The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is the third-largest Native American tribe in the United States with more than 200,000 tribal members and 11,000-plus associates. This ancient people have an oral tradition dating back over 13,000 years. The first tribe over the Trail of Tears, its historic reservation boundaries are in the southeast corner of Oklahoma, covering 10,923 square miles. The Choctaw Nation’s vision, “Living out the Chahta Spirit of faith, family and culture,” is evident as it continues to focus on providing opportunities for growth and prosperity. For more information about the Choctaw Nation, its culture, heritage, and traditions, please go to choctawnation.com.
The Department of Advanced Technology Initiatives (ATI) serves the Choctaw Nation by focusing on emerging technology opportunities that have the potential for a positive impact on the Choctaw Nation and the region.
ATI seeks to function as a catalyst to attract and grow next generation emerging and advanced technology industries to the Choctaw Nation and to provide future manufacturing, business development, and economic development opportunities for the tribe and region.
ATI also seeks to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational opportunities for the Choctaw Nation and the region by working with internal and external STEM stakeholders to help successfully prepare the next generation of Choctaw members for future STEM-related job opportunities.
To develop an innovative Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) complex for emerging manned and unmanned aerial system technologies, develop long-term partnerships with major organizations, and create more jobs and economic opportunities for tribal members and Southeast Oklahoma communities that will enable the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) to become more diversified in our portfolio of successful ventures and ensure the long-term economic health and viability of our communities.
To enable economic growth and revenue diversification for CNO through combined efforts with the FAA, NASA, the White House’s Office of Technology Policy (OSTP), and other key stakeholders by fostering an environment and ecosystem for the development of advanced aviation and aerospace technology industries in the region.
As a part of this initiative, CNO is developing a one-of-a-kind aviation test facility in southeastern Oklahoma that utilizes 44,600+ acres of remote land tribally owned by CNO to support innovative RDT&E of emerging manned and unmanned aerial system technologies in a safe and low-risk environment. CNO will leverage all this along with our selection for, and success in, the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP) and the FAA’s follow-on BEYOND Program, which validated CNO’s role as a national leader and influencer in emerging aviation technology.
The goal of this CNO program is to accelerate the safe integration of UAS and AAM/UAM (Advanced Aerial Mobility/Urban Air Mobility also known as Flying Taxi and Orbs) into the National Airspace System (NAS) as well as create an aviation technology and innovation cluster in southeastern Oklahoma.
This RDT&E will include but not be limited to pre-disaster and pre-pandemic strategic planning and analysis, post-disaster and post-pandemic damage assessments and situational awareness, weather and atmospheric examination, emergency mobilization and logistics, medical and humanitarian efforts (such as delivery of medical supplies, personal protective equipment, or basic needs like food and water), critical infrastructure inspection, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities, training of first responders and much more.