The newest addition to the Chickasaw Nation’s AYA walking app (AYA) will be “William.” Launching in January, William is the latest addition to the “Cattlemen” series of characters available for AYA. William will set walkers down new paths full of fresh points of interest.
While enjoying the physical activity of walking, users of AYA unlock cultural and historic content, such as traditional prayers, locations of cultural interest, Chickasaw words and character episodes. William is one of the many walking partners in AYA available to download on iPhone and Android devices.
Selecting walking partners from Chickasaw characters allows app users to participate in important periods of Chickasaw history. Williams’ point of view of events come from the post-Removal era, or after Chickasaws were relocated to Indian Territory.
With the Cattlemen series, paths are plotted out in Indian Territory, before Oklahoma statehood. The Cattlemen series lets users take a step back in time and explore.
“Ten years ago, in 1877, I was a student at the Chickasaw National Academy in Stonewall, Indian Territory. I was 12 years old. Many parents found it difficult to send their children away to school, but my mother was determined that I receive the best education she could provide,” William says in the AYA walking app.
Other characters walk along the same route Chickasaw ancestors took during Removal to Indian Territory, a path reversed for the app from current-day Oklahoma to Mississippi. Along the way, users are acquainted with historical sites and landmarks.
Besides William, new features of AYA include a healthy tips section, updated and improved group challenges, in-depth notification settings, new items to discover, as well as performance and stability improvements.
The AYA walking app is now available for download at no cost in the Apple App Store and with Google Play. AYA also syncs to Apple Watches, Fitbits or other step tracking devices connected to Apple Health or Google Fit.
• About the AYA walking app
The Chickasaw word “AYA” means “to go” or “to journey.” AYA is an interactive mobile walking app designed to keep participants moving by combining physical activity with Chickasaw history and culture. Using step-tracking technology, the interactive mobile walking app rewards users as they move throughout their day.
The app tells a historical story through voice-acted walking partners, consisting of fictional Chickasaw characters living at important periods in Chickasaw history. Their stories unfold as users unlock new chapters with their steps.
All characters are voiced by Chickasaw talent. Original characters include Mah Wah Ta, voiced by Monica Peoples; Eliza, voiced by Cameron Mitchell; Solomon, voiced by Ace Greenwood; Akanowa, voiced by Virginia Bolen; Hikatubby, voiced by Vincent Baptiste and Olle Belle voiced by Amy Darnell. LaDonna Brown voiced the narration over points of interest. Jerry Turner previously joined their ranks as the voice of Silas, and Ezra Johnson voices William.