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Press Release

Release Date: March 22, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Governor Bill Anoatubby has appointed Chickasaw citizen Amber Hood director of Chickasaw Nation Historic Preservation and Repatriation in the Chickasaw Nation Department of Culture and Humanities.

With this new role, Hood leads the group of Chickasaw Nation employees working to protect cultural sites and reclaim the remains of Chickasaw ancestors, funerary objects and other culturally significant items.

“Amber Hood has a great appreciation for the significance of protecting cultural sites and a deep understanding of the need to approach repatriation issues with patience, dignity and respect,” Governor Anoatubby said. “Her education and experience have prepared her well to serve the Chickasaw Nation in this new role.”

Hood and her team work diligently to bring ancestral remains and funerary objects back to the Chickasaw Homeland. It is a process which includes thorough research, proactive outreach and enough dedication to pursue cases for years until completion.

A primary goal of preservation and repatriation, Hood said, was to then offer a traditional reburial. It is a service which she hopes brings peace.

“Just as we show reverence to our loved ones who pass now, we show that same care to our ancestors who passed long ago but unfortunately ended up in museums and other institutions,” Hood said. “Being able to facilitate their respectful return means more to me than words can convey. It is a somber experience, but there is also a sense of peace when we bring our ancestors home.”

The Department of Preservation and Repatriation also consults with federal agencies to navigate the best paths of action when sacred or historical sites could be impacted. These sites are located in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi.

“Being entrusted to strengthen our government-to-government relationships with federal agencies to help preserve our sacred sites and care for our ancestors is a privilege I do not take lightly,” Hood said.

Hood began her career with the Chickasaw Nation in 2000 as a human resources specialist. She went on to serve as an administrative assistant in the office of the Lieutenant Governor of the Chickasaw Nation, then as an executive assistant with Chickasaw Nation Policies and Standards. In 2012, she took on the role of manager in Chickasaw Nation Preservation and Repatriation, which she maintained until her recent appointment as director.

Hood earned an associate degree in behavioral science psychology from Seminole State College and a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Southeastern Oklahoma State University (SOSU). Now, she is working to complete her master’s degree in Native American Leadership at SOSU.

She completed the Chickasaw Leadership Academy through all levels, bronze, silver, gold and platinum. She is also a member of the National Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Community of Practice Steering Committee, the Southeastern Tribal Alliance for Repatriation and Reburial (STARR) and the Bridging The Gap Committee which focuses on improving government-to-government relationships between tribes and federal agencies.