inkana' noun. “friend” in Chickasaw [inkana+']
The Chickasaw Inkana Foundation seeks to preserve, protect and interpret Chickasaw history and culture in the historical Chickasaw Homeland, which constitutes not only its epicenter of Tupelo, but greater north Mississippi, west Tennessee, northwest Alabama, and southwest Kentucky.
Tupelo and northern Mississippi were the heart of the Chickasaw Nation's extensive Homeland until they were forcibly removed to Indian Territory in 1837.
Due to their military prowess, diplomatic skills, and exceptional character, the Chickasaws possessed a global prominence and reputation that placed them at the forefront of the southeastern tribes. The Chickasaw people not only influenced world events but helped shape American history.
Much remains in the Homeland that testifies to the Chickasaw's dominance across its historic territory which encompassed parts of what are now four states.
The Chickasaw Inkana Foundation seeks to preserve these sites, artifacts and other cultural reminders of Native America in the Chickasaw's historic Homeland.
Protecting what remains in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky is a paramount concern that depends on fostering both public and private understanding of the need for preservation.
Partnership formation is the touchstone of all foundation activities, which include land and cultural resource acquisition and preservation; interpretive facility development, management and staffing; education and curriculum development; cultural festival presentations; and fundraising and public relations initiatives.
Achieving a multi-generational commitment to preservation and protection of Chickasaw history and culture in the historic Homeland represents the foundation's ultimate objective.
A robust program of interpretation is needed to help achieve this commitment.
The foundation has partnered with the Chickasaw Nation in planning a state-of-the-art Chickasaw Heritage Center to be built on an historic Chickasaw site in Tupelo, Mississippi.
Also in the works is a Chickasaw celebration that will be held across the historic Homeland to celebrate the vibrancy of both the past and present Chickasaw people and culture.