The Choctaw People in Durant, Oklahoma

Discovering a great Las Vegas style resort in Durant….

Welcome back. I’ve just come back from a beautiful place that offers great food fromaround the world along with big name live entertainment the likes of which a person seldom gets to see. Shows with performers like Rod Stewart, Kid Rock and Willie Nelson all take place in what they call the Grand Theater and friends they don’t call it grand for nothing. On this trip I stayed not in my tent or RV but in a 700 room hotel where Mickey Gilley has a saloon and live county music hall. The complex also includes a top of the line spa, mineral baths, a big conference center and several other restaurants.You might think I’ve been in Branson, Missouri or maybe Pigeon Forge, Tennessee where Dollywood is. I’ve been to both places and written about them as you regular readers know, but this story is not about them.

On U.S. Highway 75, four miles south of Durant, Oklahoma not far from the Texas border sits the Choctaw Casino and Resort and when I say resort I mean resort. In my travels I usually don’t get this sort of pampering but I have to admit I could get used to staying at a place like this. However I’d come down to Durant not to be treated like a king but to learn more about the Choctaw tribe itself and their story is quite interesting to say the least.

The first tribe to walk the Trail of Tears to their new lands in Indian Territory (later Oklahoma) on September 27, 1830 the Choctaws signed the Treaty of Rabbit Creek. This was the biggest transfer of land to a Native American tribe by the United States government in history and judging from what I saw last week, the tribe has done well over the last 188 years. I found out that fourteen of the famous World War II Indian code talkers were Choctaw and today there are over 223,279 members of the tribe living in Oklahoma. The tribe is headquartered in Durant and led by Chief Gary Batton. They have ten thousand eight hundred and sixty-four square miles in the southeast corner of the state which encompasses ten and a half counties. The tribe supports local municipal projects such as the construction of new roads and bridges and they also operate their own hospital in the area. Like many other tribes in the state, the Choctaw have casinos,eight of them to be exact, and although I only stayed at the Durant location I understand all the properties are worth bragging about.

If you’re like me and you don’t gamble, the Durant casino offers many family friendly activities including several indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a bowling alley and a kid’s play area as well as a multi-plex movie theater. All in all it was a very amazing place and definitely one that I would recommend for a visit when you’re in the area or just need a get-a-way.

This week keeps me close to home as I head up to Coffeyville, Kansas for the big Interstate Farm and Home Show. The weather looks good so I hope to see ya there. If not,

Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road……………..

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