Several people attended the opening of the new Chahta Immi Cultural Center  in the Choctaw Town Center. It replaces the Choctaw Museum and is home to numerous Choctaw art exhibits.
Several people attended the opening of the new Chahta Immi Cultural Center in the Choctaw Town Center. It replaces the Choctaw Museum and is home to numerous Choctaw art exhibits.
The Chahta Immi Cultural Center, featuring numerous Choctaw art exhibits, has opened at its new location in the Choctaw Town Center.

The center replaces the Choctaw Museum which was previously on Industrial Road near the main tribal headquarters.

"Many people in our own state have not been exposed to our tribe and have little knowledge about the Choctaws," Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson said. "My sincerest hope is that young and old alike will visit us here on the reservation and explore everything that makes us unique. This center, with its treasured displays and stories, will be the perfect location to start the journey."

The current exhibits feature and highlight the eight art forms of the Choctaw people: beading, clothing, cooking, dancing, music, pottery, basketry and stickball.

"Leaving the Choctaw Museum location has been a hard on all of us who have worked there for years and years," Spencer said. "We all thought of that as our home. But now this location and this Cultural Center is our new home - one we get to redesign with new exhibits."

The grand opening featured a traditional Choctaw drummer, honor song performed by Choctaw drum group, and remarks from Chief Anderson, Tribal Council Culture Committee Chair Dorothy Wilson of the Tucker community and Martha Spencer representing the Chahta Immi Cultural Center.

Afternoon activities included a Choctaw artisan marketplace, food vendors, music, guided tours of the facility and a number of cultural demonstrations from the group Choctaw Expressions.

The group provided samplings of storytelling, pottery, beading with pony beads, medallions and rabbit stick throw.

The public is welcome to visit the Chahta Immi Cultural Center. Groups interested in visiting and setting up cultural workshops can call the CICC for more information.

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. General admission is $5, with education and military discount admission $3.

Passes for tribal members are $2 with Tribal identification. Seniors (57 and above) and children are free.