territory. Reservations in the new territory were opened to settlement in land runs that year and in 1891 and 1893. Seven counties were defined upon the creation of the territory. Although they were designated by number, they would become Logan, Oklahoma, Kingfisher and Beaver counties; the Land Run of 1893 led to the addition of Kay, Woods, Garfield and Pawnee counties. The territory acquired an additional county through the resolution of a boundary dispute with the U. S. state of Texas, which today is split into Greer, Jackson and part of Beckham counties. Oklahoma Territory's history began with the Indian Intercourse Act of 1834 when the United States Congress set aside land for Native Americans.
At the time, the land was unorganized territory that consisted of the federal land "west of the Mississippi and not within the states of Missouri and Louisiana, or the territory of Arkansas..." By 1856, the territory had been reduced to the modern-day borders of the State of Oklahoma, except for the Oklahoma Panhandle and Old Greer County. These lands became known as Indian Territory, as they had been granted to certain Indian nations under the Indian Removal Act, in exchange for their historic territories east of the Mississippi River; until this point, Native Americans had used the land. In 1866, after the American Civil War, the federal government required new treaties with the tribes that had supported the Confederacy, forced them into land and other concessions; as a result of the Reconstruction Treaties, The Five Civilized Tribes were required to emancipate their slaves and offer them full citizenship in the tribes if they wanted to stay in the Nations. This forced many of the tribes in Indian Territory into making concessions.
U. S. officials forced the cession of some 2,000,000 acres of land in the center of the Indian Nation Territory. Elias C. Boudinot a railroad lobbyist, wrote an article, published in the Chicago Times on February 17, 1879, that popularized the term Unassigned Lands to refer to this tract. Soon the popular press began referring to the people agitating for its settlement as Boomers. To prevent settlement of the land by European-Americans, President Rutherford B. Hayes, issued a proclamation forbidding unlawful entry into Indian Territory in April 1879. Despite federal obstruction, popular demands for the land did not end. Captain David L. Payne was one of the main supporters of the opening of Oklahoma to white settlement. Payne traveled to Kansas, where he founded the Boomer "Colonial Association." Payne's organization of 10,000 members hoped to establish a white colony in the Unassigned Lands. The formation of the group prompted President Hayes to issue a proclamation ordering Payne not to enter Indian Territory on February 12, 1880.
In response and his group traveled to Camp Alice in the Unassigned Lands, east of Oklahoma City. There, they made plans for a city, which they named "Ewing." The Fourth Cavalry arrested them, escorted them back to Kansas. Payne was furious, as public law prohibited the military from interfering in civil matters; the federal government freed Payne and his party denying them access to the courts. Anxious to prove his case in court, Payne and a larger group returned to Ewing in July; the Army again escorted them back to Kansas. Again they were freed but this time the federal government charged Payne with trespassing under the Indian Intercourse Act. Judge Isaac Parker fined him the maximum amount of one thousand dollars. Since Payne had no money and no property, the government could not collect the fine; the ruling settled nothing on the question of the public domain lands, Payne continued his activities. Payne tried a third time to enter the Unassigned Lands. In December and his group moved along the northern border of Indian Territory.
They were followed by a unit of cavalry under the command of Colonel J. J. Copinger. Colonel Copinger warned Payne that if he crossed the border that they would be "forcibly resisted." As the number of Boomers grew as people joined Payne, they sent a messenger to President Hayes asking permission to enter Indian Territory. After weeks of no response, Payne led his followers to the Unassigned Lands. Once again, they were arrested and Payne was sent back to Fort Smith, he was sentenced to pay a $1,000 fine. Upon his release, he returned to Kansas. During Payne's last venture, this time into the Cherokee Outlet in 1884, the Army again arrested him, they took him several hundred miles under severe physical circumstances over a tortuous route to Ft. Smith; the public was outraged about his treatment by the military, the US government decided to try his case. Payne was turned over to the United States District Court at Kansas, he was indicted for the crime of bringing whiskey into a Federal offense. In the fall term, Judge Cassius G. Foster quashed the indictments and ruled that settling on the Unassigned Lands was not a criminal offense.
The Boomers celebrated. Payne planned another expedition, but he would not lead it. On November 28, 1884, i
Custer County, Oklahoma
Custer County is a county located in the U. S. state of Oklahoma. As of the 2010 census, the population was 27,469, its county seat is Arapaho. The county was named in honor of General George Armstrong Custer. Custer County comprises the Weatherford, Micropolitan Statistical Area. Custer County was formed on 1891 as an original county from Cheyenne land, called G County. On November 6, 1896 it was renamed Custer County after General George Armstrong Custer, who had massacred the Southern Cheyenne Indians at the Battle of the Washita 20 miles west in Roger Mills County, was killed at the Battle of Little Bighorn; the county was settled by white settlers during the third official land run of April 19, 1892. On this day the first newspaper of the county appeared, the Arapaho Arrow. Before Custer County became a county two major expeditions were conducted through the area; the first was the Whipple Railroad Expedition surveyed during the year 1853 and was followed by the construction of the Beale Wagon Road in 1858.
Both of these expedition were federally funded. The Beale Wagon Road went from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Los Angeles, California at a cost of $210,000. While Lt. Beale was moving through the future county his crew built 7 wooden bridges across major creeks to make it easier for travelers to move over the hilly country; this road became the first federally funded interstate highway to be constructed in the American Southwest. It is the Grandmother of federal roads; the best source for this information is found in the report written by Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale in 1860 and entitled "Wagon Road Fort Smith To The Colorado River" published by Congress. Part of this report can be read in an article written in the Chronicles Of Oklahoma in 1934 with the same title. Before Custer County became a county four major expeditions were conducted through the area; the first was Josiah Gregg's route from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Fort Smith, Arkansas during the years 1839–1840. This route became known as the Fort Smith to Santa Fe Trail and entered the county a few miles northeast of Hydro, Oklahoma.
From there it moved northward past the mounds near Oklahoma. Once past the mounds the road went more northwest and left the county north of the headwaters of Deer Creek. During the year 1849 thousands of gold seekers passed through the county. One such group was escorted by Captain Randolph Marcy; when this company entered future Custer County, southeast of Weatherford, Oklahoma and the military escort traveled northward to join the Fort Smith Santa Fe Trail. The gold seekers blazed a new trail northwestward towards the Antelope Hills located in modern Roger Mills, County, their major complaint was the difficulty they had crossing the many deep creeks they encountered on the route. In 1853 the first railroad survey was conducted from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Los Angeles, California; this survey was directed by Lt. Amiel Weeks Whipple, financed by Congress. Whipple's survey party entered Custer County in its southeast corner. Whipple followed the same path as the 49ers had, recommending bridges be built over the streams in question.
Five years in 1858, Lt. Edward F. Beale was instructed by the Secretary of War John B. Floyd to improve an existing road system from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Albuquerque, New Mexico; the purpose was to create one major road to follow than the many routes. Beale was instructed to locate bridge sites where Iron bridges would be built to ease the problem of creek and river crossings; as a result 6 Iron bridges were constructed in Eastern Oklahoma during the years 1859-1860. When Beale's construction crew entered the southeast corner of Custer County, they followed the same route the 49ers had in 1849; when he came to creeks that needed bridging, temporary wooden bridges were constructed across 7 creeks before leaving the county. These bridges were supposed to be replaced by Iron bridges, however Congress did not allocate enough money to have this come to pass. Total construction time for this road was 1857-1860 and the U. S. Government spent $210,000.00 to build this road from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Los Angeles, California.
Thus making this road the first federally funded interstate highway to be built in the Southwest some 66 years before the famed Route 66 highway began in 1926. So if historians have named Route 66 the Mother Road the Beale Wagon Road must be the Grandmother Road and Route 66 one of its children; the Beale Wagon Road saw little use in Custer County because the Civil War interrupted traffic flow, which forced people to use the Santa Fe Trail through Kansas. After the war traffic flow picked up during the late 1860s. During the summer of 1866 a large regiment of troops passed through the county including Black troops, known as Buffalo Soldiers, they lost their commanding officer. He found his way back to Fort Smith by following the Beale Road. In 1868 Custer's troops followed a portion to the road in the Clinton area while following down the Washita River to Fort Cobb. During the reservation years Parties of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians used Beale's Route while passing through their lands. In 1892 When this county was opened to white settlement, The Beale Wagon Road served as the main road for those farmers who used the road to travel to towns which were on or close to the road.
The road lost its identity. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,002 square miles, of which 989 square miles is land and 13 square miles is water. Interstate 40 U. S. Highway 183 State Highway 33 State Highway
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U. S. Federal Statistical System, responsible for producing data about the American people and economy; the Census Bureau is part of the U. S. Department of Commerce and its director is appointed by the President of the United States; the Census Bureau's primary mission is conducting the U. S. Census every ten years, which allocates the seats of the U. S. House of Representatives to the states based on their population; the Bureau's various censuses and surveys help allocate over $400 billion in federal funds every year and it helps states, local communities, businesses make informed decisions. The information provided by the census informs decisions on where to build and maintain schools, transportation infrastructure, police and fire departments. In addition to the decennial census, the Census Bureau continually conducts dozens of other censuses and surveys, including the American Community Survey, the U. S. Economic Census, the Current Population Survey.
Furthermore and foreign trade indicators released by the federal government contain data produced by the Census Bureau. Article One of the United States Constitution directs the population be enumerated at least once every ten years and the resulting counts used to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives and, by extension, in the Electoral College; the Census Bureau now conducts a full population count every 10 years in years ending with a zero and uses the term "decennial" to describe the operation. Between censuses, the Census Bureau makes population projections. In addition, Census data directly affects how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding is allocated to communities for neighborhood improvements, public health, education and more; the Census Bureau is mandated with fulfilling these obligations: the collecting of statistics about the nation, its people, economy. The Census Bureau's legal authority is codified in Title 13 of the United States Code.
The Census Bureau conducts surveys on behalf of various federal government and local government agencies on topics such as employment, health, consumer expenditures, housing. Within the bureau, these are known as "demographic surveys" and are conducted perpetually between and during decennial population counts; the Census Bureau conducts economic surveys of manufacturing, retail and other establishments and of domestic governments. Between 1790 and 1840, the census was taken by marshals of the judicial districts; the Census Act of 1840 established a central office. Several acts followed that revised and authorized new censuses at the 10-year intervals. In 1902, the temporary Census Office was moved under the Department of Interior, in 1903 it was renamed the Census Bureau under the new Department of Commerce and Labor; the department was intended to consolidate overlapping statistical agencies, but Census Bureau officials were hindered by their subordinate role in the department. An act in 1920 changed the date and authorized manufacturing censuses every two years and agriculture censuses every 10 years.
In 1929, a bill was passed mandating the House of Representatives be reapportioned based on the results of the 1930 Census. In 1954, various acts were codified into Title 13 of the US Code. By law, the Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the U. S. President by December 31 of any year ending in a zero. States within the Union receive the results in the spring of the following year; the United States Census Bureau defines four statistical regions, with nine divisions. The Census Bureau regions are "widely used...for data collection and analysis". The Census Bureau definition is pervasive. Regional divisions used by the United States Census Bureau: Region 1: Northeast Division 1: New England Division 2: Mid-Atlantic Region 2: Midwest Division 3: East North Central Division 4: West North Central Region 3: South Division 5: South Atlantic Division 6: East South Central Division 7: West South Central Region 4: West Division 8: Mountain Division 9: Pacific Many federal, state and tribal governments use census data to: Decide the location of new housing and public facilities, Examine the demographic characteristics of communities and the US, Plan transportation systems and roadways, Determine quotas and creation of police and fire precincts, Create localized areas for elections, utilities, etc.
Gathers population information every 10 years The United States Census Bureau is committed to confidentiality, guarantees non-disclosure of any addresses or personal information related to individuals or establishments. Title 13 of the U. S. Code establishes penalties for the disclosure of this information. All Census employees must sign an affidavit of non-disclosure prior to employment; the Bureau cannot share responses, addresses or personal information with anyone including United States or foreign government
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
The Choctaw Nation is a Native American territory and federally recognized Indian Tribe with a tribal jurisdictional area and reservation comprising 10.5 counties in Southeastern Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation maintains a special relationship with both the United States and Oklahoma governments; as of 2011, the tribe has 223,279 enrolled members, of which 84,670 live within the state of Oklahoma and 41,616 live within the Choctaw Nation's jurisdiction. A total of 233,126 people live within these boundaries; the tribal jurisdictional area is 10,864 square miles. The tribe has jurisdiction over its own members; the chief of the Choctaw Nation is Gary Batton, who took office on April 29, 2014, after the resignation of Gregory E. Pyle; the Choctaw Nation Headquarters, which houses the office of the Chief, is located in Durant. The tribal legislature meets at the Council House, across the street from the historic Choctaw Capitol Building, in Tuskahoma; the Capitol Building is now the Choctaw Nation Museum..
The Choctaw Nation is one of three federally recognized Choctaw tribes. The latter two bands are descendants of Choctaw who resisted the forced relocation to Indian Territory; the Mississippi Choctaw preserved much of their culture in small communities and reorganized as a tribal government under new laws after the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Those Choctaw who removed to the Indian Territory, a process that went on into the early 20th century, are federally recognized as the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma; the removals became known as the "Trail of Tears." The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma's tribal jurisdictional area covers 10,864 square miles, encompassing eight whole counties and parts of five counties in Southeastern Oklahoma: Atoka County, most of Bryan County, Choctaw County, most of Coal County, Haskell County, half of Hughes County, a portion of Johnston County, Latimer County, Le Flore County, McCurtain County, Pittsburg County, a portion of Pontotoc County, Pushmataha County. The Tribal Headquarters are located in Durant.
Opened in June 2018, the new headquarters is a 5-story, 500,000 square foot building located on an 80-acre campus in south Durant joining other tribal buildings such as the Regional Health Clinic, Wellness Center, Community Center, Child Development Center, Food Distribution. Headquarters was located in the former Oklahoma Presbyterian College, with more offices scattered around Durant; the current chief is Gary Batton and the assistant chief is Jack Austin, Jr. The Tribal Council meet monthly at Tvshka Homma; the tribe is governed by the Choctaw Nation Constitution, ratified by the people on June 9, 1984. The constitution provides for a legislative and a judicial branch of government; the chief of the Choctaw Tribe, elected every four years, is not a voting member of the Tribal Council. They are elected for four-year terms; the legislative authority of the tribe is vested in the Tribal Council, which consists of twelve members. The General Fund Operating Budget, the Health Systems Operating Budget, the Capital Projects Budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2017 and ending September 30, 2018 was $516,318,568.
The supreme executive power of the Choctaw Nation is assigned to a chief magistrate, styled as the "Chief of the Choctaw Nation". The Assistant Chief is appointed by the Chief with the advice and consent of the Tribal Council, can be removed at the discretion of the Chief; the current Chief of the Choctaw Nation is Gary Batton, the current Assistant Chief is Jack Austin, Jr. The Chief's birthday is a tribal holiday. Before Oklahoma was admitted as a state to the union in 1907, the Choctaw Nation was divided into three districts: Apukshunnubbee and Pushmataha; each district had its own chief from 1834 to 1857. The three districts were re-established in 1860, again each with their own chief, with a fourth chief to be Principal Chief of the tribe; these districts were abolished at the time of statehood. The tribe reorganized to re-establish its government; the legislative authority is vested in the Tribal Council. Members of the Tribal Council are elected by the Choctaw people, one for each of the twelve districts in the Choctaw Nation.
In order to be elected as council members, candidates must have resided in their respective districts for at least one year preceding the election. "Candidates for the Tribal Council must be at least one-fourth Choctaw Indian by blood and must be twenty-one years of age or older at the time they file for election." Once elected, a council member must remain a resident of the district from which he or she was elected during the term in office. This policy ensures the involvement and interaction of successful candidates with their constituency. Once in office, the Tribal Council members have scheduled county council meetings; the presence of these tribal leaders in the Indian community creates a sense of understanding of their community and its needs. The Tribal Council is responsible for adopting rules and regulations which govern the Choctaw Nation, for approving all budgets, making decisions concerning the management of tribal property, all other legislative matters; the Tribal Council Members are the voice and representation of the Choctaw people in the tribal government.
The Tribal Councils assist the community to implement an economic development strategy and to plan and direct Tribal resources to achieve self-sufficiency. The Tribal Council is working to strengthen