They will explore the influence of the Mississippi Native Americans by identifying and comparing the three major tribes: the Choctaw, Chickasaw and Natchez.
As one of the United States’ original first nations, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is the only Federally-recognized American Indian tribe living within the State of Mississippi. We have more than 11,000 members strong. Our Choctaw lands cover over 35,000 acres in ten different counties in Mississippi.
The nearly 10,000 members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians live in the eight reservation communities of Bogue Chitto, Bogue Homa, Conehatta, Crystal Ridge, Pearl River (the site of tribal headquarters, the industrial park, Pearl River Resort, the Choctaw Health Department/Center, and other main tribal
There were twenty-one known Indian tribes in the area of present day Mississippi between the years 1500 and 1800. Most were small, numbering only a few hundred, and many did not survive the territorial conflicts between French and English allied groups of the 18th century.
The name Mississippi comes from the French “Messipi” – the French rendering of the native American Anishinaabe (Ojibwe or Algonquin) name for the river, “Misi-ziibi,” meaning “Great River.”
The state’s name, Mississippi, was the Indian name for the Father of Waters or Great Waters. Of the 82 counties in the state, 19 bear Indian names: Attala. Chickasaw. Choctaw.
Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com/americanindian) and Fold3 (www.fold3.com) now have the Dawes Commission census cards and packets available online as well.
Today the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians are the federally recognized Choctaw tribes. Mississippi also recognizes another band and smaller Choctaw groups are located in Louisiana, Alabama and Texas.
Mysteriously, the Yazoo Native Americans became extinct about 1740, and the meaning of Yazoo has remained a puzzle. Some say it means River of Death, others suggest that it means hunting ground (Yashu). Between Satartia and Holly Bluff are fascinating and rare Native American mounds dating as early as 1500 BC.
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).
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.
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.
Culturally, the Chickasaws were (and are) similar to the Choctaws; both groups spoke a nearly identical language, their societies were organized matrilineally (meaning that ancestry was traced only through the mother’s line), political power was decentralized so that each of their seven or so villages had their own
Early inhabitants of the area that became Mississippi included the Choctaw, Natchez and Chickasaw. Spanish explorers arrived in the region in 1540 but it was the French who established the first permanent settlement in present-day Mississippi in 1699.