Interview with Phyliss Anderson, Mississippi Choctaw Chief

"As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The only thing I ever wanted to be was a good person who loved myself as well as others. I never really had any dreams of being one thing—I wanted to be many things. But the main thing that always stuck in my mind, with the help of my mother, was to always treat people with kindness.

Did you ever envision yourself being where you are today?

No. I have always—even in elementary school, junior high and so forth—taken a leadership role, when given the chance. But this position was not anything that I had dreamed of.

Why did you decide to run this time?

It was something I was called to do. Leadership is practiced, and it is earned. After years of service to the Red Water Community, which I served for eight years, and recognizing that our tribe could be greater, I felt a strong sense of duty to the people.

Was there a time during the campaign when you doubted that you would win?

I did not have time to doubt."

Get the Story:
Mother, Leader: Mississippi Choctaw Has First Female Leader (Indian Country Today1/16)

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