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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  • by Tribal Member on Jul 17, 2007 at 08:50 PM
    Housing: Beasley stated, "three years he expects to move in 200 families in new homes". Who has three years to wait? The FEMA trailers can be used as a temporary shelter for families that need it now until their homes are completely built. Beasley didn't ask if the Choctaws wanted a casino in Jackson County, nor did he asked the Choctaws about using the FEMA trailers for temporary shelters. Many I spoke to, said they would like a temporary shelter because, its crowded in their house. Lots of arguments and fighting in the homes, no privacy. They can't get a house from Choctaw Loan Program because their is no money.
  • by Alex Location: Philadelphia on Jul 12, 2007 at 12:35 PM
    If a Union is formed at Pearl River Resort, doesn't this mean equality for all.
  • by shannon Location: philadelphia on Jul 11, 2007 at 01:33 PM
    for loreda chicago illinois until you live and work here dont comment on what you dont know
  • by Optimistic Location: in the area on Jul 11, 2007 at 12:05 PM
    I agree w/Chief Denson that used FEMA trailers are UNACCEPTABLE permanent housing. Surely, with the amount of $$$ the casinos make, decent affordable housing can be arranged for those in need. I also hope he will push for PHYSICAL EDUCATION. We see a lot of diabetes and other preventable ailments in the hospital. Also I hope he will promote, promote, PROMOTE good education as a step to helping improve conditions as well. There are wonderful opportunities for higher education only a short distance away in Meridian. Chief Martin has done a great job, I think, and I hope Chief Denson will take it several steps further and promote good education and good healthy living.
  • by mbci member Location: philadelphia on Jul 11, 2007 at 07:42 AM
    well in response to Clyde's comment: I agree that is was a sad day when Mr. Martin was not re-elected BUT I do not agree with your remark about there are not any skilled/educated personnel. As a tribal member, i AM educated as well as skilled and feel that you shouldn't classify the tribe as whole with regards to being uneducated. There are plenty of Choctaw people that are educated as well as skilled but it is what they choose to do with that. Chief Denson is educated but it is going to be how he chooses to use that knowledge to operate the tribe as to whether or not we will advance further. I advise you to step back a moment, re-evaluate what you just wrote and tell me who is not educated enough to write something as simple as a comment. and in response to the other comments, i also hope that Chief Denson doesn't take away jobs just to put in people that are not educated or just because they might've supported him. I feel the best qualified applicant should be hired no matter what their race may be. I do understand that this is the reservation and the choctaw people should have first preference but not when there is a lack of education/experience for above entry-level jobs. and i don't know what to expect, Mr. Martin is a hard person to come behind. Chief Denson is going to have to work harder and better but nothing is impossible...he like everyone else should at least be given a chance to show who he is and what he stands for
  • by Loreda Location: Chicago, IL on Jul 11, 2007 at 06:19 AM
    For me its a very happy day that another Choctaw was given a chance as chief. Philip had his time so let Beasley have his. Comments made by some people make the Choctaws look they are dumb. This is America the land of opportunity. So give us Choctaws a chance to show what we can do. Everyone deserves a chance. The reason Philip got this far is by non-choctaws advising him.
  • by Clyde Location: Philadelphia. Ms. on Jul 10, 2007 at 06:56 PM
    A sad day when Phllip Martin was not reelected as chief. Denson is a proponent of "all choctaw", meaning that other races, particularily whites, will not fair well under his leadership. All the years of bringing them to where they are, will soon go downhill because of Densons attitude and entents towards eliminaating other peoples from any operation of the Indian holdings and businesses. This is what got his elected and will be their downfall, as they do not have the skilled or educated personnel to pull this off.
  • by WAYNE Location: Collinsville on Jul 10, 2007 at 04:22 PM
    I just hope that Chief Denson doesn't take away jobs away from the community just so the Choctaw's will be put in jobs that they may not be quailfy for and others are out in the cold. I do understand that it is there reservation and that choctaw should come first if the quailifcations are there.
  • by dgraham9 Location: Conehatta on Jul 10, 2007 at 03:28 PM
    I don't know. I'm afraid that he will not do as well as Chief Martin.
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