Choctaw Chief Gregory E. Pyle will be announcing his retirement during a festive celebration April 24 in honor of his 65th birthday.
Pyle’s career with the Choctaw Nation began on a tribal ranching board in the 1970s. He served 13 years as assistant chief and 17 years as chief. The Choctaw Nation has consistently progressed since Pyle took office in 1997. Growth in tribal revenue, jobs, services and cultural knowledge are among the goals that have been reached in the past 17 years.
“I have enjoyed working with the Council and staff on the many tribal projects and programs.,” said Chief Pyle. “My future is going to be exciting in a whole new way! My wife, Pat and I have plans that include traveling and spoiling our grandchildren, spending many years building memories during our retirement.”
As the Choctaw Constitution provides, Assistant Chief Gary Batton will step into the role as chief of the Choctaw Nation.
Chief Gregory E. Pyle’s 65th Birthday and Retirement Celebration will take place on Thursday, April 24, at 10:30 a.m. at the Choctaw Nation Event Center, 3702 Choctaw Road, in Durant.
Chief Gregory E. Pyle became Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in 1997, after serving more than 13 years as the Assistant Chief of the tribe. Chief Pyle has negotiated millions of dollars in new contracts for the tribe, as well as expanded existing programs and initiated many innovative services.
He and his wife, Patti, have been blessed with two children and seven grandchildren. Their home is in Durant, Oklahoma, yet Chief Pyle extends his time and tribal services to
communities and Choctaws across the United States.
Awards honoring Chief Pyle include being named a Distinguished Alumni and Benefactor for SOSU and being named an Honorary Member of the Oklahoma State Troopers Association. He was selected as a 2007 honoree inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Chief Pyle is very proud that the Choctaw Nation has been named the recipient of the Pro Patria Award and the 2008 Freedom Award.
Other appointments and awards for Chief Pyle include: Receiving the SBA Region VI Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year, several terms as a member on the National Indian Health Board and a year as the elected President of the Oklahoma Area Indian Health Board. He was appointed by former Secretary of Interior Manuel Lujan to serve on a Task Force created to reorganize the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and reappointed two years later by former Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt, heading up several subcommittees on the Task Force.
Congressional hearings during the past few years have featured the testimony of Chief Pyle on various subjects, including Code Talkers, Sovereignty, Arkansas River Bed and Health Care.
Under the positive leadership of Chief Pyle, the Choctaw Nation has put families first, with priorities on education, health and jobs. Deep involvement in economic development has resulted in profitable tribal businesses such as gaming centers, manufacturing plants and travel plazas, creating numerous jobs and funding tribal programs. The recent opening of the huge Choctaw Resort and Casino in Durant this
year has added several hundred employees to the tribe, bringing the total number to more than 6,000.
Accomplishments as Chief of the Choctaw Nation have been numerous for Greg Pyle.
Under his leadership, a new hospital has been constructed in Talihina, as well as the Diabetes Wellness Center, clinics in Stigler, McAlester, Atoka, Broken Bow and Idabel, a new Hospitality House, new Recovery Center and a new Women's Treatment Center. The Poteau Clinic has been expanded to include additional health care professionals and a mail - pharmacy refill center.
Since he has been Chief, Independent Living Communities for elderly have been constructed in six towns, several new community centers have been built and the older centers have received additional space and improvements. Five Child Development Centers have been built and tribal businesses have been created.
Education milestones include the Choctaw Language Program and increasing the scholarship program to serve 5,000 students. A new academic building has been built at Jones Academy for the elementary school. A career development program for Choctaws has been initiated institutes.