Denson Sworn In

By: Chris Brennaman Email
By: Chris Brennaman Email

History was made Tuesday for the Mississippi band of Choctaw Indians. For the first time in 28 years, the tribe swore in a tribal chief other than Phillip Martin.

Beasley Denson is now the chief executive of the tribe, ceremonies at the reservation in Neshoba County.

Chief Denson becomes only the third chief since the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was signed in 1830. He was sworn in Tuesday morning in a ceremony closed to most of the state's media.

That was followed by a public inauguration at the Silver Star Convention Center.

During his first term, Chief Denson said he hopes to alleviate the housing problems on the reservation by moving 200 families into affordable housing, but said he doesn't believe that leftover FEMA trailers are the answer.

In a news conference after taking office, Denson said he is respectful of what Chief Martin was able to accomplish during his 28 years in office. But he said in the coming days and weeks, he will leave no stone unturned when it comes to reviewing every aspect of how the Mississippi band of Choctaw Indians is run.

Denson does have experience in tribal government. The Mississippi State University graduate served five terms on the Choctaw Tribal Council. He was also vice-chief of the tribe for five years.

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