The Choctaw Tribe

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The Choctaw Tribe

The Choctaw Indians were an important tribe, and the largest of the Muskogean tribes. The Choctaws have two stories about their origins in their traditional homeland in central Mississippi. One is that their ancestors came from west of the Mississippi River and settled in what is now the homeland. The other is that the tribe is descended from ancestors who were formed by a spirit from the damp earth of Nanih Waiyah, a large mound in northeastern Mississippi. Either way, the Choctaws resided in places, holding most of Southern Alabama and Mississippi with adjoining parts of Louisiana.

The Choctaws had a strong tradition of doing business. They were very intelligent people. The tribe developed a strong economy based on farming and selling goods and livestock to the Europeans who were beginning to venture into the Choctaw territory. They worked mostly as agriculturists, and were preeminently the agriculturists of the Southern Indians. In addition, the Choctaws were known as peaceful people. They were ready to defend themselves when needed, but they seldom initiated warfare against neighboring tribes.

The main weakness of the Choctaws was that there were limited choices for their future. There was no recognized tribal government, and very few Choctaws owned land. It was said that they were the poorest pocket of poverty in the poorest state of the country". There was a lack of educational opportunity, and few schools were open to Choctaw children. There were also poor health conditions. Had there been a decent tribal government formed, these issues could have been dealt with, however it was not until the removal of the Choctaws until a stable government was formed.

The Choctaw tribe is certainly an i...

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...gths. They also took initiative to make their new lives in Oklahoma better than in Mississippi. I feel that this was a very rewarding project, in that I got to learn about the hardships and conflicts this tribe had to go through. It's amazing what people do to save themselves and their heritage, and I've learned this from the Choctaw Tribe.


1. www.mshistory.k12/features/feature34/choctaw.html


3. "Choctaw" The Native Tribes of North America. Johnson, Michael. New York:1994 edition

4. "Choctaw." The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 3. Scott Fetzer Co. Chicago:1994 edition

5. "Choctaw" UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes-Volume 1. Sharon Malinowski, Anna Sheets, Linda Schmitroth. Detroit:1994 edition