Native American Studies

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By Clara Sue Kidwell

The present-day Choctaw groups in relevant Mississippi are a tribute to the power of the Indian humans either to evolve to new occasions and to discover safe haven opposed to the surface international via their strong point. Clara Sue Kidwell, whose great-great-grandparents migrated from Mississippi to Indian Territory alongside the path of Tears in 1830, right here tells the tale of these Choctaws who selected to not flow yet to stick in the back of in Mississippi.

As Kidwell indicates, their tale is heavily interwoven with that of the missionaries who demonstrated the 1st missions within the region in 1818. whereas the U.S. govt sought to “civilize” Indians throughout the service provider of Christianity, many Choctaw tribal leaders in flip demanded schooling from Christian missionaries. The missionaries allied themselves with those leaders, typically mixed-bloods; in so doing, the alienated themselves from the full-blood parts of the tribe and therefore didn't in attaining frequent Christian conversion and schooling. Their failure contributed to the becoming arguments in Congress and via Mississippi electorate that the Choctaws might be circulate to the West and their territory opened to white settlement.

The missionaries did determine literacy one of the Choctaws, although, with ironic outcomes. even if the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 pressured the Choctaws to maneuver west, its fourteenth article only if those that desired to stay in Mississippi may declare land as contributors and remain within the kingdom as deepest voters. The claims have been mostly denied, and people who remained have been usually pushed from their lands via white dealers, but the Choctaws maintained their groups through clustering round the few males who did get identify to lands, via keeping conventional customs, and by way of carrying on with to talk the Choctaw language. Now Christian missionaries provided the Indian groups a motor vehicle for survival instead of assimilation.

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