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Mission Statement

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Learning and Development family is committed to progressing and developing the skills of all associates. Learning and Development is where knowledge meets our 9 Core Values and creates unique learning opportunities, which continue to support the culture and tradition of Choctaw Nation.

Our Philosophy of Learning and Development

“An education which acknowledges the full intellectual and social meaning of a vocation would include instruction in the historic background of present conditions; training in science to give intelligence and initiative in dealing with material and agencies of production; and study of economics, civics, and politics, to bring the future worker into touch with the problems of the day and the various methods proposed for its improvement. Above all, it would train power of readaptation to changing conditions so that future workers would not become blindly subject to a fate imposed upon them.”

-Excerpt from John Dewey’s Democracy in Education (1916).

Choctaw U Leadership Symposium

The Choctaw U Leadership Symposium is designed for all associates and aspiring leaders of the Choctaw Nation to further their knowledge, skills, and personal development in leadership. This year’s Symposium will be held on Wednesday, August 1st, starting at 9:00am in the Montgomery Auditorium on the campus of Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant. Registration starts at 8:30am in the Hallie-McKinney Ballroom. One highlight of the day will include keynote speakers Phillip and Lisa J. Billy.

Phillip Billy and Lisa Johnson Billy have been married for 27 years. Phillip holds an associate degree from MSC, a bachelors degree in social work, and a Master degree in human relations, both from OU. Lisa holds a bachelors degree from NSU and a Master’s degree of education from OU. Phillip grew up in Broken Bow and is a veteran of the US AirForce. He has spent his entire life playing stickball and participating in Choctaw dances. His generation was the first to bring our culture back to life in the 1970’s.

Lisa grew up in Madill and went on to serve as the first woman and Native American in the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2004 from house district 42. She termed out as the floor leader in 2016, only the second women in our state's history to serve in this position. She founded the Native American caucus while serving. She is currently serving her 3rd term in the Chickasaw legislature.

Phillip and Lisa are very active in their church in Purcell and in Nations United ministry. They have 2 boys (both serving in the US Army) and 1 daughter who will be a junior a Purcell High school.

Other main events for the day are breakout sessions by Choctaw University Senior level students featuring the latest topics on leadership strategies, networking, Choctaw culture, and history, and organizational development.

The following PowerPoints are from each of the breakout session for the day.

For comments, questions, or concerns, please contact, or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Opening General Session
Concurrent Sessions I
Concurrent Sessions II/Lunch A
Concurrent Sessions III/Lunch B
Concurrent Sessions IV
Closing General Session
Hallie-McKinney Ballroom
Montgomery Auditorium
SEOSU Classrooms
SEOSU Classrooms
SEOSU Classrooms
SEOSU Classrooms
Montgomery Auditorium

Phillip & Lisa J. Billy, Keynote Address Speakers

Concurrent Sessions I:
Succeeding Through Failures
    by Jamie Parker & Ginger Crawford
Life of Kaizen: Change for the Better
    by Becky McKee & Trevor Mullins
Networking: Increasing the Size of Your Circle
    by Melissa Dancer & Crystal Valliere
Traditional Choctaw Community Decision Making
    by Ryan Spring

Concurrent Sessions II:
Choctaw U & You
    by Becky Hicks
Stuck in the Middle & Loving It!
    by Desiree Fontaine-Arizmendi & Crystal Bully
Don't Let Work Be a Toxic Waste Zone!
    by Anglia Smith
Burnout: What is it? Do I have it? Can I change it?
    by Consuelo Splawn & Gina Nassar

Concurrent Sessions III:
Who Are You?
    by Jason Wood & Mandi Young
Don't Empower the Problem
    by David Vaughn & Angie Stephens
Choctaw U Alumni Panel
    Moderated by Becky Hicks
Native American Leadership in a Modern World
    by Billy Eagle Road III & Stacey White

Concurrent Sessions IV:
Don't Let Small Talk Become BIG Talk
    by Cari Corley & Shelia Kirven
Leadership Presence
    by Richard Frazier & Brandolyn Dunn
Overcoming Workplace Negativity
    by Dustin Battles & Melissa Zamora
Traditional Choctaw Community Decision Making
    by Ryan Spring