EPISODE 15 - Celebrating Culture and Identity - Lessons from the Choctaw Nation

It must be interesting leading a nation within America!

This episode of the Unfettered Podcast features Chief Gary Batton, the leader of the Chocktaw nation in America.

Chief Batton shares how his losing his brother to suicide at the age of fourteen and his childhood experience with travesty shaped his leadership style. He also shares the importance of leaders to empathize with their followers in order to make an impact.

How has he been able to keep manage the nuances of leading a nation within another nation while preserving the identity of his people?

This episode will inspire you to be proud of your identity and celebrate your uniqueness.


A native and current resident of Clayton, Oklahoma, Gary Batton began his career with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in 1987 as a clerk in the purchasing department. As executive director of Health, the first tribally funded health facility in the United States was erected.

Batton became the 47th Chief of the Nation in 2014. As Chief, he oversees and leads the effort of serving more than 200,000 tribal members. As the largest employer in southeastern Oklahoma with close to 11,000 employees, the Nation continues to expand its business ventures with 171 businesses including gaming, hospitality, agriculture and more. The Nation cares for its citizens through 144 different programs that provide opportunities for growth and prosperity.

Batton has been recognized as one of the Most Admired CEO’s, Oklahoma Creativity Ambassador and Outstanding Alumni at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Batton and his wife, Angie, enjoy spending time exploring the outdoors with their children and grandchildren.