The Choctaw were a tribe of Native American Indians who originated from modern Mexico and the American Southwest to settle in the Mississippi River Valley for about 1800 years. Known for their head-flattening and Green Corn Festival, these people built mounds and lived in a matriarchal society.
The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 marked the final cession of lands and outlined the terms of Choctaw removal to the west. Indeed, the Choctaw Nation was the first American Indian tribe to be removed by the federal government from its ancestral home to land set aside for them in what is now Oklahoma.
The term “Five Civilized Tribes” derives from the colonial and early federal period in the history of the United States. It refers to five Native American nations—the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole. The population currently living in Oklahoma are referred to as the Five Tribes of Oklahoma.
1: a member of an American Indian people originally of Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana. 2: the language of the Choctaw people.
Today, the Shakopee Mdewakanton are believed to be the richest tribe in American history as measured by individual personal wealth: Each adult, according to court records and confirmed by one tribal member, receives a monthly payment of around $84,000, or $1.08 million a year.
Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com/americanindian) and Fold3 (www.fold3.com) now have the Dawes Commission census cards and packets available online as well.
Qualifying individuals can receive more than $2,000 in assistance, elders are eligible for around $2,700 and families with children can get more than $2,800 and additional funds for education and child assistance.
Choctaw religion never worshiped idols, or any works of their own hands, as other Indian nations. They believed in the existence of a Great Spirit, and that He possessed super-natural power, and was omnipresent, but they did not deem that He expected or required any form of worship of them.
To prove tribal heritage with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, you must be a descendant of someone listed as Choctaw or Mississippi Choctaw with a blood quantum on the Final Rolls of Citizens and Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory (also known as the Dawes Roll).
The Bureau of Indian Affairs uses a blood quantum definition—generally one-fourth Native American blood —and/or tribal membership to recognize an individual as Native American. However, each tribe has its own set of requirements—generally including a blood quantum—for membership (enrollment) of individuals.
– – It may be fashionable to play Indian now, but it was also trendy 125 years ago when people paid $5 apiece for falsified documents declaring them Native on the Dawes Rolls. These so-called five-dollar Indians paid government agents under the table in order to reap the benefits that came with having Indian blood.
• CHAHTA (noun) Meaning: The Muskhogean language of the Choctaw. Classified under: Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents.
The Choctaw dress of today is usually of solid color of green, red, blue, purple, or other bright color with contrasting color trim.
They were known for their rapid incorporation of modernity, developing a written language, transitioning to yeoman farming methods, and having European-American and African-Americans lifestyles enforced in their society. The Choctaw culture has it roots in the Mississippian culture era of the mound builders.
To be an enrolled member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians requires individuals to be at least one/half blood quantum. Other tribes’ membership is based on each specific tribe’s own qualifications.