2 min read

AYA Walk Is Chickasaw History

AYA Walk Is Chickasaw History

The History of AYA in Three Simple Ingredients

 

Once the idea for AYA was born, the AYA team came together to achieve the vision of encouraging Chickasaws to walk by taking them on a virtual journey to the Homeland. You might say it was like creating a new recipe with many ambitious ingredients. On the one hand, the AYA team needed to find a way to improve the health of citizens no matter where they lived. On the other hand, it was apparent to AYA’s brain trust that people cared deeply about Chickasaw history and culture. The link tying these ideas together was a device we are all familiar with — a device that fits in one hand and puts a world of information at our fingertips: a smartphone.

 

The AYA chefs took these three ingredients, or three concepts, and worked them over until something of a formed product took shape. In the oven, we had the notion that to improve health, one could simply walk, and not just walk, but walk more than usual. We also had that ingredient with the ever-important impetus of change, or more plainly put, the ingredient that would motivate people to walk more: Chickasaw history and culture. Lastly, we needed a place for these two ideas to live and interact with each other, where the AYA user might keep tabs on their walking and learning. This is where AYA’s now nearly famous tagline arose: the more you walk, the more you learn. With AYA, walking is learning and these numbers, figures, factoids and bits of history are all neatly packed together in the smartphone of each AYA user.

 

AYA is Rooted in the Written Word

 

History is presented in many shapes and forms: oral history, archaeological history, geographical history and so on. In many ways, the stories and characters that live in AYA embody all of these, but for National Library Week (April 7-13), AYA takes pride in its use of written history. Many important books form the foundation of our walking partners, such as Arrell Gibson’s “The Chickasaws,” James R. Atkinson’s “Splendid Land, Splendid People” and Charles Hudson’s “Southeastern Indians.” These are just a few examples of the books that back our stories and characters.

 

Over the years, we have been blessed to rely upon books much closer to home. In this sense, “closer to home” means books directly from the Chickasaw Press. Richard Green’s “Te Ata – Chickasaw Storyteller – American Treasure” imprints Te Ata’s character in nearly every paragraph of text. Michelle Cooke’s excellent account of our first Lighthorse officers, “Protecting Our People,” adds depth of detail and historical accuracy that would not have been possible otherwise. Later this year, our next AYA character will be a literary homage to Michael Lovegrove’s sensational account, “A Nation in Transition: Douglas Johnston and the Chickasaws.”

 

"Protecting Our People" by Michelle Cooke Available from Chickasaw Press

Listen With Curiosity

 

This is a great time to get back into reading if you have fallen behind or to applaud your enthusiasm if you are reading at full steam. It is not an overstatement to say that without books, reading, writing or learning, AYA simply would not exist — it could not exist. In this spirit, challenge yourself this month to listen to each AYA story with a renewed sense of curiosity.  If you ever have questions about anything in AYA, from the stories, stumble-upons, illustrations, words, prayers or the like, please reach out to us at Hello@AYAWalk.com. We would be happy to help you track down the reference.

 

If you are not an AYA user, download the app and start walking with us. If you are already an AYA user, be sure you are getting the most out of your fitness journey by using all the features in the app. Visit AYAWalk.com to learn about AYA’s features and answer questions about how the app works.

 

Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated with the latest additions and features on the app and exciting challenges within the AYA community. Be part of a growing network of individuals dedicated to their fitness journey and exploring Chickasaw culture.

 

Make your fitness journey more successful by walking every day with AYA!

 

Anowa chipisala'cho (until we meet again),

Your AYA Team

 

Learn Chickasaw Anompa ilbashshaˈ (Prayers)

Learn Chickasaw Anompa ilbashshaˈ (Prayers)

Learn about the role of prayer in Chickasaw culture and how you can hear (and learn) prayers read in the Chickasaw language.

Read More
Chickasaw Elders Bring Chikashshanompa' (Chickasaw Language) to Life

Chickasaw Elders Bring Chikashshanompa' (Chickasaw Language) to Life

AYA Is a Time Capsule Preserving Two of the Chickasaw Nation’s Treasures

Read More