From left are honorees Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson, Tribal Chief Brenda Commander of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, and Tribal Council Chair Terri Henry of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The three leaders were honored for their commitment to women’s rights and equality during the United South and Eastern Tribes semi-annual meeting in Maine.
From left are honorees Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson, Tribal Chief Brenda Commander of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, and Tribal Council Chair Terri Henry of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The three leaders were honored for their commitment to women’s rights and equality during the United South and Eastern Tribes semi-annual meeting in Maine.
Tribal Chief Phyliss J. Anderson of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians was one of three distinguished female Native leaders honored for commitment to women's rights and equality recently in Maine.

The recognition was given during the Women's Honoring Ceremony at the United South and Eastern Tribes (USET) semi-annual meeting in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Chief Anderson's election as the first female Choctaw chief has been seen as a positive and forward step for Native women everywhere, officials said in presenting the award.

"Her support of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 has shown her to be a champion of women's rights. Her administration has been tireless in efforts to ensure every tribal member, including women, has an improved quality of life on the Reservation."

Chief said it was an honor it is to be recognized by fellow USET leaders.

"The driving force behind every decision I make as chief is my desire to create opportunities for success and a higher standard of living on our Choctaw Indian Reservation for tribal members," Anderson said. " We have had a number of accomplishments in the last few years but there are still a lot of needs out there to meet. I work hard every day to bring necessary changes and resources to our Choctaw people."

Along with Chief Anderson, other leaders recognized were Tribal Chief Brenda Commander of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and Tribal Council Chair Terri Henry of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

The Tribe, under the leadership of Tribal Chief Anderson, has an enrolled membership of more than 10,000 people and is the only federally recognized tribe in the state of Mississippi. Headquartered in Choctaw, the Tribe has emerged as a leader in economic development. The tribe provides a range of governmental services including schools, a hospital, medical clinics, police and fire protection, courts, and a center for the elderly, among many others.

Anderson serves as the first female Chief in Mississippi Choctaw history.