Choctaw Indians

The Choctaw built a strong Native culture on agriculture and livestock. The Choctaw Indians were prosperous people with a strong economy based on selling livestock and goods to the Europeans. The Choctaw and the Chickasaw are thought to have come from the same descendents separating once the tribe crossed the Mississippi. The Choctaw Indian Tribe was divided into two moieties. Each group had clans and each clan had local groups. Spouses were not allowed to come from within the same moiety.  The children became part of the mothers' moiety.

Over the period of 44 years, which spanned from 1786 to 1830, there were nine treaties signed. In all of which the Choctaw Indians were forced to give up parts of their land. Starting with the Treaty of Hopewell and ending with the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830, where the Choctaw Indians signed over their remaining homelands. Under article 14 of the Treaty, to remain on the lands that were promised to them, the Choctaw Indians had to register with an Indian agent within six months of signing. Each adult was entitled to 640 acres, each child over 10 received 320 acres, and each child under 10 at the time of signing 160. The antagonistic Indian agent, William Ward, was illusive. The Choctaw that managed to register were cheated and swindled out of their land. While others never got the chance to sign. Most were then moved to the Indian Territory.

In 1860, the Choctaw Indians became the first U.S. Indian tribe to adopt its own flag. They did so as they sided with the Confederates in the Civil War and were the Choctaw Confederate Soldiers. Although in 1905-1906 the traces of a tribal government disappeared, 1253 Choctaw Indians remained in Mississippi. Starting in 1918, the U.S. government extended aid to the remaining Indians. Even with the land and schools provided, their numbers lessened as their death rate rose. Finally in 1930 the Mississippi Choctaw death rate declined.

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