Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
For information about the helicopter, see H-34 Choctaw
The Choctaws are a Native American people originally from the southeast United States (Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana). In the nineteenth century, they were known as one of the "Five Civilized Tribes," so-called because they had adopted a number of cultural practices of European-Americans.
During the American Revolutionary War, Choctaw scouts served under Generals George Washington, Daniel Morgan, Anthony Wayne, and John Sullivan. Some Choctaw scouts served with General Wayne again in the Northwest Indian War. During the American Civil War, the Choctaws sided with the southern states.
George Washington’s Indian Policy was used to “civilize” Indians. He believed that Indians were equals, but believed their society was inferior. The 6 points plan include: 1) impartial justice toward Indians, 2) regulated buying Indian lands, 3) promoted commerce, 4) promoted experiments to civilize Indians, 5) give the president authority to give them “presents”, and finally 6) provided punishments to those who violate Indian rights. The Choctaws agreed to this policy.
Nine treaties were signed between the Choctaws and the United States between the years of 1786 and 1830. The last treaty was the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek (1830). The treaty signed away the remaining traditional homeland of the Choctaw to the United States. Article 14 of that treaty allowed for some Choctaws to remain in the state of Mississippi.
Those Choctaws who were "forcibly removed" to the Indian territory in the 1830s were organized as the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Those who signed under article 14 of the Treaty of Dancing Rabit Creek later formed the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
In World War I, a group of Choctaws serving in the U.S. Army used their native language as a code. They were the forerunner to Native Americans from various nations, most notably the Navajo, who were used as radio operators, or code talkers, during World War II.
The Choctaw Reservation in Mississippi has 8 communities: Bogue Chitto, Bogue Homa, Conehatta, Crystal Ridge, Pearl River, Red Water, Tucker, and Standing Pine. These communities are located throughout the state like a chain of "islands."
In 1964, the wrecked car of three three murdered civil rights workers was found on a Choctaw Reservation in Mississippi. (Choctaws had nothing to do with the murders.)
Famous Americans who claim Choctaw heritage include Roy Rogers (Western film actor), Brett Favre (NFL quarterback), James Meredith (the first person of African American heritage to attend the University of Mississippi), and Jessica Biel (actress).
The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) has one of the largest casinos located near Philadelphia, Mississippi.
- Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma (official site)
- Mississippi Band of Choctaws (official site)
- "Choctaw" entry at Encyclopedia of North American Indians
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