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Press Release

Release Date: March 16, 2017

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Native American youth have the opportunity to gain real-world work experience while earning up to $2,000 by participating in the Chickasaw Nation Toksali SMART summer youth employment program.

Started more than 25 years ago, the summer youth program was recently updated to include a full range of career development and life skills training.

In addition to work experience, participants in Toksali SMART (Successful Mindsets with Attitude and Readiness for Tomorrow) learn about higher education resources, and job placement assistance.

Training in Chickasaw Nation core values, Chickasaw language, financial literacy, wellness, nutrition and customer service, as well as community service opportunities, character and leadership development are also part of the program.

More than 600 Native American youth participated in the program last year and were placed in jobs that aligned with their interests.

Many participants have gone on to work with the Chickasaw Nation, often attaining leadership roles through diligence and hard work.

Alicson Scott, Chickasaw Nation Director of Graphic Design and Photography, began her journey with the Chickasaw Nation during the summer youth employment program. The program opened the door to several opportunities for Scott, eventually leading her to her current position with the tribe.

Experiences may include job shadowing, mentoring, leadership opportunities and job training. Worksites are both within the Chickasaw Nation and local communities.

Applications for Toksali SMART will be accepted until March 31. This year, applicants can submit their applications and supporting documents online.

The Toksali SMART program is a valuable experience for youth ages 14-21. The program invites all Native American youth who live within the Chickasaw Nation to apply.

For more information or to apply, visit

Last Updated: 09/16/2016