The tribal government of the Chickasaw Nation is a democratic republic, modeled after that of the federal government. Registered voters elect a governor and lieutenant governor to four-year terms. Like the president and vice president of the United States, the governor and lieutenant governor run as a team.

Executive Department

Article X of the Chickasaw Constitution states, "The Supreme Executive power of the Chickasaw Nation is vested in a Chief Magistrate, who shall be styled 'The Governor of the Chickasaw Nation.'" He is the official spokesperson for the tribe and shares in the law-making process through recommendations made to the tribal legislature. The governor's duties include the day-to-day operations of the tribe, as well as the signing of official papers and official appointments.

The governor of the Chickasaw Nation works much like U.S. presidents with staff and cabinet members to help guide the many departments and divisions within the tribe. While some departments and divisions serve the tribal citizens directly through programs and services, many tribal employees work behind the scenes, fulfilling internal tribal needs.

Legislative Department

Registered Chickasaw voters also elect 13 members to the tribal legislature, with three-year terms of office. About one-third of the seats in the legislature are up for election each year.

Judicial Department

Three justices are also elected on the tribal supreme court. The three supreme court justices perform constitutional interpretative duties much like the U.S. Supreme Court.

The first constitution of the Chickasaw Nation was ratified in 1856. A new constitution was ratified in 1983. The seat of the tribal government is located in Ada, with regional offices located in Ardmore, Ada, Tishomingo and Purcell.

Elected Government Officials

  • Governor
  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Three Tribal Supreme Court Justices
  • 13 Members of the Chickasaw Tribal Legislature