inkana noun. “friend” in Chickasaw [inkana]
The Chickasaw Inkana Foundation seeks to preserve, protect and interpret Chickasaw culture and history 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 north Mississippi were the heart of the historic Chickasaw Homeland until they were forcibly removed in 1837. Vast historical and cultural resources still remain as a true testament of the Chickasaw’s prominence and reputation that placed them at the forefront of the southeastern tribes and influenced global events. The Chickasaw Inkana Foundation seeks to preserve these sites, artifacts, and cultural reminders of Native America in the Chickasaw Homeland.
Chickasaw cultural resources in the historic Homeland are non-renewable. Protecting what remains is a primary objective of the Chickasaw Inkana Foundation. Developing lasting public and private partnerships based on education and outreach regarding historic preservation and cultural resource management provides a framework for a greater understanding and appreciation for the protection of Chickasaw culture and history in the historic Homeland.
A robust program of interpretation and outreach programming underscored by the formation of strong partnerships with local organizations is necessary to achieve a multi-generational commitment to the preservation and protection of Chickasaw culture and history in the Homeland. Since 2016, the Chickasaw Inkana Foundation, Chickasaw Nation and other local partners have worked together on a variety of educational programing including annual Chickasaw celebrations connecting the public to the cultural heritage of the Chickasaw people.