Monday, 2 February 2015

The Mississippi Choctaw Indians

The Mississippi Choctaw Indians

The Mississippi band Choctaw Indians have been a federally recognized American Indian tribe since 1945 and they have recently (2011) elected their first female tribal chief.

 (Chief Phyliss J. Anderson) 

The Choctaw became the first of the "Five civilized tribes" in the 19th century because they had adapted many practices from Americans. The Choctaw Indians were also the first Native Americans to be forced under the Indian removal act, and when the first removal treaty was signed the Mississippi Choctaw became one of the first major non-European ethnic groups to become American citizens. The Mississippi Choctaw were now seen as American citizens even though they lived in 'America' long before the Americans.

The Choctaw Indian tribe is currently located over 35,000 acres in ten different Mississippi counties, and they currently have 10,000 members which are split between eight reservation communities.  The tribe contributes to the states economy by providing permanent, full time jobs for over 5,000 people, including non-tribal members.

The website provides a detailed history of the tribe as well as information on their culture, such as their language, dances, and traditions. It also provides details of tourist destinations to visit to support the tribe and to learn about the Choctaw. There is a mix of traditional Choctaw activities for tourists to experience and modern activities. For example, there is a cultural center which teaches classes on traditional art, as well as other Choctaw traditions. The tribe also advertises a hotel and casino and a Choctaw shopping center which show how the tribe has developed their own businesses to provide for their people. Although these new activities may be advertised the website states that "still, no matter how much change comes to the Reservation, one constant remains - the traditional culture of the Choctaw people." This shows that although the Choctaw people have had to adapt to modern life, they have not forgotten their traditions and culture.

 (Image of the Choctaw festival)

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